Before I share with you some time saving tips for this year I thought it best to begin with setting goals. Now you may wonder how does setting goals save you time?
Having your goals set for the year helps you keep on track. Firstly what you want to do is decide what it is you want to achieve for this year, so ask yourself at the end of 2012 what results do I want to have?
And it would be things like:
- Financial goal. How much do you want to earn this year? Keep it real!
- Where do you want your business or career to be at the end of the year?
- Sometimes your goals can also be an improvement or an addon to last year’s events.
Once you know what it is you want to achieve then you can figure out how you are going to get there. In other words what can you do each day that will bring you closer to your goals?
This can help a great deal when it comes to saving time. For starters by knowing what results you want for the year can help you maintain focus. We have soooo many interruptions and distractions that sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked and before you know it, you are busy doing something that is not helping you get the results you want and by the end of the year you have gone a few steps back. What a time waster!
Let’s say for example, and this happened to me, you want to generate an income of R150,0000 for the year and during the year your time is being consumed by time sucking vampires who want your help but don’t pay for it. You need to ask yourself, “is this taking me closer to my goals?” “How is this benefitting me?”
If there is no added benefit or it is not helping you earn your desired income then you need to stop and get back on track.
Goals are a constant reminder to keep us on the road to achieving the results your want.
When I was speaking at the Global Entrepreneurs event in Johannesburg for Women in Finance, someone in the audience asked this question. “How on earth do you find the time to do all these things?”
Firstly, you need to establish how much time you are going to spend managing your social media activities. Once you have determined this, you can decide how and who is going to be managing your social media activities. I recommended a minimum of 2 hours a day.
Chris Brogan recently posted an interesting blog “How much time should I spend on Social Media”. In his blog, Chris also recommends a minimum 2 hours a day and shows us how to best use this time by breaking it down in sections, starting off with listening to conversations, Read more….
Basing this on a 5 day work week, this amounts to 40 hours a month or one week in a month which is a lot of time to be spending on managing your social media activities. If you are a business owner or a consultant, this may seem way too much time to be spending on social media and in our already busy lives it just adds more pressure, because we know it is a necessity, but you are like people already juggling all your responsibilities.
The good news is that there are other solutions, and you don’t need to be doing it all yourself. In fact it is not necessarily a good thing to be doing it all yourself because, as Richard White would recommend, you should be focusing your time on face to face networking and fee income producing tasks.
My recommendation is that you allocate a set amount of hours for yourself because your audience needs to know that you are in fact participating and engaging with them on a personal level. Then you either use a staff member to manage most of your social media activities or outsource your social media activities to a virtual assistant, who specialises in social media, to manage it for you.
The benefit of outsourcing or using an existing staff member:
- You free up some valuable time
- Adds another perspective and personality to your business which adds to your brand
- A trained person in this area would do it far quicker than you would
- Two minds are better than one, more ideas for content
- Increases revenue
Many business owners think that by managing everything themselves they are saving on staff costs and therefore reducing their overheads but in actual fact you are losing way more but this is for another blog… Don’t be afraid to use a member of your team, you will be surprised at just how beneficial this is to you and your business. Corporate companies are using existing staff members to manage their social media activities. One business who did this extremely well is Zappos.
Stuck on a train in yet another one of many train delays that occur in the UK. Running late, rushing and running to get the bus so that I can get to a meeting on time. “Why do I put myself through this,” I asked myself. Trying to make sense of what possessed me to arrange this meeting at this ungodly hour of the day. “Peak hour.”
While waiting for the bus, I grabbed the South African newspaper. Inside was the SA Property magazine with an article on “mixed use type developments” and the article contained the following facts:
The world’s average commuting time to work is 40 minutes one way. Average commuting for workers in the UK works out to 15 days every year (360 hours).
In peak hour traffic times to cross the city can take between 4 and 5 hours in London, New York, Tokyo and even Johannesburg.
A colleague of mine said that door to door each day takes him 1 hour and 15 minutes which means that he is spending 24 days a year just on commuting to work.
How crazy is this? It makes me want to scream:
VOTE FOR FLEXIBLE WORKING!!!! and take on the powers that be.
I am also stunned when people say to me that they prefer to come into the office, sit behind a desk because if they worked from home, they would get no work done, “no self discipline” they say.
“Mmmmm, 15 days extra a year, self discipline OR come into the office and lose 15 days every year. I say “15 DAYS EXTRA, bring it on, learn self discipline”. 15 days should be motivation enough.
Others say that they need the interaction within the office community.
“Yes, I can see this being an obstacle but there is a worldwide community on the worldwide web to communicate with.” I would rather opt for the extra days and meet up with people I want to meet with and from time to time you can have team meetings and get togethers, no one is stopping you.
I say, I am all for the flexible working! Besides it is good for the planet, reduces stress levels and adds to the quality of your life.
What do you say?
How many days are you wasting travelling to and from work?
It can be very easy to get sidetracked and focus on tasks that are unproductive, in fact sometimes we do it on purpose – workplace procrastination increases when we don’t want to do something.
An unproductive task or project is something that is not helping you to achieve your goal or simply not earning you any money.
To arrange and set up a meeting can take roughly 10 minutes or longer to organise. Arrange 5 of those and it has already taken an hour of your time.
You have some administration to do, update your database, letters to type, printing, posting etc, these are all time consuming unproductive tasks that are not bringing in any new business, in other words not earning you any money.
Brian Tracy author of The Flight Plan mentioned a good way to keep yourself disciplined is to work out your hourly rate and when starting a project or taking on a task, ask yourself, “Is this worth $/£ of my time?
Here is a calculation example he used to help you work out your hourly rate.
Determine how much it would cost you per month to live comfortably even if you had no income at all. Include all your costs e.g., accommodation, food, travel, medical, vacations, entertainment, etc. Multiply that number by 12 and then multiply the result by 20. This total represents your retirement goal. Divide your annual income by 2,000, i.e. the approximate number of hours that an executive works in a year. This amount is their hourly rate. If you earn $50,000 a year and you divide that amount by 2,000 you get a rate of $25 per hour.
Your potential earnings wasted doing unproductive tasks could therefore be very costly.
Don’t throw your money down the drain, give us a call