Ruth and I have just been to the Big Bolton Conversation, hosted by the fantastic team at theBestofBolton. I have to say, I was blown away by how well run the entire event was, and what an amazing mix of people were in the room.
As a featured supplier, Time Saving Heroes had the opportunity to have a stand in their “expo” section, which was great – as all exhibitors were B2B, and limited to one per industry. People actually took the time to talk, and we made some fantastic connections we’ll need to touch base with later this week.
Going through the services we offer, and why we offer them, the dilemma of “too much to do, not enough time” kept coming up. Obviously, it’s something we hear day in, day out with our existing clients, but it seemed particularly heightened today.
Many people want a quick fix, jokingly asking if we can turn their 24 hour days in to 33 hour ones instead. Of course we can’t, but the truth is this question says a lot about our approach to managing our time. Instead of wishing we had more, we need to be better at using what we’ve got.
Here at Time Saving Heroes that’s what we specialise in. Working with what you’ve already got, and making it better. You don’t need more time, you need to be more productive with the time you have.
On the drive from Bolton back to the office I got thinking about my top tips to help people manage this, and here they are:
#1 – Buy it
I’m always telling my clients they can do anything, but they can’t do everything. The simple truth is if you take everything on there’s nowhere for you to go. There reality is there are only so many hours in a day, and no matter how long you work, you can’t do it all.
The good news though is that you can buy time. If you look at the tasks you currently spend time on, but don’t have to be dealt with by you, find a way to outsource these. If you spend a lot of time trying to update your website, would it make more sense to pay a web developer to do it? What about a bookkeeper to handle your accounts? A Virtual Assistant might have all the necessary skills you need.
Whatever it is you need doing, there is someone out there who has the right skill set to be able to help you.
# 2 – Find it
It might seem like a daunting task, but actually taking the time to track how you spend your days is well worth it. Logging everything you spend your time on, from personal tasks to replying to emails, will highlight all your many obligations throughout the day.
You can then sit and look through the things that are taking up your time that you don’t think are personally worth it. Rather than adding more things to your list, you can see this as a golden opportunity to cut out the things that aren’t working or don’t really working. This way, you can free up some of your time to focus on other things.
# 3 – Create it
OK, you can’t actually create time, but you can create the illusion of more. For example, do you find yourself writing the same sort of emails day in, day out? Do you get similar questions from customers or clients? If so, producing a standard response that you can send out with the click of a mouse is a great way to save yourself heaps of time every single day.
Rather than spending lots of time shuffling bits of paper around, why don’t you use something like Evernote to keep everything simple and organised in one place? That way it’s always accessible as well and you can add to it as and when needed.
Can you multitask any of your chores? If you commute to work, can you use this time to deal with your emails, or listen to an audio version of that book you keep meaning to read?
There are lots of ways you can do more with the time that you have. Perhaps getting on with it, instead of complaining about how much you have to do would be a good first step? #JustSaying