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How to Get More Time Back in Your Day

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    Today I’ll share how you can get some time back in your day and focus on the work you’re uniquely suited to do.

    But first, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who’s already supported my new podcast, Reclaim + Advance. Each episode features a story from a recognized expert about the most challenging part of their lives and how they were able to push through.

    The feedback has been incredible, I had no idea how many people felt so alone.

    My interview with Dorie Clark has received the most responses so far. In this episode she shares how she managed to go on a tour for her bestselling book even though she was heartbroken over a recent breakup and death of a pet.

    So, if you have some time this weekend, consider giving it a listen.

    Okay, so now let’s dive into how you can increase your efficiency and do more enjoyable work. If you’re like me, once in a while your day thinking, “What the heck did I even accomplish?”

    Sometimes we get so caught up completing various tasks that we don’t have enough time or energy to focus on activities that drive meaningful results.

    I’ll start with a quick story to illustrate the point.

    Years ago a prospect was very particular about how they wanted me to send a proposal. They wanted it in PDF format with all the pages in vertical format, except one page had to be horizontal.

    So, a ten page proposal. Nine pages were vertical, one page was horizontal. You with me here?

    I felt super confident creating the content for the proposal. It’s something I’m good at and enjoy, so it only took me an hour.

    Here’s where things went off the rails: I had no clue how to format a PDF with their specifications. I searched for documentation and YouTube videos but the results were confusing or outdated.

    I spent three hours trying to figure it out, three times longer than it took to write the proposal in the first place.

    Eventually, I gave up and did what I should have done in the first place: pay someone else to do it.

    I went on Fiverr, an online marketplace that connects freelancers with clients who need their services, and found an expert who could handle the task.

    Ten minutes and $10 later, I had my PDF in the correct format. Sure, I was relieved, but I kept thinking about all the other stuff I could have been doing in those three hours.

    • Building relationships with other prospects
    • Nurturing my professional network
    • Writing content for social media

    You know, the things that I’m uniquely suited to do for my business.

    Instead, I spent hours learning how to do something that I’ll probably never need to do again.

    This is why it’s so important for people like us to leverage a “Who Not How” approach to getting some of our tasks completed.

    Instead of thinking “How” can you do a task that’s out of your scope, find “Who” can do it for you. Again, Fiverr is a great place to start.

    And look, I know sometimes it can be hard to pay other people to do work for you, especially when you don’t have a lot of extra cash to spread around. So here’s how you can think about it:

    Determine how much your time is worth per hour. This can be based on your hourly rate or best assumption based on your current revenue.

    So, maybe it’s $50 per hour – great. Now keep this rate in mind next time you’re doing a task that feels out of scope. You can literally say to yourself, “Would I pay someone $50 per hour to do this?”

    If the answer is no, you should strongly consider outsourcing that task since your time is worth more than that.

    But don’t stop there, you can also use the Who Not How approach for more complex tasks. So, say you need to run digital marketing campaigns for your company.

    You might be thinking “How can I afford to hire an employee for my company?” Well, you don’t really need to figure out how you can do that, you just have to figure out who can run your campaigns.

    Fortunately Fiverr also offers services from vetted professionals who can take on these large tasks and have a history of success. I’m actually setting up an account for my agency this weekend.

    Ready to free up some time? Here’s a simple but scary way to determine opportunities to outsource: start tracking how you spend your time.

    I leverage a tool called Time Doctor and record all the tasks I’m doing throughout the day. You can do the same or use a similar method.

    After one week, take a look at all the tasks you’ve completed, then determine which activities fall outside of your scope as well as how long it took you to complete them.

    For example:

    • Invoicing your clients (and reminding them to pay)
    • Scheduling (and rescheduling) appointments
    • Creating social media images

    If your list is relatively long, and you’re spending a lot of time on these activities, that’s probably why you feel like there’s just never enough time left in the day.

    But fortunately you also have a clear understanding of what you need to get off your plate so you can make the most of your time and talent.

    That’s it for today. If you get a chance to listen to Reclaim + Advance this weekend, I’d love to hear your feedback.

    Have a good one!

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