Friday, 10 February 2012

Time Or Money - Which Would You Choose?


Firstly, there was a point in 2011 where I was working 80-90 hours a week managing a business and running my own Company. I believed this was success at the time. Hard work and long days.
Then I read a little book called the Four Hour Work Week, which identified I was mostly keeping myself busy, without achieving any defined results. The 'work' that I was doing was neither productive nor effective. Often it was fixing little minutiae (emails, design) that bared no weight to the return on my time investment. But, of course at that point my definition of success was hard work.
The 4HWW made me take stock of my life. What were the 20% of tasks that very producing 80% of my income and what 80% of tasks were virtually doing nothing (the email, design etc)?
I found that one 30-60 minute monthly task was producing almost 60% of my income and a further 3 actions (roughly 15% of what I was doing) were producing almost the rest of my Company's revenue.
I then proceeded to workout my living costs and lifestyle costs. It occurred to me within 15 minutes that I could completely eliminate my 50 hour full time management job and still maintain my current existence. So I eliminated 50 hours of work in August 2011.
I focused on the 30-60 minute monthly task and the 3 actions that were producing results for my business (research, marketing and systematization). As a result within 3 months of reading The 4HWW I had eliminated close to 70 hours of non effective time use.
Since August I've had the luxury of using my time for projects that I'm passionate about. Teaching others (coaching), business, learning, golf, writing and a bit of living as well.
So you need to sit down and look at how you allocate your time. What actions (generally 20%) are effectively producing your desired results and can you eliminate or delegate as much of the remaining 80% as possible?
Can you set shorter deadlines for your assignments (tasks) to force yourself to focus on execution and only the bare essentials (Parkinson's Law)? Are you addicted to your phone, social media or email? Is it possible to bundle those tasks and schedule them for a specific time either daily or weekly to avoid dealing with them one at a time. This way you can eliminate the 80% of calls, messages, emails etc from the bundle that aren't important to your results.
If you proceed to follow this formula (80/20) with the fundamental tasks in your life, you are much closer to freedom than 95% of people. Remember to choose only the essential tasks and don't waste the most valuable resource you have (time) before it runs out.

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