A couple of things happened over the last couple of weeks that have led to this article:
1.Taking the advice ‘if it only takes two minutes, just do it.’
And following on from this advice:
2. Make time for things that are going to save you HEAPS of time in the long run (even if they take slightly longer than two minutes.)
A lot of what I end up talking about with clients is not just about physically saving minutes on the hour, hours in the day = saving time on their business admin. It is about saving them the headspace. I don’t talk about this in my marketing because I think it sounds a bit airy fairy, and the work I do is not that.
But what it really is about is helping out with those bits and pieces that you know you have to do, they are in your mind, they are on your to do list, and you put them off because you don’t like to do them. Even though some of them are essential (invoicing, keeping your accounts up to date) and some of them would be super useful, but without an actual HARD deadline, they’ll never get done (researching/implementing new team project software, creating and uploading templates to save time on repeat jobs.)
So my first bit of advice is really about getting a bit of headspace back, as well as ticking jobs off the to do list – if it is only going to take you two minutes – JUST DO IT! Don’t put it off because the energy that you waste worrying about it, will make you less efficient in everything else that you do.
I mentioned HARD deadlines back there – that is an actual date that something has to be done by or it is absolute mission failure and your company burns to the ground…well, I exaggerate, but you know what I mean. You HAVE to invoice your clients at the agreed time in the month, you HAVE to pay your suppliers etc.
So getting around to those jobs that do not have these sorts of deadlines doesn’t happen, unless you set the deadline. When it relates to a client, for those kind of tasks that I have, I always give the client a deadline so that I make sure that is done by the date (accountability). Or if it is things for my own business, I write the task down on my to do list, then I add it to my weekly planner, when I know I will have the time/it is appropriate (see blog here about planning my week). This makes it into a hard deadline for me.
The advantage of actually getting around to those jobs?
Possibly save money (on better tools)
Save energy (on implementing better systems
Save yourself headspace (on thinking that you SHOULD be getting around to that task).
I have been putting off changing my web browser from Chrome to Firefox. I could think of all the excuses in the world, even though the actual job would take little more than ten minutes. I knew it would save time as Chrome is so resource heavy it is making my working day frustratingly slow as I use web browsers for nearly all of the tasks that I undertake.
There was also the bookmarks, what a drag having to change it all.
Turned out, not so bad and I have been massively relieved of the slow whirly-gig thing on my computer whilst a page loads. All in all, loads happier, loads more productive and all for what turned out to be 20 minutes of my time.
So I urge you to take on board the advice in this blog and get those tasks done. We can all find 10 minutes to do what we want, it is whether we have the inclination to do so.
And if you really don’t have the time or inclination? Give me a call :)