Five Simple Questions To Free Up Hours In Your Day
When you get to the end of your work week, you might wonder where the time went. But if you look closer, you'll probably find that you spent time standing in lines, waiting for meetings to start or performing tasks that ended up being unimportant.
Craig Ballantyne, an entrepreneur and author who runs EarlyToRise.com, encourages leaders to elevate their habits and systems if they want to get more out of life. He says it's not enough to find time-you must make time. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Ballantyne's five questions to ask yourself when you want to free up more time in your day.
1. What do you hate doing? Billionaire entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey told interviewer J.J. McCorvey that she hates meetings. Despite being one of the most successful and acclaimed women on the planet, she spends only a few days per month in the office and spends most of her time on her 42-acre estate in Montecito, California (which is two hours away from her headquarters). To stay in the loop, she has her team send detailed email summaries with project updates and important tasks that she can look at on her time. Think about that. Oprah identified something that she hated and then "made the world play by her rules" saving herself a ton of time in the process. Ballantyne says we can still apply this same principle in our lives to some degree. He says he hates taking calls in the morning. Today, he has a simple rule: He doesn't take calls before 10 am, ever.
2. What should you stop doing? Ballantyne says we all waste time on mindless, worthless and useless tasks that do nothing for you. Think about what happened if you removed these tasks from your schedules. Nothing would change for the worse. Your business wouldn't implode. Your family wouldn't leave you. Your employees probably wouldn't even notice. In fact, by eliminating these tasks, you would get better results (because you'd have more energy to focus on the things that matter) and have more free time on your calendar.
3. What is not your job? By considering what you can delegate to someone on your team, you can better align your actions with your priorities, according to Ballantyne. You can be more effective in your business while giving yourself plenty of free time to enjoy your life. Be the Oprah of your business. Start doing the things that only you can do. Imagine how far you could go with this approach.
4. What are your distractions? Ballantyne says there are plenty of strategies you can use to eliminate distractions and get control of your time and life. You could go cold turkey, skipping out on the Fantasy League this year or you could also play the punishment game, that if anyone catches you liking a Facebook post during 9-5 work hours that you owe them $20. Even better is spending some time in self-reflection examining what you are running from and why, and figure out how you can lean into your distractions and turn that time into accomplishment.
5. If money were no object, how would you fix these problems? When you sit down and give this question real thought, the answers will shock you. You'll quickly realize that most of the solutions to your biggest time and energy sucks need no money—or less than $50. Instead, the solutions will require you to make hard decisions. You'll need to have difficult conversations, ask for help and become a better leader. You'll need to find, hire and train good people to take over for you.
Want to gain some hours back in your work week? Start by asking yourself the questions above.
Source: Craig Ballantyne is known as the world's most disciplined man. He built Turbulence Training Fitness to over $10 million in sales and now runs EarlyToRise.com. His books, The Perfect Day Formula and Unstoppable, have helped more than 55,000 high performers own their day, double their income and work less.