Ever feel that you're running yourself ragged because there aren't enough hours in the day to handle every task that your business demands of you?
Well, here's a novel idea: Before you start to tackle any project or activity that lands on your desk, ask yourself whether anyone will notice--or even care --if that particular job doesn't get done.
You'd be surprised how often the answer--if you're being honest with yourself--is no.
So, take that task and simply dump it. That's right, dump it. Just scratch it off your list.
You'll be amazed at how much of your workload can be eliminated with no negative side effects. Begin by taking a critical look at every aspect of your business operation. I did, and I soon realized that an awful lot of what I was doing didn't really have to be done. At all. Ever.
I only thought that it did. And you probably think the same way.
How can you figure out what you're doing that you can stop doing? Here's how I did it: I tracked my day by logging my activities in five-minute increments. Sounds cumbersome and tedious (and it is), but it's also shockingly revealing.
To illustrate, I had a colleague perform this time-tracking exercise after he complained that he was struggling to get everything done. I had him write down exactly what he was doing every five minutes of every day for one week.
We discovered, among other things, that he drank six cups of coffee daily. When I told him that seemed excessive, he explained that he didn't really drink six cups. He only poured six cups. He'd drink half of one and the rest would grow cold, so he'd make another trip down the hall to get another hot cup. We mapped it out and found that he was spending 15 minutes per cup. It's only a one-minute trip to the kitchen, but along the way he'd run into people and engage in a hallway conversation. He wasn't just shooting the breeze with them. They talked about business, but still they were just talking--and this averaged 15 minutes, six times a day. That was 90 minutes out of his eight-hour workday.
Think about that: He was spending 20% of his time drinking coffee and chatting--and then told me he didn't have enough time to get all his work done!
Trust me: Dumping is a wonderful time management tool. Give it a try.