Work Smarter Not Harder: Step Up and Value Your Time
5 Strategies That Communicate You Mean Business
- Best Selling Author, Susan Sly | 4 mins 16 secs read
I have just returned from Las Vegas where I took the stage at The Most Powerful Women in Network Marketing Event.
Imagine the energy of five thousand women entrepreneurs, along with several highly in-tune men, all with the singular focus on helping others and taking their lives to the next level in the process. Working smarter not harder is basically their mantra.
After this, I took twenty-five women through a two-day intensive where we focused on time, and how to become more productive.
In addition to teaching these women how to focus, we also covered distractions, and how not to spend our time.
A few of my friends including self-made millionaires, Tiffaney Mallot, Lisa Grossman, and uber life-coach, Karen Fagan, joined the training squad as we helped these women see that a high percentage of their untapped potential lay in how they were choosing to spend their time.
The sad truth is that many people do not value their time.
They take longer than necessary to do small tasks, waste time on social media, allow people to take advantage of them, binge watch Netflix, and operate in such a way that they send a loud, clear message that their time is not valuable.
In life, you need to show people that you mean business.
The bottom line is this – if we do not value our time, no one else will either.
Sharing a home with two dozen women, and doing a deep dive into your life, is an exceptional way to figure out how to manage your time.
I am a huge believer in immersion; tuning out the world for a few days and putting into practice the things you are learning. Often, we go to an event and once home in our environment, fail to put into practice the things we have learned.
These women had the opportunity to learn how to value their time, become more efficient, and put into practice everything they were learning.
We covered many optimization techniques and the following are a glimpse of what these women put into practice:
THINK ‘AS IF’
Think about a successful person in your profession. Consider their habits, their schedule, and how they show up in their life. The next time you are confronted with a time decision, ask yourself what this successful individual would choose to do, and make the same decision.
IN BUSINESS- HAVE PEOPLE EARN YOUR TIME
Successful people do not give away their time, other people earn it. Consider this – if you wanted to learn from Warren Buffet, or talk to Bill Gates about world issues, could you?
The average person would have to somehow earn the right to be in the presence of accomplished individuals.
What would happen if people had to earn your time?
Instead of simply opening the door to anyone who wanted to complain, gossip, or tell you about all of the reasons why they will never achieve their goals, make people earn your time.
To get time with me, people must fill out a scheduling form. I need to know why they want to talk before we speak. My calls are fifteen minutes maximum and that is a very short time to get to the point, help the person, and move onto the next call.
Our time is valuable. If you have a business then guess what? If you are giving time to people who haven’t earned it then you probably are not making money. Set a standard for what it takes to earn your time.
It could be that the person must be positive, a potential client, or customer, a staff member, or someone who you may partner with in business.In the hours that you have designated to be in business, make the decision that only people who earn your time, get it.
SEE TIME AS MONEY
You may not be making seven figures yet however that doesn’t mean you cannot start treating your time as though it has that value.
If you had to spend $500 for every non-productive hour you spent on Facebook, would you keep on doing it? Of course not! The same holds true of anything we do.
One thing I ask myself is this, ‘will doing this cost me money?’ If something is going to waste my time, the answer is ‘yes.’
WORK IN 90 MINUTE BLOCKS
These days, many people have very short attention spans; they cannot focus for a few hours, let alone a day. I encourage my clients to sit down and work in ninety minute blocks. Set a timer, countdown from three, and go for it.
Start by making the most important calls, following up, or doing whatever it is that is either necessary to generate revenue, or dealing with the proverbial monkey on their backs.
Working longer isn’t necessarily more effective as our minds can wander. Ninety minutes is a manageable time to churn out productivity and then take a short break, if you are working at home this is a good time to do the laundry, make the bed, or go for a powerwalk, and then sit down and do another block.
Every one of my clients that has embraced this practice has become much more productive.
COMMUNICATE YOUR TIME
Have you ever had someone get on the phone with you and start rambling on?
It happens however not to those who value their time. A great strategy is to tell people up front how much time you have. If you only have five minutes, let them know. If you have fifteen minutes, communicate it.
Getting into the habit of communicating your time up front is not only liberating for you, it sends a clear message that you value your time, and yourself, which is extremely liberating.
I would love to hear which of these habits you are going to adopt. Leave your comments below and as always, I wish you epic productivity, and exceptional work-life balance.
Susan Sly is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and someone who values her time. She resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is the mother of five children.
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