You have heard it before. You must invest time to save time. But what does that really mean?
Do you have small things that bother you — that take you time? Maybe you have opportunities to invest time to save time.
The other day I was working with a client on his computer. He started the conversation by telling me that he did not like how his new Windows laptop was organized. He had gotten used to Windows XP and the new operating system was just not what he liked. He said that he often had to search for the programs that he actually used because they were buried in pull-down menus.
When I suggested that it was possible to re-arrange the windows, he said that he knew that was possible but just did not have the time to do it. “Really? – – – Really?” I asked. We spent a few minutes adding up how much time searching for programs he actually used would take on a weekly basis. Over an hour a week! (That shocked me too.) After seeing how much time he was spending just trying to navigate his computer, it became more obvious that he did not have time to NOT make the change.
Investing Time to Make Time Shows Up Everywhere. You can save large amounts time just by spending a few minutes now.
1 – Organize Your Space — When you can find what you need when you need it, the stress relief alone is priceless, but you save time too. The average person wastes 150 hours a year just looking for things. Don't let that be you.
2 – Understand Your Technology – Smart phone, digital camera, printer, laptop, alarm system, etc. When you understand your tools, you learn shortcuts that allow you to do things faster.
3 – Write it Out – Stop re-thinking process over and over. Create checklists for the activities you do frequently and infrequently. The checklists will allow you to jump from one task to the next (or even better yet – delegate!) Or, consider creating templates that will allow you to create faster and with more consistency.
4 – Automate Where Possible – There are great technologies out there for bill paying, team communication, to do reminders, computer backups, and even sending physical cards in the mail! Find the tools and technologies that will work for you and your business.
5 – Make Sure You Have the Right Tool! – I see people get caught up on this one all of the time. Taking the time to research and identify the right tools for your situation will save you amazing amounts of time and frustration.
6 – Take Notes – When you are learning new things, write it down. The process of documenting your thoughts already starts getting the information into your brain. As you take notes, make sure you are either 1) writing process steps or 2) documenting action steps/to dos.
What things have you done to save hours by investing minutes?
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