There’s a saying in business, “Time is money,” and it’s true.
I spent some time recently taking an inventory of myself. I intentionally closed myself off from needless conversations, social media time, television time, and all non-essential tasks. After some self-reflection, I analyzed how I use my time to determine the most profitable use of my time, as well as what brings me joy. I go through this process periodically to strip away activities that have become time and energy pits.
I often hear people say that they don’t have the time to write a book or start a business, but it’s their desire to do so. My answer to them is to turn off the television, get off social media for a while, and take inventory of how they’re spending their time. There’s nothing wrong with relaxing. I am a big advocate of self-care, but I also know that most people waste a lot of time doing non-essential things.
At work, when a staff person says they’re overwhelmed and the workload doesn’t appear to be overwhelming, I will advise them to conduct a time study. A time study is when you write down every single thing that you do every day. This includes time on the telephone, reading emails, taking a coffee or lunch break, and even checking your social media accounts.
The time study should be done for a month, to gain a better perspective on which activities take the most time. This method allows me and the person to see where we can eliminate tasks or make processes more efficient.
In business, whether you are an entrepreneur or a manager of a corporation, if you conduct a time study or self-inventory, you will find that 20 percent of your time and energy results in 80 percent of your profits.
The trick is to do more in your 20 percent span of time since that work and effort is the most profitable for you. The other 80% may be necessary work, but it’s work that other people can do. There is work that only YOU, as the boss, the leader, the owner, can do. Everything else can be done by staff, volunteers, interns, and consultants.
I would also advise you to implement “systems,” to make tasks like bookkeeping, project management, and marketing more efficient.
However, even with systems and other people taking on various tasks, you will find that from time to time, you will need to re-evaluate what you’re spending your time and attention on.
Everyone needs to take a break and re-calibrate sometimes and then make necessary adjustments to make the best use of their time and talent. Time is money, so make the best use of both.