Use a Time Multiplier to Get Things Done

viejo relojWhat is a time multiplier? It’s anything that allows you to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. You don’t even have to be there to use a time multiplier. In essence, you “clone” yourself. Ever wished you had a body double to do a few things for you? When you use a time multiplier, that’s what you’re getting.

Time is your most precious resource. It’s is certainly the most scarce resource you have because once it’s spent, you can never get it back. Time is the stuff that life is made of and we should never waste it, nor should we ever be “just be killing time.”

Killing time murders opportunities but time multipliers CAN resurrect them.

Examples of time multipliers:

The simple act of delegating a task is a time multiplier because it frees you up to do something else. Don’t do anything that you can (or should) delegate to someone else…even if you are better at it. I knew a CEO that was the best in the company at pulling a materials order, but his time wasn’t best utilized by performing that task. He was best suited to leading the company and insuring it’s long term viability.

But beware: never delegate a task that’s part of your job description.

Screening Phone Calls
Establishing a time during the day to return all your phone calls and emails will allow time to get things done you simply must get done. Many times a phone call is a complete waste of time. Be sure you set up your answering message to say that you will get back with that person at a specified time and be sure you do. My phone message asks the caller to leave specific, detailed information about why they are calling so I can work to resolve any situation as soon as possible. Your time is multiplied because you can focus on your work, rather than having constant interruptions.

Eliminating Time Wasting Activities
I’m guilty of it too, I watch worthless junk on TV. But I can also get caught up with excessive “Stumbling,” cruising YouTube, or tweaking this blog over and over. I feel quite certain that you, as a reader, don’t really care where the horizontal break line is on the sidebar. When I refuse to participate in time wasting activities at work or at home, I am continually amazed at how much I get accomplished. My wife is fond of “No TV Sundays” and our entire family gets caught up on things we really shouldn’t be behind on in the first place.

Creative Procrastination
You creatively procrastinate by avoiding any activity that doesn’t propel you toward your goals. Keep putting off those time wasting activities and pretty soon, they’ll go away. Creative procrastination is a time multiplier because it keeps you working on your highest priority items rather than spending your time on lower priority time wasters.

Planning and Preparation
Creating a game plan for the next day and watch your productivity soar. No athletic coach would allow his or her players to start a competition without a game plan, so plan your game. Sometimes all you need is a simple prioritized To Do list to keep you and your activities on track. Make sure it’s a prioritized list because a scattered list wastes more time than no list because it’s directionless. Always plan tomorrow’s work the day before. Abraham Lincoln once said:

“If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend 6 hours sharpening my axe.”

THAT is preparation. I’ve known public speakers that would spend 25 hours or more preparing for a 10 minute speech. Preparation and planning are time multipliers because they insure you do things right the first time. If you don’t have the time to do it right, why do you think you’ll have time to do it over?

Choosing to Work When You’re Most Productive
Take notice when you are most productive. For me, it’s between 9am and noon, then again from about 2:30pm until 6pm. I get more done during those times than any other, so I plan my most important activities then. Since I get to work around 6:30, I use those other hours for returning emails, filing, making notes about things I need to check on, running reports on stores, etc. This tip multiplies your time because, if you attempt an important activity during one of those times you’re in a fog, you won’t get it done as fast, as efficiently, or as completely.

Completed work never comes back to haunt you.

When you start working on a project, set aside a block of time to ONLY work on that project. Refuse to allow any non emergency interruptions and get everything completed.

Create an Activity Log
You won’t know when your most productive time is unless you record your daily activities for about two weeks. Get a journal or notebook and keep up with everything you do in 15 to 30 minute increments. Why is this a time multiplier? Because it’s part of your planning and preparation to insure you know when to tackle your most important tasks.

It’s all the rage since gas prices are sky high, but consolidating trips to the grocery store, or to the mall is a time multiplier as well. Any activity that you can utilize to prevent “repeats” of anything is a time multiplier.

Team Work
I heard a story about some horses that were in a competition to see which could pull the most weight. One horse pulled 3,000 lbs and another one pulled 4,000 lbs. Someone suggested the horses team together to see how much they could pull. Most guesses were in the 7,000 lb to 10,000 lb range but when those two horses worked together, they pulled an amazing 20,000 lbs. That’s the power of teamwork. Good teamwork can get a large project completed in an amazingly short amount of time compared to single individuals.

Getting Plenty of Rest and Good Nutrition
How is this a time multiplier? If you’re foggy, bogged down, and sluggish, you won’t accomplish nearly as much as when you’re clear headed, light on your feat, and full of energy. Rest and nutrition are two factors that help you perform at peak capacity.

So, are you up for the challenge? What other time multipliers do you use?

[tags]time, time multiplier, GTD, time management, getting things done, team management, project management, time management skills[/tags]

photo credit: zentolos

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