Crafty Hacks - For Peak Efficiency with your Schedule

Time Flies! Where does it go? Is it really on my side? With a seemingly endless flood of inputs into our daily lives, requests for our time and attention are coming from an increasing number of sources: phones, computers, tablets and (curiously) now even some appliances. And true for so many of us, the line between personal and professional life is blurred as best. So where do we find the time?

For me, both personally and professionally I am always inventing crafty hacks to be more efficient with my time. A few years back I created a TIME INVENTORY - an evaluation and management process to categorize and allocate the way in which I spend my allotted 24 hours per day. It went well – I found "the time" as they say. I freed up 12 hours per month just my making a few tweaks to my monthly schedule. 

If you want to make your own TIME INVENTORY, start with a simple spreadsheet. The vertical column marks your 24-hour daily time allowance. The horizontal column is labeled to identify your “buckets” – broad categories to which you allocate your time.  Your buckets will be specific to your world, but here are mine:

My Time Inventory - How I Spend My Time (Monthly)

1. Livelihood - For me, this is time spent with existing clients
 time spent fulfilling contractual commitments, providing value added services and building long term value. For you, defined as people who are paying you.

2. Future Livelihood - For me, this is time spent cultivating new clients and key relationships. For you, defined as people who will one day (hopefully soon) be paying you.  If you are in a position that does not require you to bring in new clients you might try these categories: 
  • Your Main Job (Generates $)
  • Your Side Gig (Generates $)
  • Future Income (Not Currently Generating $)

3. Pro Bono Work – Philanthropy has always been central to the Anything is Posh Able brand culture. In fact, I donate about 10% of my work hours providing FREE Event Planning, Marketing and Public Relations services to Central Florida nonprofits - through my giving brand - Posh Abilities.

4. Strategic Partnerships and Alliances – Building your brand, sharing you vision and connecting with others in the fields you want to work in or support. You might also think of this category as networking. But a word of advice – if you are at a networking event and you look around the room and no one there could hire you - it’s not really networking (is it?). It’s not that I am anti networking events – in fact I organize some pretty impactful ones myself – just noting importance of being strategic with your time. 

5. Personal Enrichment and Relationships – As a business owner, the line between my personal and professional life is paper thin. So I am intentional to allocate PLENTY of time for fitness, friends and fun. I like getting out my comfort zone, trying new things and spending time doing things I enjoy with people I love being around.

6. Other – This is the bucket for activity that cannot be placed in any of the other categories. A catch-all for activities that are not building my mission, not generating income or potential income, not benefiting society or enriching my life or personal relationships. 

When I did my TIME INVENTORY, I discovered that I was spending nearly 20% of my time doing activities from my “OTHER” bucket.  Meaning doing things that were not supporting my vision or driving my plan. Luckily, it was a clean fix, I found that most the “other” stuff was coming from one (easy to resolve) source – which I call my INPUT channels.  Input channels are the ways in which we allow others access to our life - both digitally (emails, texts and phones) and real-time (coffees, calls and conversations).  Coming Soon - read Defining and Streamlining your Input Channels for Peak Efficiency.