Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s what we do with those 1440 minutes that separates the successful from the stagnant.
If you want to edge out the competition, hit your goals, and achieve more than the week should allow, these following clock hacks should help…
Think Like a Lazy Person
Is it quicker to load a dishwasher or to personally scrub every single utensil? The result is the same, regardless of how you get there, but the effort involved is drastically different. Josephine Cochran’s 19th-century attempt to first apply water pressure to plates wasn’t just innovative, it was lazy. She didn’t want to hand wash every single spoon and found a way to do it more efficiently.
Instead of simply sitting down to do tedious work, see if you can find a way to make the work less tedious. Create workflows, automation, and innovations that allow you to do more with less effort, then use that time tackling the next problem. By the time you take a break to look back you will realize that you are miles ahead of the competition.
Don’t Do Your Tasks in Order
The risk with to-do lists is that most people assume they must be completed linearly. When it comes to these chores, it isn’t wise to simply start at the top. Instead, apply time estimations to every item. Find yourself with ten minutes between meetings? Knock-off a tiny task. Plane delayed by two hours? Tackle a larger item. Do what you can when you can and be amazed by what you can accomplish throughout the day.
Maximize Transit Time
Instead of staring out your cabin window on a plane, scrolling through Instagram in an Uber, or people-watching on the subway, make travel work for you. Commuting can be great for replying to emails, prepping for upcoming meetings and, when all else fails, continuing education. Skip the in-flight movie and listen to a podcast, make your way through a leadership book or read some articles written by experts. The idea is to treat every moment spent sitting as an opportunity.
Consider the ROI
Every time you think about committing to something, consider the potential return on investment. Grabbing a drink with an old friend may sound like a good use of time, but is it really? If getting buzzed with a buddy takes away from your work, family, or education, it may not be worth the investment. Ask yourself if the reward justifies the cost. Rest and relaxation is, of course, important—but anything you do strictly out of obligation may not be worth the time spent, and it is ok to say “no” when the ROI is not favorable.
Outsource the Rest
Most business leaders want to think that they need to be heavily involved in every aspect of their ventures, but the cold reality (and hacky cliche) is that trying to be a jack of all trades makes you a master of none. Instead, figure out what your superpower is and develop that until absolutely no one can do it better than you. Do not concern yourself with the things you do not naturally excel at. Find people that excel in areas that you are weak and let them fly. Something magical happens when you find what you are good at and outsource the rest—everything moves faster! When you get the proper people in the right roles, no one will be bogged down by things that challenge them. Everything gets streamlined and the results can be truly astounding.