“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst” - William Penn
Can you pinpoint one thing that you have to do often, that you spend a lot of time on and that takes a lot of energy to get done? It could also be something that you spend a lot of energy on, even if it does not necessarily take a significant amount of time. Something that drains maybe 50% of your capacity in an hour, yet another activity will only drain about 10% of your capacity in the same amount of time. This looming task steals time and energy from the place(s) where you can add the most value. It drains your energy and then you have to do the rest of the important things with the little energy that is left. It stops you from being innovative and creative. It takes up mental and emotional space, which makes you feel overwhelmed. You become anxious because of this task that is not done, and this creates an additional drain on your capacity and energy.
What is that One Thing that drains you so much?
Now imagine if you could get rid of this One Thing.
“Aaah man, Francois, don’t you think if I could get rid of this One Thing I would have done so ages ago?” Well, you can create a system that consciously trains your brain to manage your time and minimise the anxiety caused by this One Thing!
Here are three steps to start building a system:
STEP 1: Eliminate
How can you completely eliminate the One Thing from your life? I can almost hear your resistance: “Sure buddy… I know what that thing is, but someone has to do it. I have to do it!”
Do you know what? 99% of the time it IS possible to eliminate this One Thing - you just don’t know HOW yet. So I will ask again: how can you completely eliminate the One Thing from your life?
STEP 2: Delegate
Start thinking differently about this One Thing. How much is it worth to you to nót do it? How much is it worth to the company / your family if you focus that same energy on what you are really good at, instead of spending it on this thing that someone else can do? You will add more value to the company if you don’t do it, and if you rather focus that same energy on something that you are really good at.
(For entrepreneurs: think about working ON your business more than IN your business. The knock-on effect of freeing up time to work ON your business will be massive.)
So ask yourself: who can do this instead? Is there someone I can give this to? Someone I can employ or pay to do it? Somewhere it can be outsourced? Training someone else to do it may take some time and energy initially, but it will save so much time going forward. It may cost extra to employ or pay someone to do it, but the time you free up to work on something that you are good at will soon offset that cost.
STEP 3: Automate
How can you use automation to take a lot of things off your table? Not just in terms of the time they take up, but especially in terms of the mental space they take up in your mind. Build a system that helps you to use your mind / mental space to think - not to remember. Now you can free up mental space to reflect on important things.
Be prepared that building a system will take time, so give yourself at least a month before expecting the gains from a newly built system. But when it is done, when you manage to free up the time and mental energy that was sucked up by the One Thing, you will notice that you get a lot more done in other areas and show up differently in the rest of your life.
Take a moment to think about these questions:
What is this One Thing in your life that drains so much energy?
What action can you take today to eliminate it?
What action can you take to delegate it?
What action can you take to automate it?
Got an idea of how to start building a system? Now go and do it!
Would you like more ideas and input on how to free up mental space and time to live the life that you want? Join the Clarity Quest.