Considerations and Recommendations

Make More Time With NO

Published on Friday, 27 November, 2020

Everyone needs more time. I don't know of a single soul that wishes he had less time. Time to get things done, time to relax, time with friends, time with children. Even time on earth. We want more of it, not less. Financial planning advisors will often tell their clients how important a budget is. If you are aware of how you are spending your money, you are likely to make smarter decisions. The $6 latte? Fine, as a treat. A 2x a day habit? That adds up to $4380 per year. On lattes. If this inspires you to go and buy Starbucks $SBUX stock, you are not wrong. I don't believe anyone starts their New Year's resolution with the thought: "I am going to spend $4000 on lattes this year." However, it does happen. Mainly because we are not paying attention.

They key to using time wisely is to be aware of how it is spent. How much of your time is spent addressing client requests that really are not in your wheelhouse? Are you doing tasks that pay the bills but aren't your superpower?

If you find yourself putting out fires that are not of your making, cleaning up other people's messes, and generally playing "step-and-fetch-it" because you are a service provider to a client, say NO.

Knowledge is key here. You have to be diligent about documenting your time. How are you spending your day? Get really granular here. Spend a week tracking every task and logging it. Then evaluate. How much time is spent on the work that gives you energy vs the work that saps it? How many times has a client request generated a context switch that interrupted deep work? I'm going to suggest that deep work == valuable work, so these interruptions are VERY costly.

Once you know how much time you are spending on the joyful and the sorrowful, you have an opportunity to fix that. We all have a limited amount of time on this earth. Make sure you are greedy with yours with respect to your clients. If they are taking your time, you need to be well compensated for that time.

We all have to do things that are mindless, grinding tasks. I'm not giving you a pass to not do that work. My suggestion is that as you grow in your career, you will prosper if you give yourself permission to fill your schedule with the uplifting work so there is little room for the rest.