Not enough hours in the day? How to find more time
*** HAPPY NEW YEAR! ***
(Don’t worry, it’s a resolution-free zone)
Relax! I’m not going to start 2011 by hassling you about keeping your resolutions.
I know you’re smart and mature enough to either ignore them completely or have developed your own strategies and don’t need me adding my pennyworth.
Goals should be reviewed, assessed and renewed on a regular basis not on some arbitrary date.
Instead, in this email I’d like to share a few of my own personal and ongoing goal-orientated experiments.
Who knows, they might spark some ideas with you. Ever wondered how to find more time?
How to find more time to develop yourself and your business
1. What would you do with an ‘extra’ 22 days per year?
Imagine if you could create an extra 3 weeks per year and use that newly found time more productively?
It’s actually easier than you might think . . .
I know I could easily get into the office 10 minutes earlier. I could stay an
extra 10 minutes and then find 10 minutes at the end of the day to review and
prepare for the next. Perhaps even more.
Doesn’t seem like too much of a challenge, especially when you break it down
like that – add those 10 minute blocks up over a week, month and a year and I’ll be clawing back a LOT of productive time: 30 minutes a day is 3.5 hours per
week . . . 14 hours a month and a whopping 175 hours a year (subtracting 2 weeks
Let’s say the average working day is 8 hours, and then you are looking at just
shy of 22 days extra productive time each year a whole working month!
All from shaving off 10 minutes here and there!
But I’m no workaholic. I’m all for balancing out work and personal life, so those saved minutes don’t all have to be devoted to furthering my entrepreneurial goals – an extra 10 minutes (I hate the term quality time!) with a child, loved one or even with one’s own thoughts can be priceless.
2: I’m increasing my business knowledge
I’m already a voracious reader, but I know that I have neglected reading those areas where I really should push my knowledge, especially the constantly changing online world. So, on my desk right now are the following (they can all be found on Amazon.co.uk by the way if you are interested or go hassle your local library):
1. Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust by Chris Brogan. Yes, it’s a long title, but carries a simple message. With the Internet and the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter there is no excuse for ignoring the customer experience. Brogan investigates how to tap into the power of social networks to build business influence, reputation, and profits. Whether you dabble on eBay or run a business of any kind, this a great read. Although I am reserving judgement on whether Twitter or Facebook can actually deliver profits directly, I truly believe that any increased contact with your customers and prospects will bring long-term rewards.
And that takes me to my next pick, the even longer titled . . .
2. Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, eBooks, Webinars
(and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by Ann Handley and
C.C. Chapman. This book is a strange one for me. It was able to articulate so much of what I truly believe in when it comes to business. It’s all about how ‘ once again ‘ the Internet has enabled people to connect in ways that change the very nature of the business-customer relationship. To truly stand out – in any business – providing high quality free content to your prospects and existing customers.
As the publisher puts it: “Whether it’s bite-sized tweets that allow you to forge relationships on Twitter, blog posts that give your readers must-have advice, ebooks or white papers that engage (and don’t bore), videos that share the human side of your company, interactive webinars that deliver a valuable learning experience, or podcasts that can be downloaded and listened to on the fly (and more!) . . . now more than ever, content rules!”
Here’s my next pick – still following the same theme and completely self-explanatory:
3. Free: The Future of a Radical Price: The Economics of Abundance and Why Zero
Pricing Is Changing the Face of Business by Chris ‘Long Tail’ Anderson
My final book choice is the one that doesn’t have a title and hasn’t even been
written yet . . .
I am REALLY excited about this. I’ve partnered with an old friend and long time business partner Gareth Rees to write a new book. Very much in line with the strategies outlined in the book list, we will be investigating the way anyone can use free content to attract prospects and turn them into happy long term customers. Based on our shared experience of publishing online and offline, we’re going to give practical steps to publish free content (often taken freely from the public domain) and turn it into a profitable business.
We hope that our experience will help not only those who are new to online marketing or publishing, but small and large businesses who have yet to truly exploit the freemium publishing model.
And what makes this book project so different is this: we’re going to give it away for free as we write it! The project has already started and your exclusive invite to share in this new publishing adventure will arrive in your inbox tomorrow.
3: How to develop and monetise an existing skill
I’m amazed at the number of people who want to run a part-time or new full-time business and ignore their own skills and knowledge. Today, with all the online opportunities (info publishing through Twitter, blogs, ebooks, audio books, webinars, eletters, membership sites and all the rest), it’s far easier to transfer your accumulated experience online.
For me, despite starting out as a copywriter 17 years ago (and writing in general years before that), I know I can still improve my craft.
My old mentor – Michael Masterson of Early to Rise fame – sums it up perfectly. He suggests there are 4 stages of learning a skill: Incompetence, Competence, Mastery and Virtuosity:
* It takes about 1,000 hours to become competent at any worthwhile skill.
* About 5,000 hours to master any skill.
* And takes between 25,000 and 35,000 hours to become world class. (And then only if you are gifted.)
(Note: Michael was publishing this idea years before Malcolm Gladwell publishe his book – Outliers – which comes to the virtually identical conclusions.
Imagine now if you could just shave off those extra 10 minutes here and there during the week, then you already have 175 hours you have freed without even noticing and devote instead to developing a new skill or adding to an existing one.
But still those ‘000s of hours do sound a bit intimidating so it’s important to add here is that Michael believes these hours can be slashed by finding a mentor or expert which will help you fast track those skills and reduce the time required by 20-30%.
With that in mind I’ll be continuing to work with experts in many fields and will make sure you are the first to benefit from what I learn.
Check out his original article here. Highly recommended!
And Michael’s latest goal setting book – The Pledge: Your Master Plan for an
(Another note: although The Pledge is a great book, I still passionately
recommend you follow his core business book: Read Fire Aim published by John
Wiley & Sons).
Ok, I’ve taken up enough of your valuable time – time that could be spent on developing yourself and your business and income prospects.
Of course I would love to hear from you if there is a specific business opportunity you’d like me to investigate or feature as a blueprint.
I’ve also been thrilled recently by emails from readers who are running their own profitable businesses following on from ideas they read here and through Canonbury Publishing first. These emails make me so proud and really brighten up these rather miserable winter days! So please if you have success stories (however fledgling) please do let me know!