Does your life sometimes feel out of control? Are you ever just crazy busy everyday? Have you missed one or more important events with your kids, friends, family members, or loved ones? Is there a boss, client or someone at work making your life miserable? And now are the people in your personal life – the ones that really love you – getting fed up with your excuses?
That seems to happen a lot these days and we focus on ways to improve profitability while also gaining control over the “time dragon” that seems to make life crazy.
What happens when you get 12 very smart business men and women sitting around a table (ok… and a pool) at a Las Vegas resort, far from the office, their phones and the day-to-day interruptions, and all they are doing is thinking about how to make their businesses, their practices, and their lives radically better?
The answer? Loads of great ideas and shared resources that really can make a difference.
We all paid a load of money to sit around that table, but everyone left feeling that the investment of time, energy and money was very wise. I know I have already done a number of things I learned from that meeting that have made a difference in my marketing and in my personal life.
I’m willing to share a few of the ideas and resources that you can steal and start using right now, in your own business and to help you to tame the time crunch tiger in your own life.
Idea 1: Ever forget to bring your business cards? Ever wanted to quickly share your business or personal information with loads of people at the same time? Want to give them a clickable link so that they can get more information on a specific topic?
Well… there is a free service: Contxts allows you, whether it be interacting one-to-one or speaking to a room of 1,000 people, to share your contact information or a link to specific content. If you just need one “electronic business card,” the service is free to use. If you want more, then it’s just a few bucks per month.
I started using it within minutes of my friend Bob Battle sharing it at the mastermind meeting. Here is how I use it: I often speak to audiences about estate planning (I am, by training a trust and estate lawyer). When I am speaking, I simply say “To get more information, or to get my contact information just text the word ‘estateplan’ to 50500.” That’s it.
Anyone who can text now automatically gets my contact information and a link that they can click to get more information on that specific topic.
I created several of these: One for more information about trusts, one about elder law planning, and one about executors and estates. I also created a separate one to promote my keynote speaking at conferences and conventions. It’s very cool and a very effective way to share information.
Idea 2: Identify things that are repetitive, boring, and/or irritating in your personal life, and start outsourcing them to a virtual or real personal assistant to free up time.
This idea is examined throughly, and in great detail by Tim Ferriss (the king pin of lifestyle design) in his blog posts listed below.
However, most people do this in business and fail to even consider it in their personal lives. You may be doing it already, and when you successfully expand this practice, your life gets better and better. For example, do you mow your own lawn? If no, then you are already paying someone else to perform a task that you don’t like in order to recapture a few hours of your life. If you aren’t paying someone to cut the lawn then I hope it’s because you either get relaxation or pleasure from doing it. If that’s not the reason, then consider getting someone else to do it. How much is an extra hour or three of your weekend worth?
Want another example? Do you ever take shirts, a skirt or pants to the dry cleaner? That’s outsourcing the washing and ironing. Use bill pay from your bank or credit card? That’s outsourcing. Ever buy cookies or a snack instead of making one for the kids’ in school party? Outsourcing!
So what else might you outsource and to whom?
Believe it or not, you can outsource almost any repetitive task fairly easily and effectively. And, you can often do it for less than you think. I know people who have outsourced errands like weekly grocery shopping, making doctor and dentist appointments, picking up the mail from a post office box, and so on.
Awesome Idea: Try Fiverr for postings of things that people will do for you for five dollars. It will blow you away. And, you will get great ideas of things that you can outsource for very little money.
For more on what to consider outsourcing (for prices from $5 to $15 an hour) read these excellent articles:
Idea 3: Enhanced research or finding more of exactly what you need. Do you ever research where to go on vacation? How about what doctor or dentist to see for a particular problem. Ever need to help the kids with homework on a topic that’s way over your head? Need something for work that’ll set you out from the crowd?
There are a million reasons that we go to the web for information. And, when we go we usually want to find out as much as we can about a particular topic (often an obscure one) in as little time as possible.
Well, start thinking about a few new tools.
First, YouTube is now really a giant search engine. Need instructions on how to set up a tent, build a fire, sew a hem, fix a computer, lawn mower or dehumidifier? Try YouTube. There may an instructional video right on point. Or, if you’re just looking for something funny – like a jack russell terrier barking at a Halloween decoration then try one of mine.
Next, and, one of the best ideas I have ever heard about getting the best information from your internet research is a technique that I regularly use for work and have now started using for personal projects as well.
When you do a Google search, try this – insert your search terms followed by “and ‘.pdf’ ‘.ppt'” This little magic formula will turn up all of the PDF reports and Power Point presentations on your topic. Very cool and very effective. This is especially great if you’re looking for health related or technical information for yourself, a friend or loved one.
So there are a few ideas to save you time, money and energy. But, you have to act to get the benefits. Have any of your own? Leave a comment below and check back to see discover even more.
Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos