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3 Smart Ways To Capitalize On Your Time

by Amber De La Garza

June ProductivityI teach my clients that productivity is investing your best time into your best activities. Simple, right? Well, simple does not mean easy. Every day we wake up and start our day with the intention to be productive but we often get sidetracked and fail to accomplish what we had set out to do. That’s because we often fail to capitalize on our time.

"Time is the single most precious commodity in the universe."  (Jupiter Ascending. Dir. Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski. Warner Brothers, 2015.)

Wise words. Time is your most valuable resource. You cannot buy more, trade for more, or wish more into existence but you likely feel you need more to invest in yourself, family, work, friends, charity, and other activities. How you invest your time is a series of choices and you may not always be making those choices wisely. Aim to maximize your success by capitalizing on your most precious commodity using these simple strategies:

#1: Eliminate Activities

According to Peter Drucker, "There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all." Stop overcommitting yourself to activities that don’t bring you closer to achieving your goals. Instead, eliminate them by either deleting or delegating such activities.

Audit your calendar for recurring activities that do not support your goals. Delete the activities you deem unnecessary.

Assign tasks from your own to-do list to others if they can easily be completed by someone else. Delegating is essential to freeing up time to spend on your highest priorities.

If you can minimize or eliminate the activities you do as part of your daily work routine by just 15 minutes, you can reallocate a total of 65 hours per year to activities that advance you toward achieving your goals!

#2: Manage Interruptions

Interruptions occur when a person purposefully draws your attention away from your current task or activity. The average office manager is interrupted every eight minutes! (CubeSmart Inc. "Social Interruption and the Loss of Productivity." 2002) While controlling the actions of colleagues, employees, and vendors is not possible, managing interruptions is, because you can control how you make yourself available to them.

Colleague Interruptions
Post open office hours. Express that these are the hours you’re available for questions, concerns, or mindless chit-chat.

Employee Interruptions
Schedule regular daily or weekly meetings to address their questions, concerns, and challenges. Plan out an appropriate amount of time to tackle all of their needs.

Vendor Interruptions
Implement a new policy that vendors must schedule an appointment to meet with you. Express your request in advance and have your assistant act as your gate keeper. Otherwise, place a sign outside your door saying "Private Work Time. Please Schedule An Appointment."

#3: Minimize Distractions

Distractions include anything that breaks your focus from the task you are working on. Internal distractions occur when you purposefully shift your focus from your current task, such as stopping your work on a project to check social media. External distractions are disruptions you are aware of but don’t directly involve you, such as people talking in the distance, REALTORS® walking by your desk, or the phone ringing.

Internal Distractions
It’s difficult to focus on one task for a long period of time so try working on one task for a predetermined, manageable about of time instead. Start with 15 minutes devoted to no internal distractions then increase to 20 minutes and so on until you find your optimal block of time. Take a short break at the end of each time block.

External Distractions
Turn off all unnecessary notifications that disrupt concentration such as text and email alerts. If you don’t hear them, you won’t jump to respond to them or lose focus wondering who is trying to contact you.

Succumbing to small distractions adds up to giant gaps in productivity. To successfully grow your business, you must support your ambitions by capitalizing on your most valuable resource. Strategize to invest your time wisely by eliminating wasteful activities, managing interruptions, and minimizing distractions. You can then allocate more time to the activities that bring you closer to your vision of success.

Find out how to STOP Screwing Your Productivity with this free download.

About the Contributor 

DelagarzanewAmber De La Garza is The Productivity Specialist! Amber is a sought-after coachtrainerspeakerwriter, and host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast. She helps real estate professionals take consistent, massive, focused action in your business. Amber equips you with the specific techniques you need to master your mindset, expand your skill set, and build business systems so you can reduce your stress, increase your production, dominate the market, and make more time for what matters most. Amber also passionately shares her message with entrepreneurs all over the world as a contributor for The Huffington Post, Women's Council Magazine, Choices Magazine, and Las Vegas Agent Magazine.


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