In hard times, it’s necessary to trim the fat and make sure that you or your business are operating as effectively as possible.
Most people have heard of Pareto’s 80/20 principle which states that roughly 80% of results come from 20% of the effort. Many will find it hard to conceive jump down to such a lower amount of work even if it means higher productivity and efficiency.
You might find it easier however to try shaving just a 10% reduction. If you’ve read the 4 hour work week by Timothy Ferriss and have been able to implement the effective changes then that is excellent, but many want to try a little improvement without taking a huge risk. The 10% reduction is for you.
10% May not seem very much in terms of time. “6 minutes in the hour? I spend more than that just twiddling my thumbs!” If this is what you are thinking then this rule is for you. If you can trim out even 6 minutes of an hour of twiddling thumbs, or answering unnecessary emails or phone calls then your time spent will be more productive.
Because it doesn’t seem much it shouldn’t be too daunting to try and save that time. For example, if you have a meeting scheduled for an hour, wrap it up 6 minutes before the end and stick to it. The 10% rule works because it focuses your attention on time spent on a task and it sharpens the mind to work to a deadline, even if it is only a 10% shorter one.
It is a small step to improving efficiency and when you have been saving 6 minutes in the hour for a week or so, try saving 10 minutes in the hour but keep pushing yourself to achieve more with small steps.
And what to do with the time once it’s been saved? Use it to start chipping away at all those things you “just don’t have time for.”