Save More Time with Tips from Dan Kennedy
Question: How did Dan Kennedy write a book and travel 120 – 130 days per year, run 4 businesses, write a total of over 100 additional published books, create audio courses and home-study programs, write multiple monthly newsletters, employ as many as 42 people, and still have time for horse racing and vacations for over 25 years?
Answer: Radical Time Management
With 2 out of four kids still at home and a copywriting career, time management is essential. But even my mother, who has been retired for years, struggles with over-commitment and distraction.
And even if you’re schedule is totally, flawlessly organized, the occasional “emergency’ can probably throw things off for days.
A few months ago, I was exhausting myself with family commitments and volunteer work. Everyone was thrilled – except for me. Something had to change.
Maybe you know the feeling.
To any ladies out there reading this – does this sound familiar?
- You’re a mom – of course you can make two dishes for the potluck and show up between work and your evening conference call.
- Or how about this: You are single and work at home so of course you must always be available!
Fortunately, my mom passed on some useful advice she had been given from one of the most organized ladies we know:
- Write down every commitment you have on a list.
- Then cross off half of your list.
I did it. It helped.
Then a colleague recommended a small book – Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs.
I highly recommend it. I’m about to start reading it again.
If you do pick it up, you might find Kennedy to be a bit extreme – even shocking. At the time of the 2013 edition, he still didn’t use email – only snail mail and faxes. And he had most of those sent to a distant office, prefiltered, and mailed to him in batches.
However, if you struggle with not having enough time, you may be able to free up significant hours with one or more of his tips.
Here are just a few from the book:
1 – Know What Your Time is Worth
What’s the value of your time in cold, hard, Dollars, Euros and Yuan? Find out using Kennedy’s handy formula. Then post your hourly value where you can see it – above the desk, around the phone ….
Measure everything you do by cost per minute. Constantly ask yourself, “Is it worth my time?”
2 – Avoid the “Time Vampires”
Don’t answer the phone, set time limits for calls, leave your cell phone in the car, learn to look busy around co-workers, and schedule discussions for “Mr. Have You Got a Minute?”
3 – Be Punctual
Value other people’s time if you want them to value yours.
4 – Don’t waste time in meetings
Your first defense is to avoid them. But if you must have a meeting, Kennedy offers several hints to avoid wasting time: don’t serve refreshments, have a clear purpose, circulate an agenda, and try to schedule it just before lunch or during the last hour of the work day.
He recommends making your contributions count with minimum time and maximum impact.
Finally, he says it’s good to have an exit strategy:
- Perhaps you can schedule someone to come get you at a certain time.
- Or perhaps there is a phone call you are scheduled to make 30 minutes into the meeting.
- Perhaps you will be unable to return.
5 – Delegate
Really delegate. This means not being an über-controller and accepting that for some things “good is good enough.”
6 – Get Tough about Email
Remember that you don’t have to respond right away – or at all – to every email. Don’t let this huge time-waster suck you in. DK suggests checking email no more than twice per day:
- Check just after lunch to screen for urgent matters
- Deal with the rest of the accumulation in the afternoon – preferably during the last hour of the work day.
- Avoid the “Pavlovian, jump up and instantly respond” reaction.
Where are you losing time and where can you find more? For more tips, be sure to read Dan Kennedy’s book. The complete title is No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs: The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Productivity and Sanity. Once you read it, you’ll understand why.
And if you would like to save time with copywriting, contact me today.