Eliminate This Weird Paradox to Save Time

You spend a lot of time doing things you’re unaware of. Your brains tricks you into thinking that focusing on these hidden tasks will save time in your workday.

It won’t.

Find out why in my new video. I’ll share one trick to uncovering lots of hidden hours monthly.

Action Steps:

  1. Make yourself aware of all the time you spend processing.
  2. Create a schedule to recapture the switching cost associated with processing tasks and save time at your business.
  3. Share your stories below. Let’s talk.

Principles to Learn:

  1. Most professionals waste hours and hours because they are unaware of the time they spend switching from task to task.
  2. Processing is the act of deciding WHAT the next step is, WHEn it will be done, and WHERE an item’s home is.
  3. You will save time when you start focusing on the time you spend processing.

Wish you had more time? What if you could uncover dozens of free hours every week, with just a few simple tweaks? Find freedom with a free copy of Dave’s guidebook, How to Get 10 Free Hours Every Week, by clicking here.

11 Archived Responses to “Eliminate This Weird Paradox to Save Time”

  1. Sherri says:

    I love that Dave highlights those little things we’re doing that leak away our time,labels them (processing, switching costs), and then gives us ways to be intentional and thoughtful. My failure is having the self-discipline to follow through on Dave’s excellent advice – it’s easier to sit at my desk and mull through the piles and e-mails than actually get down to work. The enemy is me!

    • Hi, Sherri. Thank you for your kind words.

      I want to respond to your comment about self-discipline. I consider myself an incredibly undisciplined person. Yet I live the things I teach. How does that work? In short, I’ve acquired conditioning thanks to accountability and coaching. Conditioning matters more than discipline.

      You might want to check out this video I made last year to learn more about the role of accountability in obtaining this conditioning: http://davecrenshaw.com/business-improvement-begins-with-accountability/

      The enemy is not you. The enemy is a lack of accountability to a third party.

  2. Sherri makes the perfect point. The biggest enemy is me and my lack of self-discipline to follow through. When I remain disciplned this works really well and I do find that I’m not doing “Switch Tasking” as much and at the end of my day I feel like I got a lot accomplished.

  3. Deric says:

    Dave, I listened to you about a year ago at the Sleepy Ridge Golf Club, and your thoughts and points of Switching continue to resonate with me; Evernote has been a great app to use, Making 3 piles and touching things Once, along with the misnomer of multitasking and Focusing on Family (Being IN the moment as they talk, rather than texting/working while they do) have been in Invaluable (no pun on your book!).

    Thank you for what you do and who you are; I hope to “pay you back” one day by finding a company you can make a paid presentation to.

    Deric Glissmeyer

  4. I cannot emphasize more the point Dave is making in his response to
    Sherri: conditioning through accountability. I have not one but two
    accountability partners I meet (virtually, by video conference) once a
    week (each) for 45 minutes. Each week we go through the same Agenda, the
    same structured meeting, and part of it is reporting and being held
    accountable by the other on the week’s outcomes, and setting up outcomes
    for the next week.

    I KNOW when I start sliding from following a process, like for example processing ONLY during those time blocks that are marked on my Calendar as Processing times. When I see that it’s starting to happen, I put it on my accountability list, so that my focus goes there (I need to measure in order to report) and my partner can kick my ass if I don’t get back with the program 🙂

  5. Mohsin Amarjee says:

    Hi Dave, I have set aside 5 hours a week for processing, thats 1 hour daily. Though, many days I find myself to have completed “processing” within 10 minutes or less. Where am I going wrong ?

    • Hi Mohsin. Normally, that’s a good problem to have. It really depends upon how many hours per week you are working and the kind of work you are doing. Three things can contribute to a truly low need for processing time.

      1) If your job is primarily manual labor (i.e. carpentry, working on cars, etc.)

      2) If you’re working very few hours, such as semi-retired. I had a client who worked only 20 hours per week and she only needed to process 2 hours weekly

      3) If you have an assistant who is “pre-processing” for you. This person goes through your email and paperwork acting in your behalf, deciding what when where for about 75% of the stuff you receive.

      If the above doesn’t apply to you, then you may not be gathering properly and you may be forgetting to process all your approved gathering points, including:

      1) Physical inbox
      2) Portable inbox
      3) Email
      4) Notepad (either digital or paper)
      5) Raw task/to-do list
      6) Wild card (your choice)

      • Mohsin Amarjee says:

        Thanks Dave. I am not gathering properly. Its high time to revisit Time Management tutorial to get back on track.