E is for Elimination and Efficiency

Part of Tim Ferriss's method is to eliminate those tasks and things which clutter your life down to a bare minimum, and to be efficient at working those the remaining tasks which you must do.

Some of his elimination suggestions are:
1. Check your email only at 12 and 4 pm, never first thing in the morning. Move towards checking your email less frequently until you only check it once a week.
2. Same goes for answering the phone and voicemail, unless it is an emergency.
3. Refuse to go to meetings, instead ask people to email you with any problem they may have.
4. Don't read the newspaper or surf the internet aimlessly, limit reading fiction and watching tv to one hour per day at maximum.

One of his exercises is to actually say no to everyone and everything (within reason) for 2 whole days. Just to practice saying no.

To become more efficient he suggests outsourcing tasks which take up your time, and don't need to, because it is more cost efficient if you are doing other things (or eventually just living your life). He provides links to websites where you can hire a virtual assistant to take on tasks such as background research, website updates, appointment scheduling etc. from anywhere from $4-20 an hour.

Some of this all makes sense. Here are two examples. In the first my best bud and colleague was complaining yesterday that she never gets anything done at work because of email and phone interruptions. I know what it is like, I have been in her office and I can't concentrate with all those interruptions going on. I told her about the 12 and 4 suggestion for email and she tried it today with great results. She actually got work accomplished in the morning, but now that she has checked her email she says is right back where she started.

The other example I have is about efficiency. Last week I worked for 10 hours formatting a document for a contract project. I did this as a favour to colleagues because the (cheaper) consultant who was supposed to do it was unavailable. I was glad for the work, but I am pretty sure I could have paid someone $15-20/hr to do the same job, saving 100's of dollars.

Having said all that I am certainly not able to make a living on 4 hours work per week, just some interesting things to think about!

1 Comment:

  1. caroldeckert said...
    Outsourcing tasks to a Virtual Assistant (VA) is definitely worth considering for any type of business, especially small businesses who cannot afford (or even have the time) to complete some of the mundane, critical growth tasks. Be aware, however, don't think you will hire a competent Virtual Assistant for minimum hourly wage. Most VAs work on a project or retainer basis, based on an hourly rate. Hourly rates have to cover all their expenses, home office, computer and other equipment, benefits, insurance and all the regular business expenses that every business owner has. VAs don't expect one client to cover everything, however, I often hear of clients having "sticker shock" when the VA quotes their individual rates. Remember - you get what you pay for and good VAs are definitely worth every penny they will charge you! Having been a VA for more than 14 years, it's a challenging, however, rewarding experience to help other small business owners. I specialize in marketing assistance and leave all the other administrivia to other VAs that like those types of tasks.

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