September 14, 2007

Do More in Less Time

It really is possible!

By Nika Stewart

When I had my first baby almost 2 years ago, I quickly understood the plight of the working mother. The stress, the lack of sleep, the constant demands for your attention. Is there actually enough time to get everything done? It didn't seem possible to me. The available time I had to work on my business was cut way down to about 8 hours a week - and that was adding up all the little "bits" of time I stole when I could. (While she's taking a half-hour nap, I place a quick order. After she goes to sleep, I call a few customers. If my mom can watch her for an hour, I run to a design consultation.)

So what did I do about my lack of time? I complained. I don't have time for anything! I can't get anything done. I can't run a business and raise a baby. Everything is going to fall apart!

Then one day, when Ellie was about 9 months old, my friend said to me, "Wow, you just had a baby. How do you find the time to get so much done?" And I thought to myself, "What is she talking about? I'm not getting anything done!"

But I decided to take a look back over the time since Ellie was born, and I was amazed. With much less time available, I actually did get more done than I had in any previous year in my business! How did that happen?

I found the answer to that question recently in an amazing book (The 4-Hour Work Week), and now it seems obvious: When you have a limited amount of time to get something done, you can get it done in less time.

For example, if I gave myself a week to place a large order, I would always take the full week (often waiting until the end of the week to really get started). But because I no longer had that time for myself anymore, I had to get the order done in the one hour I could find. It had to get done, and so it did.

This is true for every part of my business and my personal life. When I give myself a small amount of time to achieve a goal or task, it gets completed. And so that it what I've decided to continue doing.

Today, I have a babysitter for two hours, and so I've decided to write this ezine, email several clients, design a new cover for one of my books, and create a template for a new "Sales for Designers" program I have coming out. Previously, it would have taken me a whole week of working full-time to get this all done. But I don't have that luxury anymore.

Thank goodness! The sudden, enormous cut in my personal time made me even more efficient and productive.

Why don't you try working just two hours a day for the next week? Decide what you need to get done, and then do it. You might be amazed at how little you actually have to work!

To your blissful, joyous success!

1 comment:

72 and sunny said...

not sure if you're aware but you have a typo in your ad at left. 'woul' i think is meant to be 'would'