Pt 6: Reduce, Delete, Delegate, Intensify

Enjoy this 7 part series on Advanced Time Management!

Reduce, Delete, Delegate, Intensify

Now we need to cut the shit and increase overall quality of life. You now have a list that is compromised of a small number of tasks that matter and get results, and a large list of crap that doesn’t help nearly as much. Time to get a shovel out.

Reduce: is there a way to do less of each lower rated task? This could mean less frequently, less time, less effort. Any amount of reduction without doing major harm is a win.

Delete: which of these tasks could you simply not do? Sure, some people might be disappointed, but so what if they are? Look for tasks that you calculate could remain undone for 6 months or more and no one would die, get fired, or file for divorce. Seriously consider just dropping them and weathering the consequences until everyone gets over it. And of course, there are those you can delete without any consequences, and they should be first on your life (hint: your relationship with your phone is a good starting place here).

Delegate: it doesn’t have to be done by you necessarily. Paying others, sharing around, swapping – have a look at which tasks could be done good enough by someone else, and start thinking who that person might be. Let go of the need to do unimportant things well, you don’t have to master everything. It doesn’t always need to be done your way. And open your mind to paying for support – notice how much your time is worth and then compare that to what you could pay another person to do the same thing.

Intensify: once you’ve saved all that time and space, double down on the stuff that matters. You should now have extra hours to spend with your wife and kids, or to write that novel you never seem to find time for, or to learn how to cook more healthily.

We tend to eat whatever’s on our plate, so be wary of “free time” just sitting there. It will be consumed. In fact, you’ll need to repeat this entire exercise multiple times per year, because you’ll notice that the bottom 80% tasks have a way of creeping back in (or being replaced with other junk).

Stay tuned for Part 7!

2 Responses

  1. If you figure out how much you’re worth per hour (total wages/total hours awake), you can see what’s worth paying someone else to do

  2. Are you a Nice Guy or people pleaser who wishes you were more confident and assertive so you could have deeper relationships, more respect at work, and clearer sense of who you really are?
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