Be Jealous of Your Time

By: Stan (Mr. Fantastic) Billue
Posted: 04/04/2008

Please appreciate that we are all blessed with 1,440 minutes each day in our Time Bank and it’s up to each of us to invest our time wisely or waste it foolishly.  I will challenge you to start identifying the “Time Wasters” in your life on a daily basis. 

Of course a big one is that studies show that the average person watches about 2 and a half hours a day of the Boob Tube.  Granted there should be time in our life for entertainment and relaxation, however maybe we should be a little more selective on what we’re watching. 

Will the TV program make us feel good, will we learn something, does it have a subject that we can have a family discussion about later, or is it negative trash that serves absolutely no positive or constructive purpose? 

Why not set a Goal to cut your TV time in half and find some new ways to spend quality time with your significant other and/or family, or do some volunteer work, or invest that newfound time in learning and growing. 

I encourage you to have a sign in your work area that says; “Is this making or costing me money?” 

The next time you’re on a personal call, or kibitzing with someone in the Office, simply look at your sign and remind yourself why you are there.  Also, keep track of dials, contacts, mail outs or appointments, callbacks, results, etc.  Determine your numbers and percentages and then improve slightly each week. 

Here’s a neat way to end up with at least 5 extra weeks per year.  It’s been proven that the average person wastes at least 6 minutes an hour.  That might be starting to work a little late, leaving a little early, taking too many long breaks, personal phone calls, shooting the breeze with fellow employees, day dreaming, etc. 

I personally believe 6 minutes an hour is a gross understatement, however let’s agree that it’s accurate.  If we work an 8 hour day, that’s 48 minutes.  A 40-hour week adds up to 240 minutes, which is 4 hours.  Assuming we work 50 weeks a year (2 weeks off for vacation), that adds up to 200 hours, which equals 5 complete 40 hour Work Weeks. 

Amazing but true. If you want an extra 5 weeks of production per year, simply identify at least 6 minutes an hour that you presently waste, and put them to good use. 

Here is an awesome Technique that will save you tons of time by being able to reach twice as many people in half the time.  Never, ever, stay On Hold for more than 20 seconds.  Immediately hit Redial and when the Operator answers again you say; “I was holding for (name) and got disconnected.”   Notice that I didn’t say how I got disconnected, only that I had.  Many times she will now apologize and try to connect your Call next.  In addition, when they tell you that your party is on the Phone and ask you if you want to Hold, always ask; “Will they know I’m On Hold?”  A high percentage of the time they will now say something like; “Well no”.  Then why in the World would you want to stay On Hold? 

Another great Technique is Paging.  If the Secretary says; “I’m sorry I don’t see him in his Office”, please listen closely because she didn’t say he was out of the Building or out of the Country.  You simply say; “I understand, please page him and I’ll hold”.   If that’s too strong, you can always ask a question instead, such as; “I understand, is there any way you could Page him for me?”   

If you call for someone and you get connected to their Voice Mail, immediately hit “O” and most of the time you’ll get an Operator.  At that point you say; “Hi, I was trying to reach Mr. Big live and in person and all I got was his Voice mail.  Would you Page him for me?”   

If they really aren’t available, always find the best possible time to try and call back by using a Technique called Layering, which is asking a Question over and over until she gets it right.  Examples would be:

“When would be the best time for me to try later today?”

“If you could guess, what time?”

“Who do we need to check with to find out?”

“Does he have any regularly scheduled Meetings I should avoid?” 

Another variation is ask to be transferred to someone else in the Prospect’s Department.  The Operator may actually be on a different floor and has no idea where your Party is.  However someone who works right next to them might know. 

Here are some great ideas on becoming more organized. 

First, realize that Organization is a learned skill.  Let’s start with your Office or Work Area and break it down into 3 basic Steps. 

[1]  Analyze your current situation by asking yourself: What’s working?  This is important because you don’t want to change things that are successful.  The ask what’s not working?  Determine everything that takes extra time, money, and/or effort to accomplish. 

[2]  Strategize what is essential for your Office and is it the most efficient.  Should your phone have a headset or better headset?  Should you update your Fax machine or Printer or possible get a model that does both?  Should you update or improve your Computer and install better Software?  Look at your Files and piles of stuff that should be filed.  Look at your storage area and how it could be improved.  Budget what you can afford to do in steps that will help you improve your effectiveness in the quickest amount of time. 

[3]  Finally you Attack.  However before you do decide the benefits of getting more Organized.  I realize this may sound insignificant, however we all need to know the rewards and benefits before it will ever cause us to take action.

 

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