Source | LinkedIn : By Betty Liu
About a year ago I threw my back out. And voila, my body forced me to lay down and rest to take care of my “L5-S1″. No that’s not a cool new battleship from Star War, it’s the location for my slipped disc (for those of you with back issues, you know of what I speak).
My back issues made me realize I wasn’t managing my time correctly. I was killing myself on a daily basis burning the candle at both ends trying to do everything. It took my back giving way and several weeks of lying on it to make me realize how much I was putting our company, my job and my family at risk.
As I started to talk to other busy people, I realized that the best time-management tool is not the latest new fancy app or a bizarre schedule system. It’s actually using your mouth to say “no.”
Before that, I was always saying yes. I didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I was afraid I was missing out on some big opportunity. Or I wanted to just feel like I was productive and doing things by meeting as many people as possible.
By telling people I was on a deadline or referring them on to other capable members of my team, I managed to start saying no without sounding dismissive or offensive. I’m not perfect at it but I’m working on making “no” sound good.
Below are several ways highly successful people save time:
- Use apps. It may sound simple but founder of Zuckerberg Media Randi Zuckerberghas clawed back a lot of time using apps like Seamless and Lyft. “We live in an incredible world today where you can do almost anything with the touch of a button on your phone… so I think that’s a wonderful pro tip that’s been democratized, that’s there for everyone.”
- Short emails. If you email Caroline Ghosn, founder and CEO of Levo, you will receive short and perfectly polite emails back. Caroline is “promoting a culture of communication and clarity” within her company because plenty of time is saved by not “spend(ing) four paragraphs explaining your perspective.”
- No laces. For years Nick Taranto, co-founder of Plated, did not wear shoes with laces. “that saved 30 to 60 seconds each day, multiply that out by a year and you’re talking about six or seven hours.”