In my last post, I talked about how I came to realize the value of automating and outsourcing all the tasks that you can, so that you can spend your valuable time on more important things. What I didn’t know before I had all that free time is what those important things were. It took me a few months to really get into a new work mode and it was wildly different than what I was used to. These are, in my opinion, the specific things you need to focus on once you’ve freed up some time in your life.
- Training yourself to come up with new ideas. Getting your mind to start generating new creative ideas might take some time if you’re not used to it already. It will take a lot of new inspiration and new perspectives to really get the creative juices flowing. The best way you can get new perspectives and inspiration is through reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, and talking to people that may have new insights for you. The most profitable ideas I’ve ever had have come to me on a weeknight laying on the couch with a great book.
- Work urgently on improving your business. Whether you’re in a crisis or not, you should always feel the urgency to tweak everything you can think of on all aspects of your business. Ask yourself why you do everything that you do, and consider the customer’s perception. It’s critical to avoid “hubris born of success,” as Jim Collins calls it. The moment you sit back and think you’ve finally pulled it off, you’ll find yourself in trouble. Mark Cuban puts it best: “Work like there is someone working twenty-four hours a day to take it all away from you”.
- Work on your level of efficiency. Some people seem to be able to accomplish 4 times the amount of others. Even if you’re one of those people, you can always improve. Take an objective look at your day to day habits and ask what you could remove. For example, are you spending too much time making irrelevant decisions? Are you checking your email too often? What would happen if you only checked your email twice a day and cleared out your inbox? What if you locked yourself out of your facebook account during the week? There are endless improvements you can make, and they are also a great exercise in self-discipline.
- Spend more time working on all aspects of your life to achieve a great balance. You can break your life into 4 major categories, spiritual, mental, and social. All of these categories need attention if you want to live a balanced life. Most of us focus too much on one or the two and neglect the others. This needs to be constantly evaluated and revisited to ensure you don’t lose focus on these aspects.
These 4 points alone can easily fill any void of time you’ve created for yourself, and they are all enjoyable and rewarding ways to spend your time, especially compared to chopping up spreadsheets.