Time is becoming the most valuable currency we have. We are happily giving up our hard earned dollars to have more of it in the search for convenience and minutes back into our day. You can never pursue your dream without having time to spend on it.
Just like with money, you need to keep track of where it goes and let the spillage stop. There are time thief’s everywhere, and they will rob you blind if they know that you’re not on the look out.
On the other hand, don’t be stingy with your time either. Helping someone for fifteen minutes or sending a note of inspiration to someone on Facebook can be hugely rewarding, and a lucrative investment.
I have built many relationships over the years by just spending a little time each day sending a few nice words to someone that inspires me.
Definition of a Time Thief: Someone who isn’t focused on their goals or vision and is looking for time to waste by engaging in tasks or conversations that take their mind of their own world.
Here are eleven ways to get more time back in your day for the things you love:
1. Run from unnecessary meetings like the plague
In the corporate world especially, people are inclined to book meetings to talk about meetings. Many of them are unproductive, and a lot of people in the room are not required to resolve the issue. Meetings can often become venting sessions for issues between people rather than a business issue itself.
At all costs, if a meeting has no relevance or value to you, you should decline it. This will upset some people, but soon they will get used to how much you value your time and in turn, they will value it too. If it’s a meeting that you have to attend, try sending someone in your place.
Bottom line, unless a meeting has a clear benefit or somehow helps your life mission, decline it. If you’re in a moment of indecision, ask yourself the famous question, “did the invite make me go F$#@ yeah!” If not, then the safest option is to decline it.
2. Stop Interruptions
We’ve all had that moment where we’re sitting at our desk in a sate of flow and then some annoying interruption comes from nowhere and we forget what we were doing. For many of us, this is a daily frustration.
If you’re working in a space that is open plan then there are a few things that will help you:
– Minimise eye contact with time thief’s that approach your direction
– Let casual visitors know that you are only available through your calendar
– Make a rule that it is not okay to interrupt you
– Wear your headphones with no sound playing, so people think you are busy
– Have a look of focus and determination on your face that no brave soul would dare interrupt
3. Limit essential meetings to twenty minutes
There are some meetings that are fundamental to running your life or business that you may not want to attend but have to. I recommend allowing a maximum of twenty minutes for these meetings.
What this does is give people a sense of urgency and it allows you to skip the intro and outro because of the limited time. Make sure you signal that at the end of the meeting, your chair is going to blow up and wipe out an entire block if the meetings goes over twenty minutes (only joking).
Instead, tell the person you’re meeting with that you have back to backs as you get towards the end of the twenty minutes. This is not a word of a lie because you do; you have time block meetings in your calendar with yourself to make your vision come true.
4. Fight the disease (your phone)
Your mobile phone is the number one device in your life that sucks your time away. The majority of what happens on the device is not urgent and can wait till later. The worst disease that comes with a phone is the compulsion to answer it and lose your precious time.
When the call is private, there is even more nervousness about not answering the call. What if it’s the President Of The United States Of America?
The question you need to ask yourself is “are my goals and my dream more important than this call?” If the answer is no, then we need to have a serious pep talk. No phone call is urgent, and there isn’t a decent person in the world that will care if you call them back on the same day.
To gain more time back in my day, I have found it’s easier to call my work colleagues on their phone and talk to them a few meters away out of sight than it is to have a face to face conversation where they are constantly looking at their phone.
From next week, I am going to try and have an empty ice cream tub that all phones must be placed into when there is an important planning session. This could get me in trouble, but anything is worth a try, right?
5. Conquer procrastination
Telling yourself you will do something later is a classic sign of procrastination. Delaying tasks in your life only makes them harder to complete. Spending time watching TV and being comfortable will not help you achieve your goals.
You have to not let important tasks be delayed. I’m very guilty when it comes to this truth around time. I’ve adopted a new habit that has helped me achieve more goals: do the most crucial tasks first thing in the morning. The harder the task is, the more you should do it in the first hour you wake up.
Assuming your diet is on point, right after you wake up is when we have the most energy and the best chance of focusing on a task. I’ve recently implemented a new time of waking up at 4 am which has increased my results significantly.
The less time you spend delaying tasks, and the more time you spend getting them done, the more time in your day you will have to relax – you’ll also feel much better about your day.
6. Don’t be a loser and multi-task
To complete a task in a short amount of time you need 100% focus. The act of multitasking has been proven to fail. Chances are, the secondary task you are bundling with your primary task is not urgent, not important, and could wait until later.
By devoting time to each task separately, you will get things done quicker and the outcome of each task will be far greater.
“Trying to juggle multiple tasks at the same time is like trying to bungee jump off a cliff while attempting to give a speech to a group of people” – Tim Denning
7. Shut your door
If you find that being in an open plan environment is still too difficult with the above interruption policy, then try and go to a quiet space where you can shut the door. Try placing a sign on the door that says “RECORDING IN PROGRESS”
When people think that some type of recording is going on, they will keep a very safe distance away from you and the room. I have used this trick many times, and it’s amazing how people’s actions and behaviour change out of the fear that they could walk onto a Hollywood movie set.
An open door policy when you are trying to focus will set you up for failure and rob you of your time.
8. Time block
It’s easy to have your time thrown around like balloons at the Oscars. The best tip I can give you is to know what you want to achieve in a day; then time block out various tasks. By time blocking, what I mean is to go to your calendar on your phone or computer, and mark out blocks of time as if these blocks were meetings with real human beings.
You’ll find you become more productive, and your tasks will have clear deadlines. At the end of a time block, don’t forget to put in some “you time” so you can reward yourself. As your time begins to free up, try adding five minutes of meditation before a time block, to regain your focus.
9. Delete social media apps from certain devices
Taking the time out of your day to read a book or type an article just like this is important. One hack that I use is that my iPad, (where I read all of my Kindle books on) has no apps other than the Kindle app. This means that I can’t get lost in notifications and distractions.
On the computer that I write with there is limited access to distractions and my phone is switched to aeroplane mode while writing. For those of you who can’t avoid the temptation, there is a great tool called “Chrome Nanny” that can help you manage your digital addictions.
10. Take conversations away from messenger apps
Another thing to avoid is messenger apps. They often create endless conversations that never have a conclusion. If you find a conversation is starting to take place on Facebook Messenger, WeChat or What’sApp, then take it offline and give the person a call. This will give you loads of time back.
11. Value other people’s time
As an entrepreneur or go-getter, it’s not all about you. Your success depends on other people too, not just you. One of the best ways to get your time back is by respecting other people’s. The more you respect someone else’s time, the more they will give you the same gift in return. What you put out comes back tenfold.
How do you get more time back in your day? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.
6 Important Things to Consider When Choosing an Investor
Angel investment is one of the preferred options for starting up your business. Angel investors are successful businessmen, investing their own funds into a potentially rewarding business opportunity. As an entrepreneur, it is crucial for you to choose an investor that can fulfil your specific business needs.
The right investors can add value to your startup, far beyond the capital they bring to your business. You need to be careful in selecting the investors because seed investing is an early stage investment requiring particular skills and experience.
Here are the six important things to consider when screening and choosing the right angel investor for your company:
You should choose investors who have the experience of building, running, or helping startups in the past. They should have a proven record of investing in startups that have been successful in their endeavors. More than their money, their experience is vital, which makes them an invaluable advisor.
Your angel investors should have experience in the same business domain and in-depth knowledge of your industry. If they have achieved success in other domains or industries, they may give opinions on how to grow your business that aren’t applicable in your field. With the requisite experience, they can guide your business through the difficult start-up phase.
Your angel investor should be trustworthy who can keep your company’s confidential information safe without creating problems for you by using that information against you. It is important to choose an investor who gives you not only monetary assistance but also the right guidance and knowledge. A good angel investor is the one who invests in your team along with your business.
3. Risk Taking
The success of your business venture cannot be guaranteed as there are many potential risks that can lead to its failure despite a brilliant idea. It is vital to find an angel investor who is willing to take calculated risks on a rational basis rather than emotional considerations. They shouldn’t be overconfident and they should think differently from the crowd and be willing to learn from mistakes to keep your company going in the right direction.
Angel investors who have been a successful entrepreneur can be very helpful to your business. They have it all to guide and support you to develop a successful business and overcome the challenges that your company can face in the initial stage.
Good business angels are very supportive, helping you in problematic situations. They act as a mentor for you to help you achieve your goals by constantly coaching you and supporting you at every step. They provide time and empathy during your tough times.
These investors have an idea about the highs and lows a new business has to go through before it succeeds. They can give you emotional motivation and help you with their expertise and involvement, ensuring success. They will encourage and challenge you at every step of the way and offer you advice when needed to make you grow as an entrepreneur.
Before you choose an angel investor for your business, you have to ensure that they have realistic expectations about the timeline of the growth of your company and when you achieve your goals. They should even have realistic expectations about how profitable your company will be in the long-term.
Too high expectations can put pressure on your business and make you take risks that can get you off track and not be good for building long-term value of your business. You should select investors who demonstrate flexibility and have reasonable expectations around reporting, communication, and goal-setting.
Angel investors should be patient enough to understand that it takes time to earn profit. They should have the quality of thinking long term and visualizing the bigger picture of your company’s future. Your business angels should be calm and relaxed, and not be the ones who panic and fear to take challenges. It is crucial for them to understand that startups go through highs and lows, and there’s high competition. A good angel investor will remain calm and accept the fact that all new businesses have to struggle in the initial years before they become stable.
When assessing angel investors, you will have to ask them questions about their prior investments, what their expectations are and how much involvement they will take in your business, among other things. You will have to find investors that have the same domain expertise and portfolio companies related to yours.
By considering the above-mentioned points, you will be able to evaluate whether you and the angel investors are aligned and if it is feasible to have a partnership with them in the long-term. Take the help of your network to find the right investors with requisite skills, experience, and funding capacity to get your business global. So, use your due diligence and get the best angel investors on-board!
3 Reasons Why Getting Clear Is Important for Your Business
Everyone goes through times in their lives where blue skies and sunshine are a rarity. Too many clouds and storms, whether they involve business or personal issues, become the everyday occurrence and keep people from achieving whatever they want to do.
There have been many times on this business journey of my own where fogginess and haze have sent me to the mat. Trying to kick out at a 2-count when being pinned with all of this stuff seems unbearable.
In taking a holistic view (meaning looking at the entire picture) of where I am, what has changed? Clarity. Getting very clear on what I want to do and where I want to focus my creative direction. Yes, I’m a writer, content writer, copywriter, ghostwriter and creative. That’s one element of my own life. Another one involves being a voice for the voiceless in the craniofacial community around the world.
But this is not to simply focus on what I am doing now. This is about clarity, about getting laser-focused on what you want to do. If you have a coach or mentor in your life, then I’ll bet you have heard them say on one or multiple occasions that you have to “get clear” on what you want to offer.
Here are three core reasons clarity is an important factor for your business:
1. You Stand Out From The Crowd
You cannot go anywhere on social media and not see people putting out content. Some may be good; others are meh. It does not matter, though, if it is good or not. What matters is about conversion. Does the content turn into sales? Does it attract and speak to people’s problems?
Not everyone can be a jack-of-all-trades. You become a master-of-none pretty quick. Theories abound about niching down and finding that sweet spot where you can deliver your mastery to those in need. Think of the millions of niches out there: cannabis, fitness, spirituality, relationships, finances, food, and on it goes.
Every one of these niches need people who can come in and put clarity around their products and services. If these businesses are not clear on what they do and solve to those seeking solutions, then they are not going to have clients and eventually will have to shut the doors.
Learning to stand out from the crowd is going to make you a powerful voice in whatever niche or field you are looking to dominate in all the time.
“It’s a lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration. Those emotions are poison to any living goal.” – Steve Maraboli
2. You Attract A Lot of Clients
If you wanted to apply one of those ancient universal laws to your business – for instance, like the very popular Law of Attraction – then you would understand what attracts people to you. Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest inventors, once said that if people understood energy and vibration alone and how that works then they’d understand a lot of how things actually work in the world.
Clarity brings out a new energy from your words and actions. You come from a place of total and unbelievable awareness where you look around one day and go, “Dang, look at all of the people who want my services.”
Trust me. This is one of those lessons that I have to come back to over and over again. People might know who I am and what I do from this or that space. Yet is it really crystal clear enough to a targeted section of people? Um, it’s still a work in progress.
In order, though, to actually move forward in business and have the level of success that I desire, then clarity must come into play. Clarity attracts clients. They solidly know what you do and what you offer. There’s no wishy-washy stuff taking place. Understand this core reason to achieve clarity and watch what happens to your very own business and brand.
3. You Begin To Believe In Yourself
There’s this ongoing idea around “imposter syndrome” that folks on the interweb love to discuss. Showing up online like you are a real go-getter and hotshot, but offline that’s not the same person…that’s a problem.
“Imposter syndrome,” to me, starts happening when a person stretches out of his or her comfort zone and it feels miserable. Instead of getting up at 11 a.m. after working a night shift job, you get up at 8 a.m. to get a head-start on tasks and obligations around what you do. Thoughts like “this will never work out” or “I’m never going to succeed and get out of debt” start swirling around your mind like a bunch of chattering monkeys.
Clarity, though, allows you the benefit of starting to truly believe in yourself. In his famous book “The Power of Positive Thinking,” Norman Vincent Peale writes in the first chapter’s first line “Believe in yourself.” That’s it. Then the book goes on to describe different ways of building up your positive mindset through prayer, faith, action, and other real-life examples. Peale’s work may not appeal to you directly, but the mere thought of believing in yourself and your dreams is appealing.
“Clarity comes from action not thought.” – Marie Forleo
Find yourself getting clear on what you want and where you want to go and begin to truly believe in yourself and your abilities. There are lots of people who definitely need your services and work around the world. There might even be people right in your own town who do, too.
When tackling the issue of clarity for your business, take these three factors into account. Think about them seriously. Take stock around where this can be an effective place for you to succeed every single day.
Look for the sunshine and blue skies in your business. They are there. All you have to do is some sightseeing and all of it will pop out very clearly.
How YOU Can Create a Powerful 10 Year Life Vision
Where do you desire to be 10 years from now? Joel Brown, founder of the well-known website and podcast Addicted2Success, breaks down exactly how to gain clarity in your life and create a powerful 10-year life vision. The vision process that Joel teaches has transformed the lives of hundreds and thousands of people who use it.
You can listen to the full podcast interview here with Joel Brown or head over to my website AshleyHann.com for more inspirational podcast episodes.
Joel Brown is the real deal. He travels the world coaching thousands and thousands of people to stand in their vision so they can turn their dreams into a reality. He has been featured in the Think and Grow Rich movie, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc., The Huffington Post, Success Magazine and more. He has sat down with well-known thought leaders such as Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Jay Shetty, Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, John Assaraf and the list goes on.
This is a MUST LISTEN episode all about gaining clarity, creating harmony in your life and creating a powerful 10-year vision so that you can live the life you’ve always wanted.
Joel breaks it down for you step by step. In this episode, we go over:
- The 3 key questions you must ask yourself in order to live a fulfilled life and master your 10-year vision
- How to define success for yourself and discover what you really want
- The 8 areas of life to include in your 10-year vision
- The top, prevalent patterns successful people share and why you should adopt them too
- The 3 main limiting beliefs and bullsh*t stories that hold people back from achieving their dreams and goals
- Why dropping perfectionism is so important and what to do instead
- …and so much more!
If you’re more of a visual person then you can watch my video interview with Joel Brown here:
This is an episode you won’t want to miss. Joel Brown is the 10-year vision expert and teaches his vision process all over the globe to thousands and thousands of people. You’ll want to make sure to grab a pen and paper so you can take notes and action on the strategies he shares with you.
OR you can watch it on my YouTube Channel:
His event: www.elevatetribe.net
The #1 motivation website he built from scratch: www.addicted2success.com
His Circle of Influence online mastermind: www.iamjoelbrown.com/applynow
5 Ways You Can Utilize Information Properly and Think More Efficiently
The mind is a complex system of facets, of which some have yet to be discovered. Still, in spite of all this, there has been enough information to help us gain a rudimentary understanding of it. Thinking is what we all do, although what differs is the efficiency and levels at which we do it.
A lot of things influence the way you think, and most of these factors vary from person to person. However, there are some foundations and basic laws that can help you move from just filtering information and utilizing it to think efficiently.
Below are a few ways you can utilize information properly and think more efficiently:
1. Be quiet and listen
We’re constantly bombarded with information, and the nature of this information determines how we respond. Are you the type of person who doesn’t handle bad or even good news well? If so, learn to take a step back, evaluate things, and look for the way forward. It’s something that stock market traders do all the time, and it works like a charm with practice.
2. Never neglect what your emotions tell you
While a lot of people might not know this, it is true that the conscious thoughts we have only represent a small fraction of the events going on in our heads. At any given point in time, you have the unconscious aspect taking in massive amounts of information, most of which we don’t even know are being processed.
Your brain makes conclusions, good or bad, and starts to generate feelings that rule our emotions in the long-run. So, whenever you have a subtle feeling that points you to a certain course of action or thought, don’t ignore it. At the end of the day, that feeling gets its way somehow, and it’s better you come face-to-face with it and understand its nudges better.
“When you react, you let others control you. When you respond, you are in control.” – Bohdi Sanders
3. Never think while under pressure
Pressure can be good, but a lot of the time, it tends to yield counter-productive results. Regardless of what you’re doing, there are times when you feel pressure. What this pressure does is force you to rely less on the part of your unconsciousness that functions like a trained autopilot system (from all of the training and experiences that you’ve had in the past). Essentially, it forces you to overthink things.
You begin to analyze every aspect of what you’re doing, and you end up using parts of your brain that have no business with the specific activity. So, whenever you take the time out to develop a certain skill, make sure you learn to have faith in your instincts as well.
4. Never focus on one viewpoint
Bluffing is something that professional poker players do almost every time. It’s become an art. However, instead of just bluffing on a whim (which also works at times, by the way), most of them employ a simple trick while playing; they think about how the opposing players would act if they weren’t actually bluffing.
In most cases, the brain tends to search the world for filters in order to confirm the beliefs that it holds. However, the problem with this is that it tends to limit you. At the end of the day, you could be dealing with facts that are just not wrong.
“What’s true of the poker game is true of life. Most people are suckers and don’t realise it.” – Michael Faust
According to studies, a lot of people tend to have moments of insight and solutions to problems when they’re not even aware of the fact that the problem is being analyzed by the brain. These are usually moments when you take a stroll, listen to your favorite track, brew your favorite coffee, take showers, and read blogs; when you feel relaxed and comfortable.
This is because insightful thoughts are usually generated by an influx of neural activities that occur in the right hemisphere of the brain. The best time to plug into the mind is when you’re stress-free, so make sure that you engage in activities that relax you more often.
How do you go about maneuvering around and making decisions in a world constantly bombarding you with information? Let us know your thoughts and advice below!
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