Okay yes, you read that blog headline correctly and I know you’re wondering how the hell are 5 Simple Steps going to do that?…
Well these methods are tried and tested by me for over 2 years now and I am have been able successfully save 5 hours and more a week to use as I see fit.
In 2017, I was producing and directing my first feature film and I was editing, grading, mixing, marketing and creating the final film all myself in a period of 12 months.
It was an insane schedule and one I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish without doing one or more of the suggested steps below.
You can apply the extra time to whatever you see fit and the idea is not to save 5 hours or more so you can do more of the stuff that is taking up precious time right now.
The idea is for all of you time crunched, busy creative professionals and entrepreneurs to GAIN a quality 5 hours or more for yourself and your business to use productively as required.
You won’t have to use the line again, ‘there are not enough hours in the day”.
There are the same hours in everyday and why is it that some creatives and entrepreneurs manage to produce more awesome content then others?
The answer lies here in some of these top pro tips.
So without wasting anymore time let’s get started:
STEP 1 – GET MORE SLEEP = 1 to 2 HOURS A DAY EXTRA
More sleep not less sleep will benefit your health, energy and increase your productivity that’s for sure.
Too many of us go to bed too late and don’t sleep great then get up with very little time to spare to get cracking on with our day.
Pro tip: Turn off all electronic stimuli after 6.30pm go to bed at 10pm at the latest. 9.30pm is ideal and rise at 5am.
Insane! I hear you all cry. No not really.
That’s seven and half hours of quality sleep and getting up at 5am adds an extra 2 hours a day on to most people’s waking time.
It’s incredible what you can achieve in this extra time.
The body and brain are refreshed and the most productive after sleep so it’s quality and productive time.
The world’s best entrepreneurs rise early and go to bed early.
It’s their secret weapon against the global “lazy-arse” way of most people’s morning routine.
By the time most of us sit down to start work they’ve had 2 to 3 hours of quality work done already.
When waking do not use social media, go to your email or do task driven work at this productive time. Use it to write and produce your best content. Do deep reading and research. Meditate to gain more clarity.
It’s a golden, precious time to be awake and create more time.
If 5am feels like insanity for the majority of you then aim to rise an hour earlier than you normally would for starters and work your way up.
STEP 2 – TURN OFF SOCIAL AND MEDIA = 3 HOURS + A WEEK EXTRA
I know Netflix is like crack cocaine for the eyes after a hard day at work and what better way to reward the system to catch up on the latest, greatest shows.
But alas, it’s a time and energy eating widescreen monster.
As you consume ‘Stranger Things’ and another season of ‘Black Mirror’ the only things getting stranger and blacker is your brain and the hours that fly by unproductively.
Pro tip: Unsubscribe for 3 months solid. Blitz Netflix and Youtube videos in fact all TV, news, sports and subscriptions to entertainment that are not about learning or boosting your business or more importantly sucking the hours from your precious week.
Write the book you’ve had on your to-do shelf for 5 years or more.
Attract and enrol the extra 10-20 clients you need to take your business to the next level.
Create a must-do project to focus the extra viewing time on and make it something that means a great deal to you and make the sacrifice work for you.
Netflix and Youtube are not going anywhere. After your 3 months of rehab see how you feel with the extra time and whether you want to resubscribe.
If you complete the project then reward yourself and re-subscribe and take a day or two out to catch up then cut it back again. This is so much more rewarding and enjoyable and more importantly it means you’re in control of it’s impact on you. Not the other way around.
However, in my experience I soon forget it’s there and I cherish the extra spend on creating my own content that is much more rewarding for me and my business.
Clearly, if reviewing content is part of your job or needed for you to offer value to your clients and business then use accordingly.
But, you will know it’s an issue when it’s literally taking over huge chunks of your evenings, weekends or social time.
If this feels too extreme and unbearable than moderate your viewing to one show a day and don’t binge watch.
STEP 3 – MAKE YOUR SMARTPHONE LESS APPY – 1 HOUR A WEEK EXTRA MINIMUM
Right now count how apps you have on your smartphone then go into the settings and see how many of them are set to notify you when they are active or have a new message to send you.
The results may shock you.
Now ask yourself how many of these apps do you really use daily and how many of them are supporting and are indispensable to you and your business?
If the answer is more than 3 then you have an app issue.
Honestly the world has gone app crazy and insane.
We do not need 99% of these annoying notifications.
The people that design apps study addictions, gambling and ADD triggers and create apps to induce this behaviour in their users.
This is not cool folks and ultimately a total waste of your time.
Pro tip: Delete all apps that you don’t use and only keep the ones that are absolutely essential for you and your business turn off vibrate and notifications on these.
Just check them at a specific time set by you in your day when you have the time to do so.
Just by doing this is making you more efficient than most of the apps claim to do.
For every notification it take another dopamine hit and a millisecond of your time and concentration to look, read, answer, click or response.
I know it feels like you’re super productive but all these apps add up over time and create a block to the flow of your work, concentration, energy and time.
While reading this blog if you looked at your phone more than once with an app notifying you then you need to address this issue and cull that smartphone.
Multitasking kills productivity focus and eats into your time.
STEP 4 – SPEAK LESS LISTEN MORE – 1-2 HOURS A WEEK EXTRA MINIMUM
Do you ever get the feeling you are talking too much and not listening more?
Or do you think other people talk too much and don’t listen to you enough?
What’s the right balance?
Pro tip: Do a test for one whole week. Reduce how much you talk by 50%.
Just discern the most efficient way you can communicate with other people verbally and when texting, sending emails or other written communication.
50% less then shut up!…Then listen.
Sounds weird. It is. But try it and see what happens.
Two things happen. You will feel somewhat calmer a lot more focused and time seems to increase.
I’ve tried it many times and coming from someone from Liverpool who is prone to waffle on if I get half the chance it’s a hard disciple to follow.
The bonus of the process is that friends, family and loved ones will start appreciating you more and may even comment on your new found silence and focus.
Trust me this one clients love as well.
It’s a winner and remember you’ll have less to talk about now as well seeing as you’re not watching endless Netflix and Youtube anymore.
STEP 5 – FILL OUT A CREATIVE POWER DAILY TIME SAVER LIST – 5 HOURS A WEEK OR MORE
The issue for most of us re time is that we don’t know exactly where we are spending most of it.
When we have a clear picture on how much time we spend on certain tasks and activities we can adjust what we spend it on accordingly.
The same principle applies to budgeting a job or our business and living expenses.
The more transparent and clear we see where we are spending our time the more productive we can get at using it more wisely.
A Creative Power Daily Time Log and Saver sheet is a really effective way to quickly log at the end of each day how much time we approximately spent doing certain tasks and activities.
I will give this sheet free to download with instructions on best usage to anyone who clicks
on the FREE CASE STUDY on my website.
“Time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life” – Steve Jobs
I am looking forward to helping and supporting more clients gain more time, productivity and clients with CREATIVE POWER Coaching and Consulting.
Film Director Coach and Consultant: Darren Cavanagh helps people unlock and unleash their unique creativity to attract more clients to boost business.
He is an expert at helping time-crunched Filmmakers and Creative professionals create their best marketing content with a 6 week one-on-one program that has proven processes and achieves results fast.
Book a FREE marketing strategy session today go to https://www.creativepowercc.com/case-study
I hope you found this blog of interest and please list any time and energy saving tips you have found on your creative and entrepreneurial journey in the comments below.