Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

Watching Your Time

I’m very time-deprived these days. Many people complain to me about this problem. That’s why I’m so delighted to have Dave Crenshaw today as my guest. He’s the foremost expert in helping you get time, and has helped students worldwide get more time for everything they love most in life.

Beware Time Liabilities
By Dave Crenshaw

Are you surrounded by Time Liabilities? I define a Time Liability as:

a) anything that consumes time unnecessarily or
b) anything that causes you to spend time in activities that are less profitable than your most profitable activity.

If your filing system causes you to spend extra time doing $9 per hour ?clerical work, trying to find that important document you misplaced,? then you have a Time Liability. If your workspace is so uncomfortable ?that you have to spend time at a chiropractor every month to correct? your spine alignment problems, you definitely have a Time Liability!

Over a year ago I was working with a business owner who was in severe? time debt. He was working in the ballpark of 90 to 100 hours per week,? and both his business and family were suffering. We started by ?calculating his per-hour worth. When doing his most profitable ?activities, he was worth $500 an hour or more. Yet we found that he was? spending approximately half of his time, 45 hours or more per week,? performing $25/hour, $10/hr, and even minimum wage type work! Why? A? huge factor was that he was surrounded by Time Liabilities.

At one point during our training he needed to punch holes in some paper? for a three ring binder. Yet when he went to punch the paper, his paper ?puncher clearly wasn’t up for the job. He had bought a cheap model that? had was basically broken after a month of use. I watched as this? business owner kept turning his stack of papers around twice to punch.? Most often he kept misaligning the punch and ruining the stack.

Next, he stood up from his desk, walked out of his office, marched down ?the hall to someone else’s office, searched for their high-quality? paper puncher, punched the holes in his stack, came back to the office? and finally inserted them in the planner. While he went through this? long process, I timed him without him knowing. It took about 6 minutes.

I ?asked the question, “How many times per week do you repeat that ?activity of having to use someone else’s hole puncher?” He replied, “I ?don’t know. Maybe 3 or 4.” I responded, “So, you’re losing more than ?an hour per month simply because you didn’t spend the extra $20 to get ?a quality 3 hole puncher?” His response, “I didn’t think of it like ?that at the time!” His cheap 3-hole puncher was potentially costing him ?nearly $500 per month…and that was just one Time Liability holding him? back!

How much are your time liabilities costing you? at work? If you know what you are worth per hour, you can quickly? estimate the dollar-per hour impact of lost time. Any resource or? system or behaviors at work that keeps you away from your profitable ?activities is a Time Liability. Replace Time liabilities with Time ?Assets. The sooner you replace them, the sooner your profitability will? increase.

Are you surrounded by time liabilities? Consider the following questions:

* Are? the tools of your trade (computer, pens, stapler, etc) all within hand’s ?reach? (If you often have to get up from you chair to pull out the ?scissors you use often, then you have a time liability.)

* Do ?you have the tools you need or is something missing? (Have you been ?putting off going to the office supply or computer store?)

* Do ?they all work properly? (If you have to squint or lean forward to view? your computer screen, then it is likely a time liability…either that or? your glasses!)

* Are your tools of the? best working quality? (Remember the story of the three-hole puncher. Invest more to get better results and greater longevity from the “tools? of your trade”.)

By trading your Time Liabilities ?for Time Assets, you will save time, be more productive, and reduce ?stress in the long run.


Dave Crenshaw has appeared in TIME magazine, on XM and Sirius Radio, MSN Money, and been interviewed in radio and TV stations across North America. His book, The Myth of Multitasking: How ‘Doing It All’ Gets Nothing Done has been translated into six languages and is a time management best seller. He is the foremost expert in helping you get time, and has helped students worldwide get more time for everything they love most in life.

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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  • positively present

    Very interesting stuff here. You’ve provided me with a great new way to think about time and time management. Thank you!

  • Daylle Deanna Schwartz

    Glad it helped!

  • Pat Miran

    Good concepts to ponder. Thanks for including this post Daylle!

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