Hacks for getting your time back
January 9, 2024
Welcome back to Business Unfiltered with Mercer and Jeff Sauer today's topic is Hacks for getting your time back
0:00: Time management hacks for entrepreneurs. Mercer and Jeff discuss hacks for getting time back, with Mercer emphasizing efficiency and maximizing potential, while Jeff questions the need for time hacks. Both agree that time is a scarce resource, and they share strategies for gaining control over it, but Mercer acknowledges that arriving at a state of complete control is unreachable. Mercer plans to conduct a "mental reset" by listing out all tasks and determining which ones are still relevant, delegating some to others, and finding ways to increase efficiency. The first step is to list out all tasks and have a conversation with himself about what should be continued, stopped, or delegated.
3:39: Time management and productivity for small business owners. Jeff reflects on his time management and realizes he has shifted from a balance of "maker schedule" (creating) to "manager schedule" (meetings and management), leading to decreased productivity and happiness. He plans to rebalance his schedule to prioritize "maker schedule" tasks and regain momentum, to feel more productive and in his zone of genius. Jeff recognizes the need for strategic time management and self-managing tactical people and reevaluating the role of management in the process. Jeff considers alternative approaches to management, such as hiring gig workers or focusing on discrete projects, to optimize productivity and profitability.
7:34: Managing meetings and reducing unnecessary ones. Mercer discusses the issue of too many meetings and how they can create more work, rather than getting things done. To address this, his team implemented a rule that meetings must have a clear agenda and cover only the most essential topics, with any additional ideas or topics not included on the agenda not being discussed. This simple switch helped the team become more self-managed when it comes to meetings and eliminated the wandering and tangential discussions that can occur without a clear agenda.
10:26: Meetings as a form of management and training. Jeff acknowledges that meetings can be a form of management and on-the-job training, but also recognizes that they can be inefficient and lead to a time suck. He suggests that sometimes a meeting could have been an email or message instead and that it's important to figure out the most efficient way to communicate and manage team members.
13:02: Streamlining meetings and reducing unnecessary ones. Jeff consolidated recurring meetings into one weekly meeting to free up time and focus on his zone of genius. Mercer uses 15-minute headline calls to stay organized and efficient, with a different agenda for each call to keep everyone prepared and on track.
15:29: Time management techniques for productivity. Mercer emphasizes the importance of assigning tasks with momentum, rather than just assigning them. Mercer is now adopting the technique. Jeff suggests using a whiteboard to brainstorm ideas, which can be batch-produced into a spreadsheet for later use. Jeff's process involves writing down ideas, adding notes, and then riffing on them during a 30-minute walk to flesh out content.
20:45: Time management strategies and delegation. Mercer discusses the importance of time management, particularly in delegating tasks. He highlighted the need to measure where time is spent and list tasks to delegate effectively. Both speakers emphasize the importance of strategic thinking when it comes to time management, rather than simply using tools without a clear plan.
23:46: Quarterly off-the-grid time for personal growth and data capture. Jeff recommends spending at least one day a quarter off the grid, away from work and business responsibilities, to focus on personal happiness and problem-solving. He uses quarterly off-the-grid time to write down on paper or whiteboard what makes him happy and what the solution is, rather than relying on digital data capture. Jeff believes investing in automation and AI can save time and increase profitability, allowing for double the efficiency and profit.
26:38: Business strategies and hacks for productivity. Mercer likes the idea of taking a week-long break to disconnect and think and has found value in attending conferences and events to generate new ideas. Mercer shares an anecdote about staying an extra day and finding it helpful for capturing ideas and maintaining momentum. They plan to discuss financial runways and spending money in a future episode of the podcast.
Topics Covered In This Episode
- Mercer and Jeff discuss the importance of time management, with Mercer emphasizing efficiency and Jeff questioning the need for time hacks due to time scarcity.
- Both agree that time is a precious resource and share strategies for gaining control over it, although Mercer acknowledges complete control is unattainable.
- They emphasize the need for a "mental reset" by listing tasks, deciding what to continue, stop, or delegate, and finding ways to increase efficiency.
- They address the shift from a "maker schedule" to a "manager schedule" and the need to rebalance tasks to boost productivity and happiness.
- Jeff and Mercer provide tips for managing meetings effectively, with a focus on clear agendas and essential topics to eliminate wasted time in tangential discussions.
- Finally, they emphasize strategic thinking in time management, including delegation, AI, and automation, and recommend periodic off-the-grid breaks for personal growth and problem-solving