The only 3 ways to create more time

Ready to feel crappy about your life?

This old productivity meme originated on Molly-Mae Hague’s Diary of a CEO podcast.

Now putting aside that Queen Bey has a supporting team of nearly 100 people, there’s a kernel of truth here.

There are a fixed amount of hours in each day.

Which means there’s a limit to what can be accomplished by Queens, Kings and ordinary plebes.

And when it comes to time, there are only 3 ways to win some of it back.

3 ways to expand time

61% of working Americans claim they don’t have enough time.

Three quarters of British parents are too busy to read bedtime stories.

And it’s understandable. With endless Zoom calls, non-stop interruptions and an infinite supply of demands on your time – it’s normal to constantly feel behind the 8-ball.

On the Infinite Loops Podcast Shreyas Doshi, a startup executive and investor explains that there are only 3 ways to win back time: Stretch it, Save it and Scale it.

Option 1: Stretch it

This is the brute-force approach of outworking an activity or set of tasks.

It works really well as an energetic youth. Just strap on your seat belt and add hours to your work day.

Maybe you eat lunch at your desk. Or you join the 5 am club.

And while this does give you more time for work – it’s completely unsustainable.

Eventually you’ll fall victim to burnout, physical exhaustion and anxiety.

And this becomes particularly jarring if you have kids. Every stretched hour comes at the expense of a family dinner, a weekend without calls and – yes – the regular bedtime stories with your little ones.

Option 2: Save it

So you move on to Plan B, saving time.

By becoming more efficient.

This is the land of productivity hacks, apps and tactics.

The Superhuman email app promises that you can “get through your email twice as fast.” (It’s good, but not that good.)

The project management tool ClickUp has a simple promise:

Save one day every week. Guaranteed.

The text expander app (aptly called Text Expander) calculates how many hours you save per month using their shortcuts. (Yay, 4.5 hours!)

But as Peter Drucker, the management guru said:

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Are these saved keystrokes truly making a difference in your life?

Or are you squeezing water out of a stone?

Our $10K Work philosophy deconstructs the false duality of efficiency versus effectiveness.

And as the matrix below indicates, there are two axes: Personal Leverage and Unique Skill.

The $100 quadrant is a trap.

Sure, it’s better than scrolling TikTok or organizing your inbox folders.

After all, you added some leverage – some scale – into your activities. Typing the keyboard shortcut .addr into my Text Expander automatically replaces it with:

Khe and Lisa, 123 Main Street, LA, CA 90210

And that feels like a win.

But it’s an inconsequential win that brings you nowhere closer to your goals and life dreams.

Because, you’re leveraging the wrong thing.

Option 3: Scale it

Here’s where the magic of leverage comes in.

There are certain activities that are force multipliers.

If sending an email is $10 work, there’s something that’s 1,000x more impactful. This is the sweet nectar of $10K Work:

Here are a few other real-world examples:

  • Identifying the super connectors in your industry (Solo- practitioner Lawyer)
  • Finding and picking a mentor (recent college grad)
  • Researching and hiring a marriage therapist (any couple)
  • Hiring your first COO (small business owner)

(To start finding personal leverage, you can apply the 80/20 rule.)

Leverage and $10K Work is a source of efficiency effectiveness.

It’s the difference between producing outputs – and driving outcomes.

And unlike time, there is no limit to your $10K Work potential.

Are you looking to get more done (without the stress, burnout and anxiety)? Join us for a free Q&A with David Allen, the author of the iconic productivity book Getting Things Done.

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