I blame myself for everything, so that I can have ownership of the problem.
And with ownership, I empower myself to solve it.
Often, I have hear of people saying that they have no time.
They blame it on the work hours, the travel time, the kids, the gf/wife etc... anyone but themselves.
Pushing the blame on others doesn't win you any synpathy points. But by accomplishing more stuffs with less time, you get people's respect.
Let me share a few pointers here. I give credits to The 4-hour Work-week for the concept, but I adjusted it to suit myself.
DEAL - Define, Eliminate, Automate, Liberate
(1) DEFINE - Know what the REAL problem is.
Don't give the right solutions to the wrong problems.
(2) ELIMINATE (aka Simplify) - Kill it before it kills you.
Know what the time-consuming tasks are. Are they REALLY that important? Find ways to eliminate them, or improve the process so that it doesn't take as long.
Don't be shy to say "NO" or ask "WHY THE POOK DO YOU NEED THIS?".
When you ask more, you work less.
Buy 1 to 2-weeks worth grocery at a go, instead.
Do you REALLY need to spend an hour each day reading newspapers, Facebook, watching serial drama etc....?
I used to spend an hour reading newspapers, thinking that "I don't want to be a frog in the well". But the truth is I can't change the world, and actually I read because of my ego to be "smart", and that doesn't make me more money. Now I just read the headlines, except for news that concern me directly. - save 45 minutes a day.
(3) AUTOMATE - Offload your tasks.
I got a iRobot, now I never ever have to sweep my floors again - Save 30 mins a week.
I got a weekly part-time cleaner so that I can save 4 hours a week.
Auto-link most of your payments to Giro (or whatever they call it in your country), so you won't have to waste time compiling your bills.
And if you are a businessman, DON'T do everything yourself. Don't be a salesman + accountant + operations manager + office cleaner. Learn to delegate so you can have time to THINK strategically and get more cash for the company.
And do consider a Virtual Assistant - they can do ANYTHING for you that doesn't require their physical presence. Help you write articles, help you plan for holidays or find a rental flat etc... And they are surprisingly cheap - 3 cheers for India, the Service Centre of the World.
(4) LIBERATE - Get yourself out from the 9-5.
With extra time at hand, you can spend more quality time with your family, or embark on a journey to get new sources of part-time income.
Simple case study.
(1) PROBLEM: The bus always comes late.
Sorry, actually the REAL problem is you wake up late - own up to YOUR own problem.
(2) ELIMINATE: What can you do to wake up earlier, or skip the bus?
Any ways to sleep earlier the day before, like checking Facebook/Youtube/Emails twice a week instead of daily? Can you join a carpool? Or get your boss to let you work at home some of the times? Negotiate for a 7.30am-4.30pm workhour instead of 9am-6pm just so you can avoid the peak hours.
(3) AUTOMATE: Get a BLOODY LOUD alarm clock and place it in the living room. You will be too embarrassed if you don't get off the bed and turn it off, lest the neighbours complain to the local police.
(4) LIBERATE: Once you start killing this problem, get yourself a pat on the back. Now you are one step closer to a better life!
Have a great weekends ahead, my friends! ^_^
Stop being a slave to yourself.
Live life, love life!
About the Author: Shingo T dedicates this post to his 2 weekly cleaners, because they are cleaning away so that he can blog this now.