I’m not a supporter of diets, at least when it comes to food, however in the past two weeks I’ve discovered a diet that is producing amazing results so far.
I’m thriving on a low information diet.
Instead of cutting back on calories, I’ve cut back on my time spent consuming information, which has been at an all-time high for me over the past few years, especially working in information technology.
During the past three months, working primarily from my home as a new entrepreneur, I was finding it easy to become distracted by reading emails, checking social media, and generally multi-tasking and before I knew it, it was the afternoon and I hadn’t really accomplished any tasks that were revenue generating. Information isn’t always only online – I was also attending events on the premise of networking, yet finding that I was spending too much time afterwards over coffee meetings, still not bringing in the revenue I needed.
The best thing about working for yourself is that you get to try new things to see what works, then adjust as you go. My latest lesson has been to really pay attention to how I’ve been spending my time, to be really laser-focused on what’s important and trim the information ‘fat’ from my diet. I’m only two weeks into my new diet and I’ve noticed I’m accomplishing a lot more in less time, I have more free time to do the things I love and it feels ok to set boundaries and to say no to requests that are not directly in alignment with my goals.
Here’s what I’ve done so far and I plan to review after four weeks to evaluate additional changes that may be necessary.
Check email no more than twice a day at set times and dedicate a specific amount of time for replies. Before I was checking my inbox up to 15-20 times a day, as it was always open. Now I check email at 11 am and 4 pm and spend no more than fifteen minutes to reply. If any single email is taking me longer than fifteen minutes to write, I’m being too wordy – keep it simple.
Take at least two days off social media per week. Notice which social networks you are spending time on and what you are doing on there. Are you scanning content or actually posting and engaging with your audience? The first step is awareness – I learned that I was spending too much time scanning meaningless content – which was a huge time suck. My next goal is to only be on social media twice per week for no more than one hour each session to schedule content and reply to requests.
Take a look at what other information you consume. Are you a news junkie? Do you take a lot of online courses? I’m in the latter group and I’ve put one online marketing course on pause so I can focus on creating content that will be revenue generating. I realized that I don’t need to know all the answers right now and I can ask for help when needed.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may not be able to implement the tips exactly as I have, however I suggest you start by looking at where you can trim the information fat from your diet and then notice the effects it has on you and your business.
By implementing the above tips I’m saving 12-15 hours per week, that I now dedicate to my most important task at hand, which is finishing my book. By not checking email first thing in the morning, I’m being proactive by creating my schedule, instead of reacting to requests first. By cutting back on social media time, I’m spending more time outdoors. By spending less time on courses, I’m reaching out more to ask for help and it is provided. Check out my next article as I’ve been experimenting further and saving even more time.