Time management, delegation and outsourcing begins at home

I am sure I am not the only one having this problem, but of late I have noticed that the stuff I have to do just keeps piling up. Since I don't have the power to stretch the day to a little more than 24 hours, which would be ideal for my needs, I have been trying to find ways to maximise the use of this non-renewable resource called TIME. I came to the conclusion that since there is just too much to do, the first step would be to weed out those tasks that I believe to be less valuable than the time I would have to input to accomplish them. All tasks that bring less money than I can make doing other jobs should either be delegated or outsourced. Nothing new here, but this is an idea that takes time to get used to and to convince people around you is usually even more difficult.

Time management, delegation and outsourcing
My son - happy to be doing what he does best
This brings to mind a problem that I often have with my wife. What usually happens is I am busy working on something, with lots of plans for the whole day. Then my wife suddenly appears, as wives always do. And she says, "Darling, I need you to clean the windows" or "Darling, you promised that this weekend you were going to do the tiles." Have you ever noticed that a lot of "darlings" are thrown around, willy-nilly in such situations? :-)
I usually try to explain to my wife that what I am doing is worth much more than what we would pay if we hired someone to do those tasks for us. She often tells me she understands, but I doubt she does, because right after saying she understands she goes, "But you promised!" I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like words from someone who understands.
Anyway, back to the problem at hand. If you find yourself often doing tasks that are less valuable than your time then you are not being productive. As Brian Tracy, the motivation guru, says "There is nothing more valuable than time." We need to use our time wisely.
Here is what works for me.
  • delegate everything possible. I know it's difficult to let go, but what must be done must be done
  • do not do tasks that are less valuable than your time. If you can earn 100 dollars (this is just an example :-)) doing something you are good at and enjoy, why should you waste time doing something that someone else can do for 20 dollars. Value your time. Give that guy 20 dollars. Let him do what he knows best so that you can get on with what you enjoy and what you are good at. It's win-win situation
  • they say the more successful you are the more you value your time. I can't talk from experience here, because I wouldn't call myself a successful person. So I will let Brian Tracy do the talking. He says the most successful people measure their time in minutes while those not so successful measure it in hours or days or even months. This is so true. Imagine a guy who lives somewhere on a remote farm where the nearest grocery store is 30 miles away. His plan could be that tomorrow he has to plough the fields and then two days later start sowing some weed. The good kind of weed, of course. Now to the other side of the scale. I can only imagine what goes into the calendars of successful people like Richard Branson or Donald Trump. But I am sure (I am willing to stick my neck) it's not something like tomorrow I have to do one task and then the day after tomorrow another one. Their time is probably planned to the nearest minute. Who knows, maybe its even planned to the nearest second. 
Planning and tracking the way you use your time daily can help you to improve productiviy. 
Here are more detailed personal time management and outsourcing resources for those who want to dig a little deeper:
How do you get more than 24 hours out of each day to maximise productivity. Leave a comment below.
  • Here is one of the best time management videos by Brian Tracy.
Personal time management
Fri, 14 Dec 2012