Young business people often struggle with figuring out the balance between work and life, while still aggressively building their careers. While many know about the ideas from Tim Ferris about optimizing work and maximizing efficiency, it is not as easy done as it is said. After talking with a number of freelancers and entrepreneurs, a few major habits and mindsets stuck out from the rest.
In particular, Matt Kohn, the CEO and founder of Different Hunger Media, moved from New York City to Medellin, Columbia and took a digital deep dive in order to fine tune his workflow. Kohn now runs a team with fifteen full-time employees plus more part-time employees and only personally clocks in 20 hours of work per week.
Self-awareness is crucial for understanding how you work
He utilized a number of apps and technology to get total awareness of what he did on an average day and how he could do it better. This involved utilizing sleep trackers and building better sleep habits. Using the Toggl app to track his time spent on various platforms and many other steps so as to have a comprehensive understanding of where he was at and what he needed to change.
This process will take time since it will involve heavy collection of data and analysis of both data and real life habits. From here you will need to begin to think through what all your necessary habits are, what habits could be good to introduce, and which bad habits should be eliminated. Finally, you will need to think about what the best execution of these changes is for you. Reading a book a month is good, but without necessary tradeoffs it is hard to add such a change to an already burdened lifestyle.
Maximize your daily value
Eventually with massive data on how Kohn was spending his time each day, he looked to place a dollar value on each minute of his day and each activity he was conducting. From here he goes about looking at what activities are taking up more time than they are worth and how he can go about shifting the balance. At this point it begins being incredibly clear what needs to be changed and how you can maximize your daily value.
Each day is either adding or subtracting from your net worth, so another important step here is to amortize all expenditures so as to avoid unaccounted for major expenses. For example, if you purchase a new fridge that cost $1,000 and should last about 5 years, then each month set aside about $17 and when it comes time for buying your next fridge you will already have the money. Similarly, breaking down all spending patterns can offer a precise amount of money you need to be earning daily and can also frame saving goals in a more digestible manner.
Structure your schedule for impact
Once you have implemented these strategies and have about three to four weeks’ worth of data to inform your decisions, it is time to create a structured schedule that ensures you are only spending time on highly valuable tasks. This is done by identifying the tasks that you need to do (tasks that are essential to the survival of the business), the tasks that you want to do (fun tasks) and that tasks that need to be done but you do not want to do.
This then offers you a bucket of tasks that need to get done in a systemized way, since you neither need to do them nor have to. As these are systemized and accounted for, you can start building your schedule. Start by grouping the related tasks together to create daily themes, then assign those tasks to recurring timeslots on your calendar. For instance, assigning all content creation or marketing management to a single day’s timeslot can help streamline your processes.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author’s own and not necessarily shared by TNW.
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