Are You Too Busy? Scale Yourself.

The tricks that I use to do more with less time:

We’re all doing our best to be the bee’s knees. You might be as busy as a bee trying to make all your greatest hopes and dreams come alive. Like many of us, you may have a real bee in your bonnet about how much you have to do just to make incremental progress towards the life that you’ve always dreamed of. Perhaps you think that once you get over this next challenge, your schedule will clear up a little.


honey you’ve got a big storm coming

Okay, enough with the bee idioms (but also please, save the bees).

Beyonce has 24 hours in a day. You have 24 hours in a day. I have 24 hours in a day. However, I do not have the teams and staff that Beyonce does. So a third of my 24 hours may go to operational and logistical details that I’d love to hand off to someone else if I could. Currently, I am not a big enough of a deal to have my own staff. So, what’s a girl to do?

creativity loves constraints marissa mayer
eisenhower matrix: urgent vs important

We’ve gotta get creative. Here are all of the clever ways I’ve tried to approach scaling myself by cutting time on the not so important stuff to make room for the important stuff:

Keyboard shortcuts

I worked at a calling center in college. The work started to bleed into my personal life when I couldn’t hear the words and phrases that I said over and over on the phone to alumni the same way again. In my personal life today, I’ve become more aware of the phrases that I might use frequently such as ‘thank you for letting me know’ or ‘let me know if that works for you’ and placed them into keyboard shortcuts on my phone. It is my genuine response but that does not mean that I have to genuinely twiddle my thumbs over the phone screen to input the words. Maybe you can’t help how many people you need to get back to responding to but you can help how long it takes you.

A scheduler that syncs with your personal calendar

You know the drill:

“Hey ${theirName}, I’d love to set up a coffee chat with you to discuss ${topicsOfInterest.join(‘ ’)}. If you’re interested, I can work with your availability. When are you free?”

“Hi ${yourName}, I’d love to! I’m usually available on #{scheduleOpenings.sample}, #{scheduleOpenings.sample}, or #{scheduleOpenings.sample}. Do any of those work for you?”

“Actually, ${theirName}, next week I’ll be ${vagueYetSpecificExplanation} so I won’t be free at that time even though I’d otherwise be willing. Do you think #{scheduleOpenings.sample}, #{scheduleOpenings.sample}, or #{scheduleOpenings.sample} might work for you instead?”

and so on…

and so forth…

…and until death do us part.

It’s inefficient!

Image for post
Stop spending half as much time scheduling the meeting as the actual meeting itself.

I started a Calendly in college so people could put their money where their mouth is and turn ‘let’s catch up sometime’ to ‘this was great. I look forward to doing this again’ at the press of a button. People did not approve back then and even thought it was a bit pretentious. In the present, students are using my Calendly as inspiration for their own.

at first theyll ask why youre doing it. later theyll ask how you did it
At first, they call you crazy, Then, they call you queen.

I have a Calendly so you can just go and pick a time that we’re both available at your own leisure. When our meeting comes around, Google Calendar will tell me to show up and where. It feels like the pregame to having my own assistant. I highly suggest you implement this or ask for that person’s Calendly/scheduling tool over playing ping pong with proposed meeting times.

Share content!

Rather than fielding the same questions over and over again, answer the ones get the most often in a post and redirect people to it. In my previous post, I said it’s useful to consume someone’s content in order to utilize their time best by asking unique questions. The reverse of that is creating content to address frequently brought up topics.

There’s only one of you and what you have to say but how efficiently you get it across can be improved in order to leave time for things like a weekend trip, a Facetime, bubble bath, or movie night. Try these out and let me know what you think.

Written by

Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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