How You Can Free Up a ½ Hour a Day

As I write this, I am, sitting on a flight from Auckland to the Gold Coast. It’s my penultimate speech for 2015. The Finance Brokers Association of Australia at the SeaWorld Convention Centre. 600 Finance Brokers.

My presentation is designed to show them how they can easily increase income, delight clients while simultaneously freeing up a lot of time (sounds like the opposite doesn’t it)?

One of the sentences I’ll be saying (or said by the time you read this) is ‘I can do in 15 minutes what takes others three days and three staff members to do.’

So I thought for this column, I would share three of my everyday activities with you that I know – beyond a shadow of doubt = will free up at least ½ an hour a day for you.


Unsubscribe Rule
You probably know about rules. Heck I’ve been swearing by them for at least 15 years. Well, I had an epiphany last week and it was amazing. By the way if you don’t know rules, it’s a function that has your inbox look for things you specify when emails arrive or are sent; then preforms the action you tell it to – put in folders, delete, respond. Now, back to the epiphany.

I don’t know about you, but every day I have to handle at least 60 promotional type emails. All of a sudden I thought why not create a rule ‘looking for the word unsubscribe or manage subscription in the body of the email and move it to the inbound marketing folder’. This has saved me 10 minutes minimum daily since starting. You can put an exception to this rule if it has a response to one of your businesses outbound marketing.

Siri, S Voice, Voice Recognition
When you turn on the voice recognition on your phone, you can do two things.

First, commands. Such as “read me my emails”; “send a text to Charles”; set my alarm for 6am tomorrow”; how do I get to the airport from here; “take a note”.

Second, dictate. When voice is on, then every time the keyboard comes up, you can dictate instead of write – emails. SMS messages. Searches. I have barely used my keyboard for writing in over two, three years. The more you use it the better it gets. This saves time both not only typing, but allowing you to multitask. Picture this. You’ve just seen a potential new client. As you leave their office and go back to your car, as you’re walking you dictate an email to them (by the way it recognises full stop, new paragraph, comma as instructions). How impressed would they be if they get an email not 10 minutes after you left thanking them for their time? Using voice recognition on a daily basis saves me at least 10 minutes daily.

Pivot Tables and Text To Columns
I’m sure you use Excel. It’s my right hand in business and wouldn’t you know it, all the cool time saving features are hidden. Either in the ribbons or in the fx menu.

You know a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, for every presentation I do, I send out a preconference survey. I use the responses to help understand the audience better and to customise their presentation. With a click of a button pivot tables can tabulate the results, and graphically illustrate it beautifully.  You could use this to differentiate sales, regions, sales team results….

When I send them a thank you and ebook for their efforts, the function text to columns (in the data menu) will split first names from last names with three clicks. Wither it’s 17 or 556 or 20,000. These two features would save days upon days of one by one manual work. But let’s average it out to 10 minutes a day.

There you go. Four simple computer tricks with the technology you touch every day. At least 30 minutes freed up. Now go, get a magazine, put your feet up, grab a coffee or wine and enjoy your new found half hour!