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When you hear yourself uttering the words “I haven’t got time” perhaps you will find inspiration and extra time from these four practical time hacks I use.

Each small change taken to develop new personal and business habits has helped me steal back time so I can work on my business, achieve my goals and have more time for me.

1.  Answering Emails On Your Terms

Probably like you, I get 150 or more emails a day.  Protecting my time against the ravages of email ping pong is essential, and here’s what works for me.

I briefly check my emails a couple of times a day in case of something urgent.

My system is closed when I’m helping clients achieve their business goals, or working on my own business goals.  And to make doubly sure I maintain focus and don’t take a sneak peak I’m usually in a different room to my laptop.

My time for answering emails is once a day at the end of the day.  I schedule 60 minutes.  If time consuming, meaningful work is required then I schedule the work in my planner.

Why at the end of the day?  When I start my day answering emails that’s all I seem to do.  My day is disjointed and I get distracted.  The other phenomenon is morning email responses are longer.  I’m sure my subconscious thinks I’ve got all day!

Sticking to 60 minutes at the end of the day saves me at least 250 hours per year (assuming I answer emails only 250 days).  If you check and respond to emails every day, perhaps you would save even more time.

2.  Short Meetings

Coffee culture is endemic.  I realised my week was consumed by unproductive coffee meetings.

And, many long business meetings ramble on without getting to the point.  I haven’t met anyone at any level in business who enjoys long meetings.  Spending time with other successful business people throughout the world I’ve noticed there is a common meeting denominator – they insist on short meetings.

And I agree!  After tracking my business meetings for many years, I’ve concluded more than 80 percent of business meetings I’ve attended could be conducted in 15 minutes rather than the convenient 60 minutes slot.

It seems the real meat of the meeting takes maximum 15 to 20 minutes.

The key to short, focused meetings is to make sure the purpose is clear, the objective is defined, the structure is well planned, on point and of course moving you towards your goals.

Time you will save with 20 minute meetings is 66 hours per year (assuming you attend 2 meetings a week, say 100 meetings per year).

3.  Ditch Multitasking and Plan

In a multitasking world single minded focus is rare, but necessary for fast project completion.

Working on a number of projects simultaneously elongates the time taken for completion and restricts profit.  If you’ve attended one of my Business Breakthrough workshops perhaps you’ll recall me demonstrating this phenomena and the impact on profits.

The purpose of business projects is to reach completion as fast as possible and generate income.  A new marketing funnel, the implementation of a business growth strategy, writing blog posts or offering and planning a new client service are all profit generating.  They deserve to be completed efficiently, effectively and deliver profit.

Next time you are about to step away from a profit generating project, ask yourself the reason why.  I’ve noticed the reason is usually lack of clarity.  If the actions of the next step are familiar and known, the step is taken.  If thought is necessary the project is put on the back burner.

Plan the project and save time.

Success is created in these three steps…

Get clear, make a plan, execute.

Every one minute spent planning will save ten minutes in execution.  As well as business projects, approach each day as a project.  10 minutes planning your day will save you at least 250 hours a year (assuming 250 days at work).

4.  Shorten Your Shower

Long, lingering, relaxed showers.  Hot water cascading over you.  Time to think.

Have you ever wondered how long you spend pondering?  Time slips in a relaxed state.  15 minutes under the hot water is common.

By reducing your shower time you will save a huge amount of time and save the planet.

Short 5 minute showers will save 60 hours a year.

How Much Time?

I’ve just shared how four small changes to your habits can help you steal back 626 hours per year.  That’s more than seventeen 35 hour work weeks.

Imagine what you could accomplish with an extra 626 hours per year.

Remember: Little Things Count

Improving results associated with daily impact points gives you time to be even more successful.

The improvements from tiny changes are astonishing often upward of 20-30% in business terms.  And who doesn’t want more turnover, more clients and profit?!

Making small, continuous changes to your personal habits is one of the easiest and quickest way to carve out more time.

Time for you to invest in you, your future business and personal success.  Time for you to invest in your wealth and happiness.