Have you heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule? It goes like this:

* 80 per cent of your results are produced by 20 per cent of your efforts;

* 80 per cent of your income comes from 20 per cent of your clients;

* 80 per cent of your files are used 20 per cent of the time.

Are you getting the picture? It’s little things that make a huge difference on how productive you are. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to see the solutions yourself. You can be totally unaware of the time you waste.

If you want more time, first of all find out where you are spending it. Write down what you are doing every hour for the next week and discover the truth.

I just want to share with you a situation one of my clients experienced, and show you how easy it is to find solutions to reduce time-wasting activities.

Mary is a financial adviser and each meeting she had with her clients required the notes to be typed up and placed on the client’s file to be attended to by her assistant. It was a time-consuming task.

Not only that, Mary loathed having to do it. She much preferred to meet with her clients, discuss their needs and work out the best solutions.

I suggested that, rather than spend ages physically typing the notes up herself, why not use a voice recorder, outsource the work to a transcriptionist and then send the file to her assistant for follow-up.

There was also another alternative she could have chosen, which was using dictating software, but Mary preferred the transcriptionist idea.

Her assistant already had enough to do and the transcriptionist could easily do the work in a fraction of the time Mary’s assistant could, as it was her speciality. In addition, Mary didn’t require another employee on-site — just someone who could handle this particular task.

Mary now had an additional 10 hours a week to spend on looking after other clients and bringing in more business. She valued her time at $250 an hour, so that 10 hours equated to $2,500 more she could potentially earn.

What would you do with an additional 10 hours a week? It is so easy to get caught up in the little things in your business that actually have a major impact on your productivity and your profits. There is no need to work longer and harder.