Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 21st, 2013

Getting Dressed [Ben's Productivity Podcast]

Suggestions for saving time as a result from speeding up daily processes

Tip of the day: Speed up processes that you do often to save time.

Hi, welcome to the podcast. I'd like to introduce to you a new concept today that I'm starting called "Fast Friday". Every Friday, I am going to share a faster way of doing something that you probably do all the time. By saving you a little bit of time in the things that you do every day, that time starts to add up and you end up having more time to do the things that you want to do instead of doing things that you have to do. I don't believe in speeding things up just to make them sloppy or to make them incomplete. I know I've talked about procrastination before as a tool that you can use, but this is really about speeding things up in a way that helps you get it done faster with the same level of quality and competence. So, today I want to talk about getting ready in the morning. I discovered that I was spending a lot of time as I got ready each morning on a certain few things. You know, it doesn't take me long to get showered and dressed and all the stuff that you do in the morning, but I found that if I got a little bit organized, and I lined everything up that I needed to do in my medicine cabinet, then it just made things that much faster and I didn't have to think about each of the steps. So, you know, the first thing on the left is my toothbrush and that's the first thing that I do and then there's the lotion that I put on my face right after I take a shower. There's the deodorant and hair gel and all the different pieces are just lined up one right after the other in the medicine cabinet so I just start on the left and work my way to the right and when I get to the end I don't have to think about it; I know that I'm done and I move on. I've done the same thing with the shower, with the shampoo, and all that kind of good stuff.

The second thing is restrict your wardrobe decisions. I have, gradually over time, restricted my wardrobe decisions to basically the slacks or pants that I wear and a black shirt. I did that so that I don't have to think in the morning; I put on a pair of pants based on what meetings I have that day. If I'm meeting with customers I usually wear slacks or a nice pair of jeans; dress jeans we call them here in Texas. And I put on one of the black shirts that I have hanging in my closet. I don't think about it, I just put it on and I move on with my day. And yeah, am I dressed the same every time you see me? Yes I am. But you know what? A lot of really brilliant people have done that as well from Einstein to Steve Jobs. And you know, the reason I did that was I found I was spending, you know, 5-10 minutes every morning trying to figure out what I wanted to wear that day and I reclaimed that time. The last thing is grow a beard. If you're a guy and you're shaving every day, that's, you know, maybe five minutes out of your day every single day. If you grow a beard, you don't have to shave as often, you shave maybe twice a week. And that just saves enough time. Of course, this is only going to apply to half of my audience, but it is something that if it applies to you can save you a lot of time and that's it for today.

Ben Finklea, CEO Volacci