May 22, 2024 | Educational Articles

Reclaim your time and energy to live your best life


As Libertas is on its way to having another record year, I’ve been having to think about delegation, efficiency, cutting out things I don’t need to do, systemization, processes, hiring new staff, and at the end of the day, working smarternot harder.

After all, each of us has just 168 hours per week to accomplish our tasks and goals… at work, at home and out in the world, so if you feel like you spend too much of that time on things that don’t add value to your life, you’re not alone.

The good news is, it’s easier than ever to generate stronger results, both personally and professionally, while actually making less effort.

The key is to take steps that can make you significantly more efficient and effective, thus freeing up precious hours each day that you can reclaim to live a better life.

So says Ari Meisel, founder of Less Doing and a world-renowned productivity consultant to businesses and individuals.  Meisel highlights a three-part framework of optimizing, automating and outsourcing to achieve better results faster.


OPTIMIZE: Streamline how you do your tasks

Break down any task to its bare minimum and eliminate any step that’s not necessary.  The goal is to take the smallest number of actions that will produce your desired outcome.

Optimizing your time, energy and resources requires you to take two actions:

  1. Identify your current patterns: Start by tracking habitual tasks or behaviors that you’re interested in changing or getting rid of, which includes what you’re working on, how long those tasks take, how many things you are doing at once, and so on. Assigning data to your daily routine shows you where you can improve.

You can track behaviors and time in a journal or notebook, or use technology (I prefer a simple Excel spreadsheet).  There are several apps that track your time among other things, and they’ll automatically tell you if you’re headed toward a traffic jam, they’ll track your spending and net worth, and they’ll count thousands of steps for you, throughout the day.

  1. Implement the 80/20 rule in all you do: The Pareto Principle says that roughly 20% of your actions drive 80% of your results. Once you identify the steps you take to complete various tasks, you can focus on doing the 20% that really have an impact, and eject or reorganize the other 80%.


Here are some examples:

  • Emails: Set a filter to immediately file every email with the word “unsubscribe” in it to an optional folder.  This move makes your inbox a place for productivity and getting things done. Later, you can fly through the unessential emails much faster when you address them at a time of your  Create other rules, personalized to you, such as a rule that sends all your personal emails to a personal mailbox that you can check during your lunch hour or before/after normal business hours.
  • Meetings: Implement a strict policy of setting agendas for all meetings.  Require that every meeting has a clear purpose, specific topics to be discussed, and a defined end time.  Additionally, consider designating certain times for meetings and leaving other blocks of time free for “focused work.”  You can also encourage short, stand-up meetings for quick updates, which can help keep meetings concise and to-the-point.
  • Task Management: Use a prioritization system to categorize tasks by urgency and importance.  Focus on the urgent/important tasks first, even if they’re big.  There’s a good book called “Eat That Frog,” and the metaphorical frog is the bigger task that seems so daunting, you never even get started.  Delegate tasks that are important, but not “urgent” to others, and schedule time in your calendar for tasks that take longer, treating them like an appointment or meeting that you cannot miss.  I personally use a strategy an old mentor taught me, called “The Six Most and Vital One” (although I’ve trimmed down the “six” to just “three”).  With this strategy, you write down the three most important things you need to do that day, and the one vital thing you will not end your work day without finishing!



AUTOMATE:  Set it and forget it

Once you’ve streamlined tasks, automate all you possibly can.  Examine all the bite-size tasks left over after optimizing and determine how they can be accomplished without human interaction.

Example:  There are lots of ways to automate activities around the house to save time, such as the subscription services offered by online retailers.  You can, for example, arrange to automatically purchase many of the items you regularly need and have them mailed to you every few weeks or months.  Once you’ve automated such tasks (set it) you can then “forget it” and spend your time focused on things that are more productive, fun or both.

Likewise, tech-enabled appliances can make mundane tasks such as grocery shopping more automated.

One example:  Smart refrigerators often come with super-wide-angle cameras mounted inside the fridge, allowing you to see your inventory from your smartphone while you’re at the grocery store.

Bonus:  Automating tasks not only frees up time and mental energy, but also helps to ensure you make fewer mistakes.  If you automate actions that need to be taken, you can greatly lower the risk of frustrating human errors, such as not paying an important bill.

OUTSOURCE:  Take it off your plate

Can’t automate it?  Pass it off to someone else.

Outsourcing means delegating, which can require a big mental shift if you believe you’re the only person in your life capable of performing certain tasks and that your fingerprints must be on virtually every activity within your company (or department or family).

…but remember, you want to focus on the 20% of your actions that yield 80% of the results, so taking the bulk of your daily tasks off your plate can free up the time and energy to do so.

One great way to outsource is by hiring a virtual assistant to perform tasks, do research into topics you need to know more about, and so on.  A virtual assistant can make a dinner reservation or doctor’s appointment, find and send the perfect gift, gather information and medical reports on a health condition a family member is experiencing, and even manage projects (on the high end).

Example:  You’re lying in bed at the end of the day, when you suddenly remember that you need to make an appointment to see the dentist, so you alert your virtual assistant.  He/she is obviously not going to make the appointment immediately (in the middle of the night), but the point is, you are done as soon as you send that request!  …done worrying about it, thinking about it, and even doing it!  All you have to do is show up!

Best advice:  Start small on tasks that you feel aren’t mission-critical.  A few good outsourcing experiences may very well encourage you to farm out bigger tasks that free up serious extra time and energy.


Bonus:  Learn how to use Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).  I personally LOVE ChatCPT and pay for the premium version.  It helps me with work, which as coming up with good podcast ideas.  It also helps me with tasks at home… I just asked it today which new WiFi extenders were compatible with my current router and repeaters so that I can simply add one more, in order to get a better signal on our back patio.  Turns out, ChatGPT found me one that simply plugs into the wall and that’s it… done



Your time is a rare and valuable resource.  Once it’s spend, it’s gone.  You can’t buy more of it, and it’s entirely too scarce, so start using it to your full advantage.  These strategies above can help you implement tasks more efficiently or eliminate them entirely, leaving you with more bandwidth to focus on building a great life for yourself and the people you care about most.

If you or someone you know might benefit from reading this month’s Coach’s Corner article, please feel free to pass it along to any family member, friend, or co-worker you think would enjoy it…

…and if you’d like to consider a potential 2nd opinion on your retirement plan, estate plan, and investment portfolio, CLICK HERE to take the first steps to answer a few questions and get an intro call set up on our calendar.

‘till next time!