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Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. - Archimedes
Wiktionary defines leverage as any influence which is compounded or used to gain an advantage; or to use, to gain advantage, to take full advantage of an existing thing.
When we think of leverage, we often think of it in terms of finances, such as purchasing real estate with debt and its relation to home value appreciation, but anything can be leveraged: money, people, assets, time, and so on.
You can leverage time and people to increase your personal productivity in the following ways:
- Demand short deadlines of yourself for your most important daily activities. Parkinson's Law states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. In other words, if you are given eight hours to complete a project, the deadline will force you to focus solely on completing the task before you and working on only the bare essentials.
- Batch similar activities together such as listening to voicemail messages and returning phone calls at one specific time during the day. Check email and respond to email at one specific time during the day, and so on.
- Establish systems that save you time, money, and energy.
- Delegate less important tasks to administrative assistants or other coworkers who can do an even better job than you in a shorter time frame.
- Consider virtual assistants as well as personal services in order to leverage your time so that you can focus on the truly important things in life.