"What Can I Cut Out of My Weekly Schedule in Order to Increase My Efficiency?"



From: "Business Course I" by Gary North
Lesson 55

What is there to cut? And why?

"Cutting" is generally painful, or at least a bit of work. Therefore, you should be certain about the wisdom of cutting.

In this case, the subject is a schedule, so the entity to be cut is an activity. Or maybe there is an alternative...?

But there is nothing to cut!

This is the same old excuse offered by everyone. "I can not cut my expenses." "I can not cut my vises." Or even, "I can not cut my weight."

After all, if it were so easily cut, you would have done so long ago, right?

But it is not true. Put your mind to it, and you can cut - assuming you are certain about the wisdom.

In my case, I feel like there are no activities to cut because I can identify many activities for which I already lack sufficient time. Just to name a few:

Also, I have a number of activities which can not be eliminated. The time spend is sufficient, but can not be reduced. To name a few:

To complete my inventory of activities, I will also list these, which have already been eliminated.

But even if I had room to cut...

Why should I cut?

This question must be answered. The wisdom of cutting must be identified. Besides justifying the "benefit" of paying the "cost," this answer also serves to fuel motivation. Think what you could do with a few extra hours per week! Motivated yet?

Where there's a will there's a way.

I could dream up a whole list of activities that I could take on with extra hours. But I need not even go that far. Target activities are already identified: those listed at top which lack time.

Here is what I cut.

The categories identified so far are:

  1. time already short
  2. time sufficient, but none to spare
  3. time already cut

Of that remaining, by far the largest category is sleep. But I will not compromise on sleep.

Next largest is my day job. I also will not compromise on time at my day job, at least for now.

Only one activity remains: reading the news.

Should I cut back on the news?

By "news" I do not mean mainstream media. Watch mainstream media and your loss is a double whammy: you lose time and your understanding goes backwards.

I spend a significant amount of time reading "alternative" news sites. When so doing, I relax and I take pleasure.

But more importantly, I follow trends. If I had not been reading "news" I would have been surprised by the Great Depression 2020. With hindsight going back to the crash of 2008 and unprecedented money spending, on top of the LTCM crisis and bailout of 1997, the market crash 1987 when the precedent was set for federal bailouts and moral hazard writ large, 1971..., 1933..., 1913... it should be clear that this Depression was inevitable.

That is hindsight. But how many saw this coming? Among the few, count Ron Paul. But there were others. And daily activity incrementally proved them right or wrong over the years.

Therefore I will not cut back on the news. Change is grist to the mills.

After all, this is a once-in-a-lifetime crash. Tomes will be written about this period in history. And we experience it live.

What's left?

I have no activities left to cut. Some are eliminated. Others, cut to the bone (for example, I live a quick bicycle ride from work). Still others, already short on time.

If I could find a way, I would "outsource" activities. For example, if I could find a maid to save time, I would employ one. But my needs are minimal, so payback is mininal. Maybe I should consider a "digital assistant" or perhaps an artifical intelligence (AI) assistant. I will think about it. But for now I figure training the assistant would cost more than the benefit.

Here is what is left: efficiency. I will pursue my activities with greater efficiency. For example, when I sit down to work, I will implement proven tools such as Mise en place.


This topic boils down to one word: efficiency. To ask "What can I cut?" is to seek efficiency. That is, I will spend more valuable, "20% time" on the 20% of my activities for which I need to invest more energy (top list).

Before making cuts and seeking efficiency, ask for what purpose. History shows killing machines that were extraordinarily efficient. But such efficiencies were crimes against humanity. Efficiency is not an end in itself.

Once demonstrating the wisdom of efficiency, look for what to cut.

For me, I have shown to myself that I have already cut the fat. How can I increase my efficiency?

I will increase efficiency by working more efficiently. That is, I will spend the same amount of time, but at 16x productivity.


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