40 | Take 5-Hours To Save 5-Minutes

Hi, I’m Yath! Thank you for being here. You are receiving this because you signed up to my weekly newsletter on self-growth and mindful productivity.

Hey friends,

Recently, I have been systemising various components of my life to make regular processes more efficient. As such here’s an extract I recently revisited from the book What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School. I thought it explains my rationale behind it all best.

Have a read and I’ll explain it afterwards.

Several months ago I [Founder of IMG] participated in a pro-am tennis exhibition. Just before we were to go on the court, I happened to overhear a conversation between our opponents.

The pro, who was one of the top-ranked players in the world, said to his amateur partner, ‘Do you want to win this match or do you just want to play some tennis?

The amateur, who was a little intimidated, replied rather sheepishly, ‘Well, I guess I would like to win the match.’ ‘Fine,’ the pro said. ‘Then serve and get off the court!

This may have been the way for the pro to win that particular match, but it is hardly the best strategy for building a strong doubles team against tough competition over the long term.

I chuckled to myself at the time, but aren’t there a lot of people in business guilty of this same attitude?

They would rather do it themselves than take the time to teach someone else to do it for them. They feel they could be most effective if everyone else would just get out of their way.

In the book, this extract is from a chapter is titled ‘Take Five Hours To Save Five Minutes’ (hence the title of this article) and I think it explains my exact motive behind a systems-based approach.

Whilst in this example, it demonstrates a pro tennis player’s reluctance to teach his amateur partner, on a more personal level this is no different to our own reluctance to taking time to fix our own inefficiencies or bottlenecks.

There are several tasks in all of our lives that regularly occur, such as replying to emails. Whilst not as extreme, taking five minutes to preset an email signature could save you a few seconds every time you write an email.

Taking this further, for creatives like me, the power of the initial time investment may be far greater. For example, every week I upload a new video on my YouTube channel and there is an entire process behind each one. It often goes something like:

Idea → script → film → edit → publish → marketing

There are a few bottlenecks at play, two being scripting and editing. Both of these typically require the most time. Whilst the editing is not something I can fix at this point as with very little revenue it would be difficult for me to hire an editor. The scripting is a regular process and something I could make more efficient. So that’s exactly what I did. I took some time in Notion to carefully craft a template. This took me a few hours to carefully consider many components, but now there is little friction in fleshing out an idea as I can bring up a template in just one click.

Take-Home (TL;DR)

Look at your regular processes and see if there any tasks that may benefit from a systems-based approach. Initially, you may have to put in those 5-hours to format a template or create a database but once ready, this could save you 5-minutes or greater every single time.

Let me know by smashing [REPLY], what cool systems do you use? I’m trying to incorporate a few more into my life.


This Week’s Quote 🎯

‘Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.’ ― Naval Ravikant

This Week’s Recommendation 🚀

📚 Book — Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I should have probably read this book a long time ago, but as the saying goes no time better than the present. I’ve had this book on my reading list for about 2-years now and so I finally got around to it. I’m still making my way through it but it hasn’t disappointed thus far. An incredible deep dive on the various factors that make certain individuals stand out from their peers.

This Week on YouTube 🎥

Do you take notes? Here’s a 3-step framework I use to take effective notes using Notion. I’ve included a free template in the description.


That’s all for this week — be safe, be happy!

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