Are you one of those people who never seem to have enough time to get things done? Many of the business owners I speak with never seem to have enough time … now maybe they’ve just said that because they don’t want me to ask them some challenging questions … or it’s because they really do feel that they never have enough time.
Have you ever met one of those business owners who seems to have all the time in the word though? Those who always have time to fit in an extra meeting and still be home early enough to have dinner with the kids, play with them, help them with their homework and read them a bedtime story.
A wise man once said that as a business owner we can spend as much as we like, as we can always go and earn some more money. But once our time is gone, its gone forever, so spend it wisely !
So what’s the difference between these two groups of people, one seemingly in a constant battle against time, and the other with all the time in the world?
Focus, Clarity and Priority
Do you want to be in control of your time? Well I’ve got good news. You already are ! You decide how you spend each minute of the day. You just need to realise it and take some steps to manage your precious resource more effectively. Think about each minute as a new crisp £10 note. You wouldn’t squander it away quite as easily then would you?
So first things first. Figure out how you are currently spending your time, and how your team are spending theirs, by completing a simple time log. Just list everything you do in 10 minute chunks from the moment you get up, to the moment you go to bed. Do this for a week and then look at your five biggest time wasters.
- Can you introduce a new system or procedure to reduce the time taken?
- Can you train someone else to do it?
- Can you delegate it to someone else?
- Or can you do all three?
Then, think about where your time should go.
Make a list of all your routine daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly and quarterly tasks. Break them down into time frames. How much time should you take for each. Which ones are priority tasks for the owner of the business. Then start planning these into your default diary with specific time frames and with priorities and make sure you take care of your highest priority tasks at the start of the week.
Write yourself a daily task list. Handwrite it before you leave work for the following day. Prioritise the tasks and put timescales against each. Be specific with your timescales, i.e. 20 mins, 45 mins. Dont just block out one hour here and there as you haven’t really thought hard enough about the task.
At the end of the week do your Friday List for the following week alongside your Monday Task List.
On a Monday morning have a WIP (work in progress) meeting with your team. This is a great communications tool to see how each person’s task list impacts on everyone else.
TIME is your greatest resource. As the business owner, you need to focus on those tasks which are highest value to you and the business. Get to it and let me know how you plan to get that time back.