The top three most challenging issues business owners face tend to be: 1) Not enough time in the day 2) Not enough profit to make the business fun and 3) The severe energy drain that makes work/life balance very tough (I know some of you might be thinking “life… balance… unicorns…”). Don’t worry there are straightforward resolutions. We can resolve all three but, in this blog post, let’s talk about the first challenge. Time. The thing that seems to stop when you’re embarrassed (so that you can truly savor every second of your humiliation) and speed up when you’re having fun. It’s universal and ultimately the root cause of most other business challenges. So let’s tackle it with some simple tips and tricks. Before we dive in, let the following sink in.
“Busy is the new stupid” Bill Gates
1. Learn to say “NO!” Weird first step right? Not really. Before you can become proactive with how you deploy time you need to take some back from the world. To put it simply, time is taken up by tasks and we assign these tasks to ourselves (be it proactively by scheduling them or reactively by not saying “No!” to them). There are countless “favors” and repetitive tasks you do in a day that are of a bureaucratic/procedural nature and add little to no value to your business or personal life. Picking up something for someone, answering the most basic of questions for your employees for the umpteenth time, filling out similar paperwork over and over again, and my personal favorite random vendor meetings. How can you complete these tasks without your direct interaction or better yet not do them at all?
Allow yourself the next 2 minutes and write down tasks you do that don’t result in a direct value for you or your business. Later decide if one of the following methods is a fit or if you can simply say “nope, not doing it” to those tasks.
2. Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. We’ll say it once more, delegate. We know you can do it better but your time is the most valuable resource in this whole game. If you spend 5 hours every week doing something and it would take 20 hours to train some existing resources to do it. That’s an investment that pays off in 1 month. Do it!
Allow yourself another minute and jot down the things you have to do today that someone else can do. Inspect and critique until you are satisfied but don’t do the monkey work. I fully realize this will sound bad but I want you to remember you are worth more than monkey work. If you observe and look around, there will be people ready to step up and help you with these tasks.
3. Schedule the big rocks. You don’t need to specify the time but, define 2-3 most important things that need to be accomplished each day for the next week. Schedule it all out on Monday and check the items off as you complete them. If you are not proactive about managing your tasks then your tasks will manage you. Being proactive requires 1 hour a week dedicated to being proactive. The rest will fall in place.
Again, allow yourself two minutes and set a recurring reminder in your calendar for this exercise: write down what needs to be done to further your cause for the rest of this week. You can let The Viziers Inc help you gain more time by conducting an operations audit of your business. After careful evaluation of your goals and definition of success, we help design and execute initiatives for your business that help you and your team get closer to their goal.