Archive for September, 2012

Don’t Waste Your Most Valuable Asset

Are you focused on what it takes to succeed? Ask yourself this…

•   How will you know if you have succeeded? Do you have a clearly articulated vision for your business, a destination that when reached equates to success?

•   Have you created written plans that identify mileposts on your journey to success?

If the answer to these questions is “no”, then how do you know where to focus your time and attention? Most business owners and leaders don’t and as a result they get involved in activities that aren’t the best use of their time.

Appropriate Tasks:  I meet many business owners who spend hours working, and expending thought energy, on tasks that someone on their team should perform. Determine how much an hour of your time is ideally worth. With your hourly rate in mind, look at the tasks you are performing. Are you working on activities appropriate for your hourly rate? If your ideal rate is $300 per hour, why are you wasting time performing tasks that can be performed by someone you pay $20/hour?

The second measure of appropriateness is whether your time is directed towards those activities that align with your quarterly goals. Your goals and plans identify what must be accomplished for you to achieve what you desire, and they, therefore, prioritize your focus. Your time is best used in pursuit of those activities on the plan. All other tasks should be delegated or deleted since they are distractions that divert your attention.

Time Wasters:  When your precious time is consumed by working on inappropriate tasks (defined as those you should delegate or delete because they don’t advance towards your goals), you can’t accomplish more important tasks without working extended hours. In “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey tells us to never sacrifice what’s important for things of lesser importance. How much further could you advance your company if your time is consumed only by tasks appropriate for your attention?

How to Regain Control?:  The term “time management” implies that we are able to manage time. This is obviously impossible…time marches on regardless of any effort from us. While you can’t manage time, you can manage your use of this most valuable asset…self management instead of time management.

So, what can be done to better manage how you spend your time? The following are strategies and techniques I use with clients:

•   Build and follow a written plan by week for what you want to accomplish over your next 90 days

•   Track where you are spending your time

•   Prioritize what’s important to you, consider personal, family, professional, spiritual roles

•   Build your weekly calendar around what’s important – become proactive
•   Value your time and do not spend time on tasks that should be delegated or outsourced

Conclusion:  Recognize that you need to work ON your business instead of IN it if you want to get the most from your business. You need to have a vision of where you want the business to go, build plans to get there and focus your time and thoughts on those strategies and tactics that will get you where you want to go. Take back control over your time so that you can focus ON growing your company.  

September 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment