Take A No-Compromise Approach To Managing Time
Last week I was doing a Business Breakthrough Session with one of my clients, helping him to get his business to the next level. Towards the end of the meeting we talked about implementation of what we had just mapped out and got to speak about the topic of time management. My bottom line approach to time management is to manage time the same way you would handle money. You budget for it and expect a high Net Profit. If time is your most valuable resource, then why would you treat it any less diligently than money?
Since you only have a finite amount of time, the goal is to be as effective and efficient so you can maximize what you can accomplish with your time.
The more productive you are, the more you invest it on things that give you a high return, the more you spend your time on high value tasks, the higher the net profit will be – meaning the more time you have available at the end of the day.
On the other hand, we can waste our time by procrastinating, being lazy and acting without intent. Even worse, we can let our time be used up by someone else. We have to manage ourselves as strictly as we would manage our budget! Here are some perspectives to consider:
Connect to Your Vision
Your Vision describes want your business and life will look like in the future. Your vision is what you channel all of your resources toward achieving. It’s the direction in which you lead your company. It’s at the top of the scoreboard. Without a vision you don’t have a destination. Without a vision you are simply spending time on whatever is in front of you, without discerning if the things you are doing are at the slightest useful. Would you do that with money?
In order to manage yourself, and your time, like money, you have to fully take pride and ownership in the vision you are working towards. If you don’t believe you can achieve your vision, you continue to spend time on unimportant things.
Leaders fully believe that they can accomplish great things and they prioritize and budget their time accordingly. Where do you have doubts about accomplishing your vision? Those doubts can be great time robbers that subconsciously influence you to spend time on low value tasks.
Identify Your Essentials
Part of any budget are variable costs and fixed costs. Variable costs are mostly related to the cost of producing the product or service that is being sold.
Fixed costs do not change with an increase or decrease in the amount of goods or services produced. Fixed costs are expenses that have to be paid by a company no matter what, just to keep the door open.
The same way you have to cover these “costs" you have to invest your time in either a) developing or delivering your product/service and b) doing essential admin tasks to keep your company running.
Your Essentials represent the time you invest in making your vision a reality. No compromise. It is critical that you identify what all the Essentials are. The Essentials represent the most important work that needs to be done. It’s the work that must be done without compromise. If you don’t budget time for your Essentials, you won’t get the general work done … and that will compromise your business and your life.
If you don’t have a team working for/with you, then a big portion of your Essentials will be in operations: delivering the product/service, servicing clients, marketing, sales, creating systems.
To grow a successful business you can’t do all of these things by yourself and do them properly. The biggest downside here is that you don’t leverage your expertise and end up doing a lot of non-dollar producing activities. You might even compromise quality.
Your goal has to be to be that you spend your time on the things where you can maximally leverage your skill and get help for all the other tasks.
High Effectiveness and Efficiency Equal A Time Profit
The same way you always strive to improve your Gross Profit Margin to be financially successful, the same way you want to increase your efficiencies in order to have more time left at the end of the day. Simply put, if you don’t manage the time you invest in your Essentials and become more effective and efficient, you won’t have a life, just work.
Many Business Owners talk about their desire to balancing work and personal time. You know that your business is profitable if you show a Net Profit. The same way you know that you are managing your time properly if you have time for a personal life. Personal time is your Return on Investment for the time you put into work and leading your company.
You’ll never achieve the gift of free time if you don’t take a no-compromise approach to managing time.