One of the biggest issues of leaders and entrepreneurs is their use of their time.
Below are 3 key questions you need to ask yourself to find out to help you maximizing your time at work.
- Where should you be spending time – and where shouldn’t you –
- What are your biggest time wasters?
- What are you going to do about it?
1. Where you should be spending time
What are the 2 or 3 activities you do that really make a difference to your business?
Paretos 80/20 Principle really reigns supreme.
What are the marketing activities that you do that will generate more business for you?
Here are some activities that help you generate more leads and conversions – building more revenue, profit and ultimately more cash in your bank:
• Calling potential customers
• Emailing/ mailing potential customers
• Staying in touch with potential customers
• Creating ads to promote what you sell
• Finessing you sales presentation
• Testing different marketing techniques
• Getting PR for your business
• Contacting old customers
• Developing new products and services
• Studying how to grow your business faster
• Improving the performance of key staff
How much time are you spending on any of the above?
Instead, they are being consumed by seemingly urgent but really relatively inconsequential tasks.
Which brings us to the second critical question:
2. What are your biggest time wasters?
What are the low value things you are doing that are taking up much of the day? And who are the people who are stealing your valuable hours?
Unless you take the time to observe and analyse your days and identify these insidious time wasters, you are doomed to average achievement levels.
Some of mine are –
- looking at emails,
- continually looking at social media,
- not planning my day,
- procrastination ( I will do it tomorrow) ,
- meeting after meeting – that is not relevant to growing the business,
- focussing on internal politics, doing repetitive tasks that can be outsourced,
- not being able to find things from my untidy desk
- helping everybody else withour focussing on my task at hand
- managing crises
This brings us to the third critical question to ask.
3. What are you going to do about it?
It’s not enough to merely become aware of the problem (although awareness is key). You need to now decide what tangible changes you are going to make to your week to combat the time wasters and dramatically increase time spent on the key activities that will help you grow your business.
There is a a cool diagram called the 4 Ds where you can allocate all your activities…. And then focus on 1 and 2!!
- Important and Urgent – DO IT
- Important and Not Urgent – DEFER IT (diarise for specific tmes in time blocks – this is really cool stuff)
- Not Important and Urgent – DELEGATE IT
- Not Important and Not Urgent – DUMP IT
How can you stop certain people interrupting you? How can you reduce average meeting times?
Can you schedule an amount of time each day to focus on what’s really going to move the needle for your company?
Can you do your email in 2 or 3 blocks each day?
Can you work away from your office a day or two per week on these important tasks?
Only when you make new rules and restructure your week so that you’re spending large amounts of time on the IMPORTANT, will you start advancing your career and business .
What are your time wasters?
Analyse your time and allocate it to one of the 4 Ds… focus on the DO IT and DEFER IT