Why You’re Not Really THAT Busy, You’re Just Inefficient (and how to change that)

Does that headline bother you a little?  Well, it should.  But let me ask you this:  why is Bill Gates able to run a BILLION dollar organization with THOUSANDS of employees; yet most business people can barely have time to run their $200,000 or $1M Revenue organization with 2 or 10 people?  Before you answer that this is because he is rich or has people working for him; this was not ALWAYS the case, even for him.  Read on…..

The MOST popular speech I get asked to give to companies and organizations is called “Turn Your Torrent of To-Do’s into a Deluge of Done’s.”  I hear all the time how “everyone needs help with Time Management.”

Sadly, for most business people, it’s almost never because they REALLY have too much to do.  It’s often because they are incredibly inefficient with their time.

Here is what I want you to do: sit down with a big posterboard or paper and put your days at the top and hours down the side.  Then, being COMPLETELY honest with yourself, at the end of the day for the next week, list out EVERY task you do EVERY day in 15 minute increments.  Why 15 minute increments?  Because my experience is that most business owners lose hours every day from all the little things that they allow to distract them.  Here are a several common time-wasters, and how you can minimize their impacts:

1.  Spending 15 Minutes updating your Facebook Status (LinkedIn/Twitter) every couple of hours (or every hour).    TIP:  Realize that it is fairly rare that people will post emergencies on Facebook (as in, they need your product/service in the next 10 minutes; or, you have just won $1,000,000, but have to comment in the next 15 minutes to get it).

2.  Reading every e-mail the minute it comes in, or personally answering every call.  TIP – Turn off the E-Mail pop-up notification/noise, and your ringer on the phone.  Then, depending on your business, schedule 2 – 4 specific times/day to read and reply to e-mails or answer phone calls.   Or, better yet, get an assistant and take some time to teach them how to screen your emails/calls  for you.  Assuming you can make more than $10-$20/hour focusing on your business, the time and dollars you invest in this help will more than pay for itself.

And, if you are saying that you are the only person who can answer customer calls or emails, please go back to the Bill Gates example.  🙂

3.  Not spending time to learn to use Tools & Technology that increase your efficiency.  TIP – Take a class, or spend a few minutes with some of your peers (or your Consultant/Coach) and learn what works for them.  There are a multitude of time-saving software programs and hardware devices.   Success rewards speed; and if you are not using the right tools, your  competitor just might be.

4.   Having an “Open Door” policy, but never defining with your team the rules around how often they can come to you with a “Got a minute?”  TIP – Yes, you want to be accessible to your team; but they can become dependent on you for every little decision, which will only add to your distractions.  In addition, your ideal focus should be to have a business that runs without YOU; so learn to trust the talent you have (if you cannot trust your team, then you should not have hired them – a topic for another BLOG).

5.   Having the belief that you can “multi-task.”  TIP – This is a tough pill to swallow, but scientific research has shown that all you can do is “Serial Task.” Moving from one task to the next to the next is costing you time when you have to re-focus yourself.  Yes, you can walk and chew gum at the same time; but have you ever seen an Olympic sprinter chewing gum during a race?  Of course not, because he or she knows that SINGLE-MINDED FOCUS is what is required to be the best during that time.  Champions learn to FOCUS on tasks so that they can create the best possible result just about every time.  Run now, chew gum later.

I welcome your comments and feedback on this; especially AFTER you have started the time-tracking exercise.  Give it a shot…even if it gives you back just a couple of hours/day to focus on more value-added tasks and/or enjoy with your family, wouldn’t that be amazing?

————————————————————————————-

Besides helping business owners create businesses that work on their own, without enormous time and stress for the owner; we work with clients to create unique strategies and tactics that help them increase both sales AND profits quickly.

More Sales + More Profits + More Free Time = a VERY HAPPY and RELAXED Business Owner.  This year, a client of mine was able to take a strategy we developed in the first month and close an opportunity worth several thousand dollars (This makes my help Free.   I’m not cheap, but I AM worth the investment).

Be ready to have your business TRANSFORMED to True Greatness. Click here and schedule a free 15 minute Strategy Call; where you will get at least 2 new ideas for your business, and we will see if you are ready for the next step.

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Comments

  • Karma  On March 1, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Nothing has taught me evaluate my time usage like going freelance. I’m painfully conscious of all the tasks that business workers get paid to do every day: make coffee, clean their desk, purchase office equipment, get the mail…the list is endless. Now my dishes begin to pile up because no one is paying me a salary to do the dishes! I joke (or do I?), but when you begin to work for a client rather than a boss, you learn to manage your time or lose the roof over your head. BTW, I use toggl.com for time management. It’s free, and just as easy to use as posterboard…plus at the end of the month, you get nifty charts and graphs.

    Unfortunately constant email attentiveness has become the norm. I once had a client who threatened a lawsuit because I hadn’t responded to an email he sent an hour earlier. Another time my friend was shocked that I went out of town for the weekend and didn’t check my email. Simply because technology makes it possible for us to be “on” 24-7 doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

  • Mary  On March 2, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Some of these points hit home. Changes need to be made in my life.

  • arkayevans  On March 3, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    I found your suggestions very helpful. The multitasking falacy has often left me struggling beneath a wave of paperwork, and I’m willing to bet that maintaining a singular focus would do wonders for my efficiency. Thanks for sharing.

  • Estelle  On March 5, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Really True ! Thank you for this !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: