As a kid I loved watching the TV show Land of the Lost. What could be more interesting than the adventures of a regular family trying to survive in the age of dinosaurs while fighting off Sleestaks (what were they anyway, aliens?). Being a series you knew they’d never find a time machine, but it was fun watching them try.
In business it can be easy to feel like this family, desperate to avoid getting eaten by a T-Rex (your big competitors) while wishing that a time machine really did exist to add more hours to your day.
Fear not, I’m here to help you Escape from the Land of Lost Business Owners!
How To Get More Done To Make More Money
Time is your most precious asset. You can’t buy more time. You can’t save time up. You get 24 hours in a day, and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Yet doesn’t it seem like some people have found a way to get around this? That they’ve discovered a watch like Hermione’s in Harry Potter, which allowed her to be in two places at once.
The trick is actually quite simple; focus.
Successful business owners know which activities generate the most profit and they spend the bulk of their time on those activities. It sounds simple, but so often we can get distracted by minutia and lose… wait for it… focus.
Big Brother is Watching You
I’m sure you think you are very efficient with your time. Most people do. In fact when I work with new coaching clients they often state they spend 70%, 80% or even 90% of their time on profit generating activities. The likelihood of that being true is about the same as the government hiding a few Sleestaks in Area 51.
I’m not saying my clients are dishonest, they are simply unaware of how they really spend their time. I bet you are in the same boat. Yes, I bet you also have a much lower percentage than you think.
Don’t believe me? Take the Big Brother challenge. Rescue Time* is a service that will track and report on exactly how your time is spent. The best part is that they offer a free plan, Solo Lite. Run it for a week and then tell me I’m wrong.
*This is an affiliate link, however I only promote services that I firmly believe will be a benefit to you.
Block and Tackle
I confess, I’ve got football on the brain (my beloved Packers are undefeated so far this year!). Even if you aren’t a fan of the sport you know that the front line defense is less about finesse and more about brute force. Bruce Lee was an amazing martial artist, with enough finesse for two or three people, but I don’t think he would have lasted long as an NFL defensive lineman.
While Rescue Time is a great tool for a time management reality check, I personally am not someone who can plan out their day in excruciating detail. One thing I hated about working in a large consulting firm was the need to track how every minute was spent. UGH.
When you are running from a giant T-Rex the important issue isn’t which route you took to escape, the important thing is that you did escape.
So how do I keep my focus without earmarking every minute? Easy – I block and tackle.
I set aside blocks of time for core activities. During that block of time I must focus on the assigned activity. Here are some of my key blocks;
- Servicing current clients
- Direct interaction with potential clients
- Developing new products and services
- Networking, marketing & promotion – including social media
- Content creation which includes blogging as well as hosting my radio show
- Administrative – yes you still need to get the grunt work done!
While focus is great, you are human. There will be times an important To Do may pop into your head. Or inspiration strikes during your administrative block. I recommend www.RememberTheMilk.com which is a free online service that fills this need and more. I absolutely love it!
How do you keep on track? Do you know how much of your time is really spent on growing your profits? Scared to find out the truth about how you spend your day? I double dog dare you to give it a week and find out.
Special Note: This post is part of a Monthly Blog Carnival to which I belong. Each month Tea Silvestre (@teasilvestre) will put out a topic that each person in the group must blog about. Visit her site, The Word Chef, to get a complete listing of all the perspectives on this month’s topic.
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