In our business coaching program seminars, the biggest weakness of most entrepreneurs i notice is how they are using their time.
When coaching business owners we frequently see that they are wasting an enormous amount of hours on low-value activities.
Are you one of them?
There are 3 key questions you can ask yourself to find out whether you are maximizing your time or wasting it at work.
1. WHAT’S THE HIGHEST VALUE AND BEST USE OF MY TIME?
What are the 2 or 3 activities you do that really make a difference to how much money your business makes?
Amazingly, very few people have ever asked themselves this. Yes, they vaguely know what are useful things to do at work, but they aren’t crystal clear about what really, really matters.
In this area the old 80/20 Principle really reigns supreme. Almost nothing you do grows your business, most of it has minimal impact. So unless you identify what really counts you will spend the next 20 years getting lower results than you are capable of.
Here is a business coaching list of activities that commonly increase the revenue of companies:
- Calling potential customers
- Emailing/mailing potential customers
- Staying in touch with potential customers
- Creating ads to promote what you sell
- Finessing your 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
There are more of course, but if you were doing just the ones above, your company would be making wads of money.
The trouble is, almost all entrepreneurs are spending hardly any time on doing this income-increasing stuff.
Instead, they are being consumed by seemingly urgent but really relatively inconsequential tasks.
Which brings us to the second critical question:
2. WHAT ARE MY TIME TRAPS?
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?
Together these constitute your time traps that are reducing your income, slowing your business down and limiting how wealthy and successful you become in your life.
Unless you take the time to observe and analyse your days and identify these insidious time-wasters, you are doomed to average achievement levels.
This brings us to the third critical question to ask.
3. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS?
It’s not enough to merely become aware of the problem (although awareness is a level that is beyond what most entrepreneurs have achieved). You need to now decide what tangible changes you are going to make to your week to combat the time-suckers and dramatically increase time spent on the ultra-valuable activities.
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 income-increasing activities, will you take your company to the next level and start making really big money.
Why not take ten minutes now to generate answers to these immensely important questions, then act immediately on what you discover.
There’s no better use of your time than working out the best use of your time.