Unprecedented(!) opportunity to improve your business
Avoid three common mistakes – take actions that could make a big business difference
For all of us our time and how it is used is a main business assets – even in COVID times it is possible to take some control of time and how we use it.
Be re-assured - this blog is not about “better lists”. Lists can work – but only if underpinned by avoiding some common mistakes. Avoiding these is likely to cost nothing except a bit of time and is likely to increase productivity and profit significantly. There are simple steps and actions here, including what to do with elephants!
It is true that one of the most effective ways to improve what you achieve
and how productive you are every day
is to sort out lingering time management issues
Major mistake - Not prioritising and not knowing what is really productive
Basic question - What would you do that would really make a difference to business growth or survival – be encouraged to put some concentrated time into this!
Make it a priority to grab hold of time to work on this difference and how to make it happen. Sometimes things like doing this grabbing simply end up on the back burner, squeezed out by daily urgencies and hassles. Knowing and focusing on the clear priorities – the important but not urgent things - is often pushed back and back – and back by our time enemies:
- The “urgency enemy” - things that smother out important actions – urgent calls on our time like sorting out the client demands or the accountant’s information take over our days.
- The “distractions enemy” - things that barge in to our head space. First of all realise how much time these drain away and then actively use tactics to STOP! Depending on what it is and your resources is there anyone else who can do it? Or realistically does it need doing at all! One example can be time on ineffective marketing actions (lots of unhelpful time on social media maybe?!)
- The “non productive wasting of time enemy” - what wastes time and it is clear there is no business benefit at all – will limit the time or plan how to get the enemy squashed all together. Time frittered on Facebook etc can well be this enemy.
ACTION - 4 steps to get to focus on the important
- Agree with yourself what it is important. What is it you really deeply want to achieve?
- Next write quickly how having done it will be a benefit to you – ie see the positive impact of focusing on it. For instance having a practical marketing plan or improving bookkeeping, improving cost management or time with people who really matter.
- Estimate how much time it would really take to think it through. Break it into smaller chunks and put time in the diary to tackle each chunk – and really set aside the time to DO IT!
- “Eat that elephant” of important tasks a chunk at a time. What has been hanging around as must sort but keeps being put off – block out time in the diary and blank away any distractions.
Common mistake - Not managing distractions – including those when working at home
Distractions come in many guises – but anything that takes our focus is a distraction. Think about what distracts you and then how to get rid of causes. Workspaces are often a source of many distractions. This can include what is jumbled up on a physical desktop or what comes crashing through on computers and devices.
The Real Business Club has helped people be more productive by business owners addressing daily distractions.
Addressing distractions simply leads to business growth – Take simple steps:
- Organize the workspace. Remove physical distractions or clutter.
- Clear out are those that invade your head space – often based on our computers and devices.
- If you can make sure other people or animals don’t invade this space.
ACTION – Check out if your home business workspace is helping with efficiency – if not then change what can be changed, be creative too.
ACTION - Turn off auto alerts for Facebook, for Twitter, for incoming emails etc etc. Try turning off the phone and alerts for the time when concentration will make the world of difference to getting a job done. If someone wants you then leave a good message to say you will get back to them.
Doing these things improves simply getting things done, accuracy, thinking time, prevents procrastination and gets to fully finished tasks (not half done hassles that come back to annoy!!)
It’s an easy to do mistake - Taking on too much – including not saying “No” or “Not yet” to yourself and sometimes to clients!
Ever been asked if “You couldn’t just help with this could you?” or “This won’t take long….”?
The consequences are often that tasks are not completed. Why not test out the useful art of saying no to the task but yes to the person?
This skill helps anyone be assertive without being rude, good feelings with that person or that client do remain. If they start to lean on you – either find out what the real urgency is (and is it your problem anyway?) practice ways to say “I can help – but not right now!”
ACTION – In future before you cave in and do the task have a think on this - “Is this person’s need my issue anyway?” or “How can I say not now but how about XX time?” And this should be a time that suits you better and when you will give them better attention anyway!
ACTION - Learning to say “No – not right now but I will get back to you” or turning off the phone but leaving a clear message can be the first step – and does not mean lost clients!
The Real Business Club business coaching helps business owners achieve what they want. For instance transformed focus, sorting out a home workspace – a Reading coaching client said
“I had not realised the impact on me of not having a proper set up work station at home. Now I have set up a small space and even doing this has cleared my mind and got my family knowing “This is the Office”. My admin is transformed. Thank you!”
If you want to build your business and reduce your stress levels then talk to us!
Working out how to use your precious time better – need some expert help?
Contact Isabel if you want to achieve more, feel better and improve what you do and get to a clear way forward:
Contact her on 07759 074864 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Dawn leads our team delivering common sense clever finance services to businesses.