If you want to build the business you need to have the life you want, you are going to use time. There are, however, two problems with time:
1. It’s free so some people don’t realise the true value of it, so waste it
2. You can’t get any more of it , there’s only 24 hours in a day, that’s it
So here are my 5 top tips on making the best use of your time.
1. Focus on what is important
Focus on what you need to do, the important activities that get you from where you are now to where you want to be, based on your goals and vision. If you don’t do these things it won’t happen.
Action: simplify, eliminate or delegate those tasks that are urgent but not important.
2. Dealing with interruptions
Interruptions are bad! If you’re interrupted when in the flow of something important you lose the time taken to deal with the interruption, plus at least fifteen minutes to work out where you were and start again. Interruptions stop you from growing your business.
Action: avoid interruptions
• Stop being the answer person – get the team to think
• Set up systems
• Have recognised ‘surgery’ times or a daily team huddle
3. Fix problems
A lot of time is wasted by dealing with symptoms of problems, the immediate problem that arises and not the root cause.
For example if you have cash flow problems and you’re constantly spending time juggling with paying suppliers and chasing money from customers. Do you know what the root cause is? What is the real problem, profitability, your billing system or something else? Until you find the root cause you’ll spend valuable time constantly dealing with the symptoms.
Action: always find the root of the problem and deal with it, don’t spend forever on the symptoms
4. Learn lessons – don’t repeat mistakes
One thing that I have learned is that people sometimes have short memories; mistakes repeat themselves and waste time for everyone. If you have systems and procedures allow the team to update them and make them part of the solution.
Action: Be like Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, where he learned how to improve each time he came back to life. Live, die, repeat. Update your systems and procedures each time so that you can learn and get better
5. Ask the right questions about what you are doing
By asking these three questions in the context of you goals:
What do we/I need to stop doing?
What do we/I need to start doing?
What should we /I continue doing?
You will then know where to spend your free, but ultimately the most valuable resource you have, TIME.