How To Get More Done In Less Time For Your Business
Written by Don Seckler on October 30, 2015 in Blog
Who among us does not want to work smarter (and less) versus harder (and more)? Sounds so good and simple in theory, but running a business can pull you in a million different directions and require you to wear dozens of hats – sometimes all in the same hour!
1) Upgrade the type of work you do
Instead of constantly working in your business, make deliberate efforts to spend more quality time working on your business by doing the specific things that bring you the biggest bang for your efforts. But first, you need to clearly identify exactly which actions create the most value for your business.
David Finkel’s Time Value Matrix tool suggests that 1 percent of a business owner’s actions generate about 50 percent of her results. Determining your personal “magic” or “highest-leverage work” might find you spending two hours at a Business After Hours mixer handing out brochures to prospective clients, eight of whom hire you the following week.
Perhaps coaching your son’s softball team feels like a lot of fun time that takes your focus off of work, but what if every parent of every participating child tells five people about your business? Think outside the box and make a list of every action you believe can yield huge dividends for a minimal investment of your time and energy.
2) Ditch the work you shouldn’t be doing
Now that you know where your energy should be directed, clear your loaded plate of the stuff that has no benefit to your business. Ditch the activities, clients, systems, and expenses that you know waste your time and money.
Hire someone to whom you can delegate all of the essential tasks that your business does require that you are currently doing to your own detriment. If you feel that you can’t justify another employee, think of it this way: You are actually costing yourself more money by doing it yourself because you are not spending that same time on a 1 percent high-return activity.
3) Plan your day
Before you go home or quit working for the day, plan tomorrow on paper. It can be just a brief outline, but if you start the next day with a clear outline of your goals, tasks, appointments, and deadlines, you’ll greatly increase your efficiency quotient. Prioritize your list items:
- Absolutely must be done today
- Would be great to get it done today
- If time allows, start on this today
Block your day’s work into morning and afternoon segments if that helps you, and if you’re motivated by rewards, cross each item off your list as you execute it. Anything left undone gets carried over to the top priority column of the next day’s plan.
4) Focus like a laser
When you are working on a key task or a crucial project, concentrate with a single-minded devotion to it done. Author Brian Tracy writes that this can reduce the time to complete these jobs by 50 percent, while starting and stopping tasks can increase the time to complete by 500 percent.
If you work steadily and continuously on a high value project until it is 100 percent complete, you will power through huge amounts of work in far less time than if you took constant breaks, checked your social media pages, chatted with coworkers, or took every phone call that came your way.
5) Don’t get hijacked by other peoples’ agendas
Saying “no” is a painful challenge to many people. But it’s the precise skill required to regain and maintain control of your day, your time, and your personal energy reserves instead of allowing other people to control them. Essentialism author Greg McKeown believes that learning to say “no”: may be the most useful skill you ever develop. Because it’s only by saying no to things that aren’t really meaningful that we have the space and energy to concentrate on the things that are.
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