Time Busters – Strategies Used by Real Business Owners
Hands up if you put these things off if you can.
Hands up if you justify why you didn’t do these things.
Hands up if you think you are very busy but don’t seem to get things done.
If your hand is up, then you must keep reading!
In business there are many things that have to be done that, as business owners, there are some we love to do and some we hate to do. Avoidance and procrastination is our partners with the things we hate to do – of course we can justify it – you know, that extra time spent facebooking etc was solid marketing and I just ran out of time to do the other things (yer yer).
In business, time is money – so I asked my colleagues in the Albany Creek Business Contacts group what their strategies are to get things done especially the stuff they wish they didn’t have to do. When asked this question, a chorus responded – EAT THAT FROG!
Probing further, this means do the stuff you don’t want to do first – get it out of the way – and then you have the rest of the time to enjoy doing the things you want to do. Sound advice I thought. This was elaborated on by suggestions that it is easier and more efficient to schedule to do the things you don’t like to do in a time when you are at your best. That way you can stay focused and bash through it. If you are a morning person, then schedule them for first thing when you arrive at work. If you are more energized and pumped to tackle them after you have achieved work you enjoy then schedule them for then.
How do you keep the momentum going if there are a few things to be done, I hear you ask. Next tip from the group was to build energy through completing the little things first. The sense of achievement will motivate you to take on the medium sized and then the large things that need to be done. Take a moment to feel good for achieving the completion of tasks and this will help spur you on to the next.
If feeling overwhelmed with the number or size of the tasks at hand, prioritise the top 2-3 that need to be done and tackle them first. Then prioritise the next 2-3 and so on. When prioritizing, ask yourself “what is the best use of my time right now”. Be honest in answering this for the betterment of your business otherwise the answer will be something you want to do rather than what you should do.
Next tip was to consider the GOOD BETTER BEST test to your day. It is easy to fill your day with good stuff but are these activities the better/best things that you should be doing for your business. Reflect on what you have done in the day and ask if it was good things or the better/best. Then schedule and plan tomorrow’s activities for better/best.
A relevant tip is to understand why you don’t like to do the things you don’t like to do and why you don’t want to do them. Is it a right-handed person being asked to do left-handed activities? Is it an emotional or personal barrier making you uncomfortable having to do the task (eg, many people are uncomfortable with debt collection as they don’t like confrontation at any level). Is it that you don’t understand what is entailed in doing the task? And so on … if you can understand the barriers then you can work on breaking them down. Do you need training in the task? Is the task better outsourced? Can the task be automated? to name a few solutions.
Remember, 20% of activities in your business gives you 80% of your revenue. Therefore, you need to work out that 20% and invest in making them happen efficiently and effectively.
Some other practical tips suggested were:
- To turn your phone off and minimise emails and other distractions so you solely focus on doing what needs to be done.
- Utilise time management tools such as the Pamodoro Technique, Outlook etc.
- Understand your barriers utilizing techniques such as Myers Briggs, Team Management Index and Enneagram
- Be aware of your energy levels and incorporate techniques to keep them up – eg, take a break every 450 minutes, walk around, look outside, just do something to re-energise before getting back into the work.
(Contributors to this blog – Nathan Dobbins, Core Computers – Kathy Patterson, Brendale Stationery Supplies – Pete Paulo, Pacific Empowerment – Leonard Whittaker, ActionCycle Learning – Scott Deaves, David Deane Real Estate – Tessa Stowe, SendOutCards)
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