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Business Productivity Time Well Spent

Last updated July 18, 2014

How many times do you suddenly realise that the whole morning has gone and you don’t seem to have made the most of it? It’s too easy to waste such a precious resource and one that we can never get back. If you lose money you can try to re-coup it another way, but time lost, is gone for ever.

As the boss you have so many pulls on your time and it’s all too easy to end up satisfying everyone else’s demands for your time and forgetting your own.

Everyone wants a piece of you – all of the time! But you need time to be your helper not hinderer, because if you let too many people demand your time you’ll never be able to focus on keeping your business on track, let alone helping it to grow.

Here are 8 types of time that you need

  1. Clear head time. You need time to clear out everything you are filing in your head. Graham Allcott book How to Become a Productivity Ninja gives you an excellent step by step guide to doing a weekly spring clean of all of the important things bouncing and colliding around in your head. By clearing them out into another safe filing system you finally allow yourself time to think and become productive.
  2. Thinking time. You don’t need long but you do need time to think. Giving yourself thinking time and recognising it as such is a great thing to do. Driving the car to work, taking a shower or going for a walk all give you vital thinking time. You probably do think each time you do these tasks but don’t give yourself the permission to do it, so you don’t recognise it as thinking time. You might need to get your brain ready to think. First schedule your thinking time, label it in your diary. Get away from distractions; get comfortable and start to think about a particular issue, problem or challenge.
  3. Planning time. Fail to plan and you plan to fail – I’m sure you have heard this phrase lots of times but it’s so true. I’m amazed at how little time most businesses spend on planning – even getting the annual plan, budget and forecast in place is an uphill struggle for many businesses. Planning should be happening all the time – after each week you should be able to say either do the same again or we need to change something to hit targets. Just because you have done a one year plan doesn’t mean you can ignore it for the next 12 months. Planning time on an ongoing basis is critical to your success.
  4. Learning time. For those who love to learn this is easy, but many may say what’s the point? I for one know that I can learn something every day. I don’t have to read a text book, sometimes I learn from something I have seen or heard that day. But for me I do have to spend some dedicated time learning; whether that is about new technology, systems, processes or ways of doing things, my time spent learning is paid back very quickly.
  5. Productive time or ‘doing’ time. When we have to work we need to be able to work; to be productive. As a deadline approaches I know that I am more productive than when that deadline is far away. The shorter the time span I have to do something the quicker I can get it done.
  6. Entrepreneur time. The blue sky thinking; asking and answering those what if questions. The mulling over how you can do something better, quicker or more profitable. Meeting different people, asking questions, observing what is happening round you is valuable time spent.
  7. Manager time. Ray Croc was the ultimate master at making manager time work best – he built some of the best systems, processes and procedures in any business that meant that he didn’t have to be there to be the manager of people every day. The processes he built became the manager not him.
  8. Play time. Tim Ferriss of The 4 Hour Work Week fame, is a great exponent of the mini retirement for any business owner. Daniel Priestley, who wrote How to Become a Key Person of Influence, is an advocate of holidays to enable you to clear your head and get some quality thinking time. Whichever you prefer the important issue is to make sure you have play time. Remember all work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy!

So as the clock continues to tick along make sure that you make time for yourself to think, plan, do and enjoy.

shirley-mansfield-CoachSME
Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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