Business owners: are you sure you value your time?
POSTED BY JACQUI FROST ON 24/09/2015 @ 9:00AM
When you run a business, your time is arguably your most valuable asset. In fact, I'm convinced there's a correlation between a successful business and how the owner spends their time. It's simple ... get stuff done - and progress is made. In comparison, procrastinate and progress slows ...
This means you must adopt smart working practices, to help you get more done in less time. After all, there are far-reaching consequences if you don't. When you allow time to slip needlessly away, your business suffers because projects don't get completed and timescales slip. So tell me. Do you really value your time?
"It's a common oversight!"
I've found that it's very easy to unknowingly become lax with your working day. Check out these four 'behaviours' that starve your time and undermine your value:
You give in to other people's agendas
Whose agenda is more important - yours or the customer/prospect/colleague/friend who contacts you with a last-minute 'urgent' request for help?
If you have the tendency to want to help the people, it's very easy for others to take advantage of your time - perhaps unknowingly. So before you drop your plans and shift your attention elsewhere, just sense check if the new request really can't wait. In addition, be aware of what your business will lose by delaying the task you're working on.
You're too accessible
I blame modern communication! With social media, instant messaging, apps, mobile phones, text messaging, and email, everyone is far more available than ever before!
It's very quick and easy to make contact with someone. In turn, you can find yourself drawn into conversations that drain your time and disrupt your schedule. It's important to manage expectations and don't feel compelled to respond immediately to the people who contact you.
You may also want to take a look at how you handle your phone. Remember, whilst you never want to miss a call (because you don't want to lose out on that big opportunity), you don't need to answer your phone yourself. Instead, divert your calls to your chosen Call Handling provider and give yourself the space (and permission) to speak on the phone at a time which suits you.
You're easily distracted
There are so many things competing for our attention. If you're not careful, you can find your focus drawn in a direction that threatens to derail your plans. For example, a quick check of your Facebook timeline can suck you into videos of dancing cats, the latest 'what movie best represents your life' quiz and all manner of 'interesting' articles. Similarly, the internet itself can quickly pull you off on a tangent to the extent that you've forgotten what you were legitimately searching for in the first place!
Whilst these distractions can be fun and offer a bit of light relief, they're not high value work. As such, it pays to be wary of the amount of time you waste. So why not switch off notifications to stop you immediately reading that email and schedule in social media time, so you still get your 'fix' without ruining your work plans?
You do too much 'low value' work
It's VERY easy to confuse 'busy' with 'productive'. Just because you're doing a lot of stuff doesn't mean you're getting the right stuff done. It can feel like a big step, but don't be afraid to outsource the important work that you don't need to do.
If you take an honest look at your working day, I bet you'll spot a host of tasks which you currently do, that don't need your core skills. So why not delegate these tasks elsewhere? In turn you'll free up your time so you can concentrate on the high value work that you do best.
For example, hire a VA to manage your email, work with a Call Handling service to manage your phone and handover to a bookkeeper so you can quit faffing with receipts!
Effective use of your time can have a significant impact upon the success of your business. If you truly value your time, you would make sure the hours you have are dedicated to the high value work only you can do.
"Fiercely defend your time!"
Be honest, what activities do you need to stop? Please tell me in the comments below or if you'd like to know more about our Virtual PA or Call Handling service, call me on 01604 529170 today.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
no unauthorised use, duplication, distribution or modification to any original content contained within this website is permitted without prior written permission of the author. All other trademarks and registered names are acknowledged. In accordance with the EU Cookie Law this website only uses a session cookie for essential functionality. We do not use any cookies that personally identify you.