If you one of those, who get to the end of the week, and wonder where all the days went, and you still have that important proposal still outstanding, still had not got started with that research for a new program, and still did not get around to paying those police summons! This piece is for you, and you should hop onto my Life Management module.
I am very particular about time. Without managing time and our lives well, we would not have a great time being in business, let alone actually run the business. When we start losing a handle on our lives, it is only due time when we start losing a handle on the business in the long run, because our time management habits are not sustainable. This leads to a lot of unhappiness, and should I say, poor profitability.
Here are a few things successful entrepreneurs do, and although they don’t tell you, and perhaps some don’t know it themselves, these are some powerful keys to live by, in managing your time well…
Throw out as many low-dollar activities as possible – You must identify and evaluate every activity in your work schedule and ensure that you are not “doing” things that bring low impact to you and your business. High dollar activities are usually things that only you can do (due to skill, influence and experience), and you’d reserve your time for those things. If you are up to “low-dollar value activities” like book-keeping or banking in revenue cheques (if you have an administrator who could easily do it), then you are bound to be very “busy”.
Be productive with odd-lot hours – for example, waiting for a meeting, getting stuck in traffic, waiting in the airport, taking a long-distance flight above 4 hours, etc. These are what odd-lot hours are called. Successful entrepreneurs would use that time to be as productive as possible, say type up email responses in a flight, or building new marketing text & copy, while there is absolutely zero disturbance in a flight to Tokyo.
Use your time from strengths – we don’t always have a choice on this. But the more people we hire and have in our business, we are then able to operate BEST from what we are good at doing. If we do things we are good at doing, we get them done quickly. If your strengths are in networking, then invest and schedule time in doing this, because you are not only good at doing it, you probably enjoy it a lot too! And it does not feel like work, when you are doing what you like, and good at.
Be selective (very selective) with how you use your time – Deep-down every entrepreneur is particular about this. Even in being involved and active in certain charities, it is because they are passionate about the cause, and not just doing it to “kill-time”. You have to treat your time this way. Remember, time is more expensive than money. And once time is gone, we cannot turn back time and get it back, unless you invest the time-machine. Be selective with who you say OK to, and before you agree to do something, instead of being to trigger-happy, and you end up feeling bad when you let people down because you can’t turn up or deliver.
Prioritizing Play and Fun Time – this is obvious, but I’m sure few of you do this. Too many entrepreneurs just love working, and their days are filled with meetings, and cross-border travel. Very soon, they stare at their mountain bike, dance shoes, or recipe books, and wonder when the last time was that they enjoyed a good ride in the mountains, danced all night and cooked something new. I am speaking from experience, and I can’t stress how important it is that you prioritize your fun time, even though you are a parent, or running a multi-billion-dollar company. It makes you feel alive, and pumped enough for the week, and makes you feel whole.
Don’t react too easily and jump right in – Even if we are given an urgent situation in the business to handle, always evaluate the situation, see who else can take care of it, and weigh the need for you being there personally. Do that in that order. Far too often, entrepreneurs skip the 1st two steps, and jump straight into jump right in, and they get stuck with killing time reacting to their business. This gets owners and leaders exhausted quickly.
Delegate as much as possible, and then get out of the way – It helps when you have a team to delegate to, and they handle things you are not good at doing, so you can do things that are high-dollar in value. And yes, once you delegate the work, please don’t be too quick to “take it back”. If you take it back easily, you will find that you become a bottleneck, and your employees are delegating their work to you! That sounds horrid, but it happens when our team members get a little stuck, and instead of guiding on how to do it (and that takes a lot longer), you take it back, and throw it on your to-do list.
This is one of many principles, but I talk much in detail on how to overcome hurdles of an average business, in this article. Check out my article “Are You Tired of Running a Mediocre Business: Seven Success Principles that Differentiate GREAT Businesses from Mediocre Ones”
I cover these in detail accompanied with real examples and how to manage your life and time efficiently. Click here to find out more.
Maresa Ng is a Passionate Entrepreneur, Speaker and Business Advisor who helps business owners grow their business to a stage where it is commercial, profitable, and can continue to work without them. Her past as a corporate and investment banker had set a foundation for her in working with both SMEs and large businesses. As the leading Business Growth Specialist & Business Advisor in South East Asia, she dedicates herself to working with entrepreneurs all over the region, to build a Great Business and a Great Life.