If you’re one of millions of people who look up at the clock at 5 p.m. and feel you haven’t completed a single task for your business you intended doing today, then these tips are for you.
Rather than be discouraged that yet another day has gone by when you haven’t got some important thing done, take comfort that you are not alone and there are things you can do to change the outcome.
1. Write it down
Accounting firms and organisations that operate on the notion of ‘billable hours’ (every minute of the day must be recorded so that employee time can be invoiced to customers), require employees to keep a log of their day’s activity in 15 minute blocks of time.
While this sort of recording would be an excessive burden for most busy people, there is merit in writing down what you have worked on.
When you physically take the time to pick up a pen and write, you’ll always want to put down something good, even if you’re not going to show it to anyone else. You become instantly aware by the number of things you write down how effectively you’ve been using your time.
One client in a services business that I work with combines writing things down with a customer service function. All employees are asked to keep a note of the activities they’re doing for clients and at the end of the week, the employees send the customers an email round up of all the things that were done for them.
So form the habit of writing down what you do; all you need is a few words.
2. Get A Buddy
People who have difficulties with addictions (whether it’s alcohol, gambling, food or something else) that seek assistance with ending their addiction, are often paired up with someone who will hold them to account for their actions.
You probably won’t need this same extreme level of accountability support, but by having someone you can check in with on a regular basis you can get great results.
Some networking groups help business owners to meet other like minded business owners and pair them together as accountability buddies.
In my experience, having an accountability buddy works best when you check in with each other on the phone, rather than email. People are more likely to exaggerate or enhance the truth in email, where as on the phone or in person, people tend to be a lot more honest.
For a monumental change in productivity get yourself a business coach or mentor as an accountability buddy. They have been were you are now and will help you keep focused on what it is that you want to achieve.
3. Make Head Time
To quote George Bernard Shaw – “Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week..
There is enormous value and productivity gains for you and your business if you make the time to think.
Being forever tied up in getting things done, is great when you’re doing the right things. However unless you take the time to consider what is working for your business, you just may be maintaining a holding pattern that will take you nowhere.
Every now and again you need to take yourself off to a quiet location where you can not be distracted and think about your business. Jot down your ideas and thoughts; make decisions and then plan to get these into action.
Where you go to do your thinking is entirely up to you. Here are some ideas provided by my business coaching clients –
- A cafe that’s near the office
- Local library
- Picnic table in the local park
- On a bench looking at the ocean
- Hotel lobby
- Hire a meeting room at the local University
- The golf club dining room
- Go back home when the house is empty
As simple and obvious as these three tips appear to be, sadly few people get more time because they’re not willing to consider putting just one of them into action.
I encourage and urge you to be that entrepreneurial one percent-er who does look at their busy life and say ‘enough is enough’ and determine to do just one thing differently.
It’s in your hands to make a world of difference, in how you use your time and how quickly you grow your business.