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Is it Time for Better Business ?

Posted 3 October 2011

A wise man once said, if you lose all your money, with a fair wind and the right attitude and application you can get it back.  But once your time has gone, it’s gone for good.

Our time is the only real scarce resource, and to many of us in business it is the most precious asset we have – time with our families, time working ON our business, not IN it, time with our friends, even time just for ourselves to recharge and re-energise.

And yet, in many cases, it is the one resource we abuse and mismanage more than anything else.  Many business owners and senior managers I meet will think nothing of working 60, 70 or even more hours a week, taking their business back home every evening and every weekend.  “But if I don’t do it, nobody else will !” – how often have you found yourself saying that, both to yourself and to your family ?

So what can we do about it ?  Remember it’s not about “Time Management” .  I have never met anyone who has successfully “managed” time – made 24 hours turn into 48, for example.  However there are many people who manage their activity and their priorities a lot better than others, and they are the people we all need to be emulating.

So what are they doing that you might not be ?  I find there are three big differences in their approach.

  1. Clarity of goals.  They know precisely what they are looking to achieve this year, in the next 3 months, this week and tomorrow.  They have their goals and objectives in front of their eyes every day, and know what they need to do to achieve them.
  2. Know what’s important.  Because they don’t lose sight of their target, they know what activity is important to help them reach it.  They can prioritise the things that need to happen and need to happen now, and make conscious choices on what to do first, rather than rush to put out the biggest fire
  3. Plan your day.   15 minutes planning tomorrow before you finish today can easily save you 2 or 3 hours AND make you more productive in the process.

What we all tend to lose sight of in the heat of the business battle is that we have the choice.  As Brian Tracy said, “You are always free to choose what you do first, what you do second and what you do not do at all…”.  Successful people know when to exercise that choice.

graeme.crosbie@levelupsouthwest.co.uk

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