Posted On March 17, 2010
How can I find time and energy to grow my business – when it’s hard enough to just stay afloat?
• Time management is self-management. Manage yourself first.
• Growth always involves an investment of time, energy, and money. Time is the simplest and cheapest intervention.
• Work with a calendar. Paper is fine as long as it works for you. But when no longer adequate, try software.
• Block off your most productive times of day and week for business growth activities, letting nothing interfere.
• Build reserves of time and energy. Always assume things will take longer and require more energy than you think.
• When you’re maxed out, strategic thinking is crucial, but it’s even harder to find the time to do it. Create a time
“container” for the strategic thinking that will keep you afloat e.g. coaching, mastermind group, weekend away.
How can I stop feeling so overwhelmed?
• Time and energy are closely related. When energy is low, first rearrange time to increase energy.
• Get cash flow under control so you’re not feeling panicky about survival. Focusing question: “What
makes me money NOW?”
• Clarify your business foundation. What is my vision? What are my values? What are my strengths? What is it
that ONLY I can do? What makes sense to delegate? Where do I want this business to be by this time next year?
• Get in the habit of doing daily, weekly, and quarterly reviews. Looking backward simplifies looking forward.
• Almost anything can be delegated. Basic: bookkeeping and admin. Advanced: strategic & operational
planning. Focus on your strengths – and delegate everything else.
• Learn to get things done through other people instead of trying to do everything yourself. Skip the perfectionism.
How can I work smarter instead of harder?
• 80/20 principle. What are your strengths? What are your most profitable activities? What are your values? This is the 20% that produces 80% of the value in your business. All tasks, appointments and activities should relate to at least one of these parameters.
How do I decide what’s most important for business growth?
• Cash flow may be king – but it isn’t everything!
• Replace your “clock” with a “compass”. Make decisions based on strategy and values first.
• 10-year North Star – have one. Point your compass in this direction on a daily basis.
• Be both a time leader and a time manager. Vision & strategy first, then tactics, projects, and daily activities.
How do I set clear boundaries and get rid of “time termites” and “energy sapsuckers”?
• Some personality styles have more difficulty with boundaries. Know your style and make it work for you.
• Don’t make decisions on the fly. Ask for time to think about it.
• Don’t involve yourself in “drama”. When drama goes up, income goes down.
• Ease away from low-value people and events and move toward higher-value ones.
What specific strategies will help me stay better-organized?
• Use your calendar for daily and weekly planning.
• Everything needs a home – including your various thinking processes.
• Put your creative process into “containers” using your calendar, notebooks, online sites, mind-maps etc.
• 3 systems: Collection, Action, and Reference.
How can I harness my Inbox?
• Set up folders in your Inbox that represent your 20% activities. List Action folders first, then Reference folders.
• Schedule regular times in your calendar to review emails and folders and carry them into action.
• Decide on every email item: Action or Reference? Delete, do, defer, or delegate?