Last week I wrote about the importance of a good and thorough plan. (on my blog at www.soky.biz
) I've been working on it ever since! Looking at every aspect of my business operations, how tasks are accomplished, documenting the process and then looking for ways to improve. I want to drill down even deeper but the fact is there is no time.
There is no Time
That's a typical response to the needs of small business. There is no time can be blamed on a number of things that should be done that are not. Financial planning and book keeping strategies, business planning and operational innovation, even shopping around for products and services is often short changed in the name of time saving. If forces me to consider, how much more time would I have later if I made more time for the details now?
This is something that just cannot be done. You can't "make time." The number of hours in the day is predetermined by the rotation of the earth and the traditions of business. Making time in the literal sense is impossible, making best use of the time available is what I mean by making more time. To be clear, I'm not perfect and I fail to manage my time just like the next guy, but I have used some of the techniques to improve my time management.
Managing time is much more than buying a PDA or daily planner. Managing time is much more than an appointment book, to-do list or calendar. Managing time effectively is taking the time to step back from those organizational tools and deciding what is most important on (and off) the endless list of things that must be done. Managing time in many cases involves looking at what you're doing and first deciding if it's the best use of your time, then finding ways to do it. In many cases, delegation to subordinates or employees is a possible solution, hiring specialists is another and contracting it out could be a possible solution as well.
My biggest hurdle is trust and confidence that the items on my list can be done "right" or as well as I would have done it myself. I guess in a way, this goes back to my post on pride because I'm overly confident in my own abilities and too prideful to admit that others could do it as well, or dare I say... better. Even as I write this out (well past my self imposed deadline by the way), I've thought of a number of items on my list that can be delegated to members of my team.
It's your time, not theirs
Avoid the time stealers! Phones can be turned off, doors to offices closed, and computers (or software) turned off so people have limited access and limited ability to steal your time. They don't do it intentionally, they just do what they do, but in the end they are taking one of the most precious things you possess... time. It's yours not theirs so guard it when you have to.
Doing more in less time means you have more time to do more. HUH? Well it's true. If you organize your schedule and your daily task in such a way that you are more efficient, you will get more done in less time. If you are spending less time doing what took all day, then you have more time.. see? Now you've suddenly been gifted with more time to do other things that are important to your small business or better, for yourself.
It's all about managing resources. Time is likely one of the most precious. Consider it like one ounce gold coins clinking down each second and you will come to appreciate that time. Time is the resource that cannot be fabricated, duplicated or created, but it can be managed and should be.
For the past week and the remainder of October, I will be sequestered in my office working on a huge project. I've talked this through with my family, made arrangements with my clients and even told friends that I will be unavailable this month. Some accuse me of working too hard or warn me that I am going to burn out working so hard. I try to explain that this is a planned burn. I've considered the investment carefully and am managing each moment to squeeze out every ounce of productivity. I can get two months work done in one month if I focus, stay the course and manage my time. No, I could not keep up this pace for long, but right now it is necessary, planned for and with a goal in mind. Fact is, I'm convinced this "planned burn" will result in a long term return on investment that will payoff in years of freedom.
If you are curious what I am working on... come back in November, I will place an announcement here about a brand new business as well as updates on Soky.net community portal and Carried Away Vacations.
I posted a quote from Calvin Coolidge earlier this morning. I received it in my Marketing Association email newsletter and it reminded me of some old lessons, old friends and a resolve to be persistent. This next month will be a test of that resolve and only through diligence and time management will I be able to accomplish the plan. All the lessons are culminating into a good business model and potential for success that I had been afraid to consider because it's just too great.
Thanks for reading and good luck in your small business efforts.
(I posted this on my blog this morning and thought you folks would find it useful. I offer the entire post as suggested by the admin instead of an excerpt and link)