Time is a finite resource. Each day has a fixed number of minutes. The most significant variable is how many of those minutes we’ll be lucky enough to have on this earth. Although we cannot manage time, we can manage our priorities and effectively “create time” in our businesses. Here are some ideas that might work for you:
Ensure your goals are goals, not tactics or items from an endless to-do list
Organizations often have trouble doing this — even though they are full of smart people. I have noticed this when we begin facilitating a company’s strategic planning process; as soon as we break into smaller groups, participants start fixing the squeaky door hinges – getting into the minutiae rather than focusing on goals.
My favourite definition of leadership is: effective execution through others. If you could do it as well all on your own, you wouldn’t need to assume the cost of more people; but there are sound reasons to add staff:
- Replicate exactly what you do to increase profit; such as more hairdressers working in your salon.
- Diversification; accountants like you, but doing different types of tax work.
- Support; administrative professionals do the books while you do the selling.
- Expansion; branch offices in different locations.
Start: What new technologies, processes, or markets could you exploit?
Stop: Find the wasteful and redundant that is present in all organizations; printing in triplicate, driving old routes, over-staffing? Find it and stop it.
Continue: What have you started that could be accelerated for further cost/time savings?
Follow yourself around using a tracking sheet to log your time and activities. I’ve done this several times in my career and the impact can be amazing. As a sales person on commission, the 30% improvement in my use of time resulted in a 30% increase in my earnings! If you are a business owner, there is a straight correlation between effort and reward and you could experience similar results!
In the same way most of us fail to commit to New Year’s resolutions, most organizations don’t do planning. Of those that do, most fail to execute. Successful leaders look for ways to use the 168 hours we all have each week more effectively and find ways to better leverage the hours of those around them. Greater effectiveness and better results – of course that is why we structure ourselves in organizations in the first place!
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