20 June 2016

A business owner’s ability to master his time is crucial to growing a business

A wise man once said, “You can make a million pounds and you can lose a million pounds, but there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from making it back again. But once you’ve used a second of your time, it’s gone forever.”

And that is why for me, time is more valuable than money.

If you can master your time, then growing your business becomes infinitely easier. I’m not a fan of you growing your business at 11 o’clock at night. We should be doing it during working hours. Mastering our time is the fundamental key to business growth. If we can’t get this done, we’re going to struggle long term.

The first that we’re going to do is raise our awareness as to what the issue is around our time. And one of the tools that I use is the Time Zone. It comprises a set of segments in a circle.

The outside of the circle has got things that are Not Urgent and Not Important. I call them distractions. We find that business owners spend 10% of their working day dealing with distractions.

One of the biggest modern day distraction is email. You’re in the middle of something and the icon flashes that we’ve got an email. 9 times out of 10, we’ll go and see what that email is. It’s normally junk that needs deleting. But that’s not the challenge. The challenge is when you go back to what you were doing. And that is where all that distraction comes in.

See, not being able to finish one task without distraction is so destructive to mastering our time. We’ve got to be able to finish the important things without any distractions.

Now the next segment is Urgent and Not Important. And we call that delusion. These are your apparent emergencies. Just like meetings that you need to be in even though you don’t really need to be in. We’re in that delusional state for about 10% of our working day.

The next segment below that is called Urgent and Important. And I call that demand. These are instances when we’re actually in demand. Fulfilling the operational duties that we have in the business. Dealing with customer complaints. Dealing with staff issues. Paying the supplier. Whatever it may be. And that accounts for about 60% of our working day.

But the most important above all is the middle segment: Not urgent, but Important. We call that the zone. My aim as a Business Coach is to get my clients into that zone for 20% of their working day. To have them working on the business rather than in it. Moving away from firefighting to being proactive with our time. And that is where the real money is made and where real value is added.

Here’s my rule of thumb for you: For every one minute you spend in that zone and being proactive with your time, you’re going save 10 minutes having to be reactive. It’s a 10 to 1 ratio.

Surely we owe it to ourselves to get into that zone.

Now have a look at that circle and ask yourself how much time you spend in each one of those on a daily basis. And we’ll figure out how we’ll be able to get more time into the middle point, the zone.

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