SpiralClock-Smaller2Time!  There never seems to be enough of it to get in all of the things we want or need to do. That’s the thought or conclusion on everyone’s mind. Well, here’s a news flash for you…YOU AREN’T GOING TO GET ANY MORE TIME! What you have is what you get.  That’s it; no more!  You get the same amount of time as I or anyone else and no matter how hard you wish, want, complain, or ask, more time is something that is not coming your way.  The thing about time is that it’s elusive and intangible, which makes it pretty slippery, so you have to learn to work with what you’ve got.

So now that I’ve given you that rude awakening, let me clue you in.  No matter what stage your business is in—start up, just starting to fly or one that’s been established for quite some time, the thing that you must do is manage your business appropriately.  That means understanding not just what it takes, but the amount of time that it takes to do so and planning accordingly.  You can have everything set up, have the knowledge to run your business under your belt, and be ready to rock and roll, but none of it means anything without you being in action.  Before you take action you’ve got to make the time to consider what needs to be done, how and when it’s getting done and who’s doing it.

When it comes to business, most owners think of all the logical or practical pieces of the puzzle that have to come together.  What they don’t think about is setting up systems to make things run smoothly and maximize their time and if they do think about business systems, they almost always forget about having one that supports managing their time.  If you don’t learn how to manage time, time and other people will manage you simply because you haven’t made the time to go about setting up that system.  As with the creation of other systems, you have to consider what the process is and determine each of the steps in the process.  After that comes choosing the tool or tools to support the process and finally, the people who will perform the tasks.

Once that system is set up, the focus has to be on implementing it and using it every day if you actually mean to get anything accomplished.  Some argue that planning wastes time, but the opposite is true.  For every minute you spend planning, you save 10 in the execution phase.  As you plan your day to day to-dos, properly estimating the amount of time that things take is key.  If you’re unsure of how long something is going to take, take a realistic guess, then log the amount of time that you spend on that task.  Once it’s complete you’ll know how long it took and will know what amount of time it will take in the future.  Over time you’ll get better at estimating your time so that your days aren’t crazy.

In consideration of what some say about planning, let’s look at the cold, hard facts.  Saving yourself ten minutes in the execution of the plan translates into the time that you make to plan giving you a return of ten times, which is 1,000 percent on the investment of your time and personal energy.  That is huge!  Where else can you make an investment and get this kind of return?  Another fact of the matter is that it only takes about 10-12 minutes to plan your day.  That small investment will save you about two hours every day, which translates to about a 25 percent increase in your level of productivity.  Regular planning has you spend more time on activities of higher value, which increases your effectiveness and your efficiency in everything you do. When you look at the facts you can see the advantages that making time affords you.  It’s a key component when it comes to the foundation of your business and without it sooner or later you end up paying the price.

 

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