How to Get More Done

How to Get More Done

When I ask business owners about their challenges, one of the answers I hear most frequently is “time management.”  Unfortunately, that’s not something I’m able to help them with. (Yes, I am Business Coach Extraordinaire… just sign on the dotted line!)

The truth is, no one can. It’s impossible to manage time, all we can manage is ourselves, and the way we choose to spend it… or invest it.

So here’s your tip.  Plot yourself on this Time Target

You might recognize the shape… and just as you might imagine, the smaller circles are worth more points.  However, that doesn’t mean you should expect to live in the bulls eye.

Here’s how it should look:

The Distraction Circle – no more than 10% of your time

Moving paper from one side of your desk to the other, conversations that drag on too long, checking email constantly… Let’s face it, it happens.  Just limit it.

By the way, this could also include things that start out as productive, but very quickly turn into distractions.  Even important things like checking industry news can go south when one online article links to another, and the next thing you know you’re watching a sneezing panda on YouTube.

The Delusion Circle – no more than 10% of your time

This circle is called “delusion” because you “feel” really busy. Your hair is on fire. You fall asleep before your head hits the pillow.  But if you look back at your day you still wonder where it went and what you actually accomplished.  This circle is about busyness, but not productivity.

The Demand Circle – 60% of your time

This is the stuff that makes you money. Executing your business, making sure clients are well served, managing the team.  The bulk of your week should be spent here… but not all of it.  While important, this circle is still reacting to what’s already happening in your business, not proactively planning for the future.

The Zone – 20% of your time

This is the stuff that’s not urgent, but is critically important if you want to grow your business. It’s being proactive, strategizing, planning, etc.

Against our better judgment, this is usually the first one to go when things get hectic.  We sacrifice the future for the demands of today.  After all, you’ll never let a customer or team member down, but nobody other than you will know if you if you didn’t do something proactive today.

Here’s How to Fix That

Schedule it in, and treat it like an appointment.  It doesn’t matter who calls or what comes up, honor that time with yourself just as you would an appointment with a client.

As business owners we tend to put ourselves on the backburner, but in the long run, you’re not serving anyone well by putting off your “zone time.”  Not yourself, not your employees, and definitely not your clients.