If you want to build your business (not your workload) and you want to spend time on doing the things that will actually grow your business, you need to stop being a ‘busy fool.’ This means no more firefighting through the days and spending most of your time doing things that don’t contribute to your overall goal.
To build your business, you need to take control of your time and use it wisely. Here’s how.
Invest in the right workflow tools
There are bound to be inefficiencies in your existing processes, so identify them. Where are the bottlenecks in your processes? Can you automate any manual tasks?
One of the best ways to start working slicker is to invest in the right workflow tools. They can make management, collaboration, tracking progress, and daily operations so much more efficient.
Prioritise high-value work
To stop spending so much time on unnecessary tasks, start prioritising effectively. Use the Urgent Important Matrix to do this.
Group your tasks into 4 quadrants:
- Q1: Urgent and important – these are emergencies that arise (e.g. missed deadlines, complaints, technical failures, pressing problems etc).
- Q2: Important but not urgent – these are the tasks you need to do to grow your business (e.g. goal setting, growth planning, networking, self-development, business development etc).
- Q3: Urgent but not important – these tend to be interruptions that take up the majority of your time (e.g. phones, texts, emails, unproductive meetings and reports etc).
- Q4: Not urgent and not important – these are distractions that cause you to procrastinate and have no value to your business (e.g. personal phone calls, social media, excessive or irrelevant emails etc).
Once you’ve grouped your tasks, you will know what you need to focus on and what you need to avoid.
Delegate low-value work
Now you have identified tasks that need to be done, delegate the low-value work to your team so that you can focus on the ones that require your level of skill.
If you delegate effectively (i.e. delegating authority as well as tasks), you can be reassured that the day-to-running is ticking along while you’re focusing on the tasks that will grow the business.
Schedule time in the diary for business development activities
You need to invest more time in quadrant 2, doing the planning and budgeting and development activities that will grow your business. You know this, but if you don’t schedule it into your diary, it won’t get done.
If you prioritise these tasks and delegate the rest, you will have time to sit down and focus on them. You just need to find the best days and times where you can work productively and without any interruptions.
Build your business
It really is as simple as that. To build your business, not your workload, you need to follow these 4 steps. When you do these consistently, you’ll find that each day follows a much calmer formula:
- DO – those important tasks that need to be done today.
- SCHEDULE – the important but not so urgent tasks, so that they will get done.
- DELEGATE – the urgent but not so important tasks.
- AVOID – the non-urgent, non-important tasks.