Time: The gift we would all love but rarely get… – Claire McTernan

Time: The gift we would all love but rarely get…

3d puppet with gift…time.  We are all equally time rich.  We all have 24 hours in our day.  What is different though is how we chose to spend that time.  People who successfully, and sustainably, grow their business do so by making growth a priority.  That basically means that they don’t let themselves lose sight of how important growing their business is to them and therefore they naturally always carve out the time to grow it.  I meet many business owners who say they want to grow their business but when I ask them what they actually do to achieve that growth they will tell me they don’t have the time to do much; the net result is little growth.

I find the best way to ensure I can spend some quality time working on my business is to book a business development appointment in my diary.  This is time that I can’t book out to a client, or use to do client work as the appointment is dedicated to working on my business.  I “put the blinkers on” during this time, so I take my emails off line and turn my phone on to silent (and sometimes even turn it upside down so I can’t see it flashing when it rings).  I make sure that during this dedicated time I work on a juicy aspect of my business growth rather than just lots of little tasks as it’s easier to find the time to do the little things.  So for example I might write some new website copy, develop a new video series, build a new business growth programme and so on, but I won’t do any emailing or following-up etc.

A great upside to having this dedicated time is that I find it hugely motivational to complete chunky business growth tasks which fuels me to be even more focused and productive for the rest of the day.  Now it would only be fair of me to admit that sometimes I will move these appointments around in my diary if things crop up that are incredibly important for me to do.  But, if I do move one it gets moved and not removed!

For me growing my business is an integral part of my day to day business life and I’m very naturally driven to do it.  However it took me reflecting on Pareto’s Law to really drive my behaviour to carve the time out of my diary to do it.  Pareto created the 80/20 rule, so using that in business life means 80% of your revenue is coming from 20% of your efforts/time which means there’s 80% of your time that could be used more effectively.

Some of that 80% will be spent on activities which are important but I can pretty much guarantee that some of it could be used more productively.  What does your 80% look like?  What activities are you doing that are not as important as growing your business?  What activities do you do that you don’t actually add any value to? I gained a significant amount of time back into my working week just by changing how I worked but not the hours I worked.  For instance, like most micro businesses I have a home office so I used to go back to it after appointments and before doing the school run.  This was costing me more than 5 hours a week.  Just by changing that one behaviour gained me a significant amount of time to work on my business every week.

What behaviours are zapping precious time in your diary that could be used to grow your business?  I usually find if people are serious about growing their business they will always find the time.  Are you serious about it?

How are you going to change your behaviours this week to create the space in your diary to grow your business?

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