It’s 2013 and business owners are full of optimism and grand plans for the rest of the year ahead, but beware the Grinch called ‘Busyness’ – it’s lurking just around the corner ready to smother all traces of that fresh entrepreneurial spirit.
Having worked with more than 200 small business owners over the last decade, local business advisor and author of Business Mechanics, Jerome Jacobs, says ‘Busyness’ is that lively but meaningless activity which snares most business owners.
“It’s easy to get caught up in responding to emails, answering the phone, fulfilling regular work orders, tinkering with the website and having meetings about everything under the sun. The result is a loss in momentum and a return to the ‘same old, same old’ daily grind.”
The answer, says Jacobs, is to track your time to determine what your most valuable activities are. These may include, for example, marketing, planning and creating systems that leverage your time, rather than drain it.
“Track how you spend your time for the next month and you will be shocked by how much productivity actually slips through your fingers.” – An even more disturbing exercise is to put a $value to the time.
“From first studying and then valuing your time, you’ll learn how to prioritise your day. The fright will be motivation enough.”
Three tips for prioritising:
Priority one: Your first priority is reserved for high value activities like sales and systemising your business, but limit those to one or two core activities a day.
Priority two: The things you absolutely have to do. Return client calls, respond to complaints and requests for help, complete assigned tasks.
Priority three: The nice to do stuff, like filing, web surfing and socialising.
“No matter how many companies I work with, the problem is never lack of money or team, it always comes back to busyness. Be honest with yourself and make 2013 a productive year instead of a futile year.”