- April 17, 2018
- | 30
Are you wasting your time?
Time management: it’s is all about productivity, accomplishing more in less time, and ensuring that the most important priorities get done. But why is it so difficult for most people? In this blog, I’ll cover the two main challenges to effective time management and how to remedy them. I’ll then share how I have used these techniques in my own business with the help of Social Selling 1-2-3.
The two main challenges to effective time management
- Spending time on low level tasks. If you’re spending most of your time on lower-value activities, you’re not alone. This is the biggest challenge facing most people today. To overcome this challenge, there are four steps.
Step 1: Journal how you’re spending your time. Before you can make a real change, you need to understand your current situation. Journal how you spend your time for a week, in roughly 15-minute increments.
Step 2: Group your journal findings. After you’ve journaled your time, you then need to group your findings into three categories:
- Technician tasks or service delivery tasks;
- Management tasks; and
- Entrepreneur tasks.
Step 3: Evaluate the cost. What will it cost for you to hire someone to do the technician tasks for you? What would it cost you to hire a manager to manage the technicians? You need to establish hourly rates for those two roles, understanding that manager and technician rates are established by the market. If you don’t pay enough, you won’t get someone who will do the job correctly, and if you overpay, that’s just bad business.
Now, as the entrepreneur, ask yourself how much money do you want to make? That number is driven by you, not the market.
When you analyze your daily tasks, you’ll quickly realize that you as a business owner are likely spending a lot of time doing technician tasks. And if the technician rate is $25 an hour but you’ve said you want to earn $150 an hour, you’re costing yourself money.
So you have to understand what you want to spend your time on. If you want to make $150 an hour, you can’t spend time doing something worth $25 an hour. It makes no sense, and it’s not worth it.
Step 4: Transition technician tasks.
Once you understand what your high-value tasks are, you need to get them off your plate. Technology can help or transitioning them to someone else. Every minute you delegate elsewhere is a minute you can spend on those high-value tasks—and each of those tasks is worth money. People often begin by looking for an administrative assistant. This means you’ll need to put a job description and processes together, which takes time. But it’s an investment – if you can invest time up front, then in the long run, you’ll hire the administrative assistant, eventually break through to greater prosperity
- Making room in the fish bowl
The second major challenge is making room for the right tasks in your day. In his famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey uses the metaphor of the fish bowl to talk about time management. The fish bowl represents your day. It’s a finite space. A day only has 24 hours, and a fish bowl only holds so much stuff.
If you filled the fish bowl up with golf balls would it be full? There’d be gaps and spaces. You’d then fill in those gaps with finer grains and sand, and then finally fill with water. Once it’s filled with water, your fish bowl—or day—is full. The golf balls represent your big goals and priorities. But most people are working with an already full fish bowl. Many people fill up the fish bowl with water first, which represent your lower priority tasks. If you then try to fill it with golf balls, your high priority tasks, it won’t work. You have to take something out first. If you’re working on the wrong things, how do you take something out so you can create space to work on the right stuff?
Press the pause button and schedule it. The number one reason people don’t get things done is they don’t allocate time for it. This might mean taking something out of your fishbowl. It doesn’t mean that you need to stop that task forever, but you can put it on pause to schedule something else in.
Getting back to our example of hiring an administrative assistant, you can schedule in time to write the job description. You might have to put some other things on pause so you can get that done. Remember that the day is finite, so you can’t keep adding things to the day.
Allocate enough time. The second biggest reason people don’t get things done is: they under-allocate the time required. You have to give yourself additional time, a fudge factor of 25-50%. And if you get done early, it’s not a problem because you’ve got a thousand other things to do.
Time management and Social Selling 1-2-3
Evaluating how you’re spending time and delegating your technician tasks is critical. And I’ve used the above strategies in my own life and business. In fact, I recently implemented this philosophy in my own business with Social Selling 1-2-3. My highest value activity coaching my clients to greater success. However, second highest it getting clients in the first place.. But having to do all the lead generation and business development work to find those customers is time-consuming. There’s a lot of work and effort that goes before opportunities can be closed. Who do I talk to? How do I connect with that person? What are their needs? So for the last four or five months, I’ve employed the help of Social Selling 1-2-3’s LinkedIn Personal Assistant Program.
With LinkedIn, it takes a lot of time to do that initial work, but Social Selling 1-2-3 has an automated system for that.
Instead of me having to do all of the prospecting in the beginning, Social Selling 1-2-3 is doing the prospecting for me. My LinkedIn Personal Assistant, Sarah, can do that initial reaching out, connecting me with my target market, and moving me up the sales process ladder. So by the time I get involved, I’m at Step 3 of the sales process instead of Step 1.
I also receive reports that let me know how it’s working—how many profile views we’re getting, and the number of leads coming through this model.
Just like hiring an administrative assistant, it’s an investment up front to achieve a great opportunity. But in the long run, it’s a great tool for me and I’m going to get a great return on investment.