Sunday, August 27, 2006

Week 2 - Where are you spending your time?

Until you go to work on reinventing your business, you are unlikely to get a sense what your business could be in the future.

This is a tricky area, after all, you are already stressed out of your head, how can you possibly spend more time contemplating expansion let alone making sure your employees are feeling loved?

But here is the thing, you have to get started and only then will you begin to see how these techniques will impact your business. The critical point is that you need to establish the best use of your own time. Rolling up your sleeves and serving your clients keeps the business on track short term but doesn’t really help you long term. It is this day to day work that is all consuming. It blocks any sense of vision of what could be. Write out everything you did today and then highlight the items according to the following three categories:

RED – all back office tasks such as filing, administration, chasing debts, office related duties etc.

ORANGE – the time you spend doing what you do – in other words, the carpenter building things, or the attorney working on client cases.

GREEN – the time you spend working on your business (where it is going and how you are going to get there).

I won’t complicate this; let’s just say if you are spending all of your time chasing outstanding debts or making the widgets, who is looking after the long term health of your business? You, the owner, need to be spending most of your time doing GREEN activities. This is certainly not an original concept but it is critical I reinforce this point early; if you don’t buy in, you won’t listen to anything else I have to say. You will get stuck in the “I don’t have time” whirlpool…

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