As we mark the dawn of 2013, business owners are full of optimism and grand plans for growing your business in year ahead.
But beware the New Year grinch called ‘Busyness’ which lurks just around the corner and is poised to swoop and erase all traces of that fresh entrepreneurial spirit and buzz which fires you up and energises you.
Having boosted the profitability and productivity of more than 200 small business owners over the last decade, as a performance coach and business mentor I know from experience that ‘Busyness’ is that lively but meaningless activity which snares most business owners.
It’s easy to become an ‘activity junkie’ – responding to emails, jumping to answer the phone, fulfilling regular work orders, tinkering with the website and call and facilitating meetings about everything under the sun.
The result of this frenetic activity is a loss in momentum and a return to the ‘same old, same old’ daily grind whereby your business is driving you and not the other way round.
One answer is to stop being pulled in different directions is 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 exactly where your time goes 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. Studying and then valuing it will help you to prioritise your day. Believe me when I stress that the fright will be sufficient motivation.
Three tips for prioritising:
This priority is reserved for high value activities like sales and systemising your business – however remember to limit these to one or two core activities a day.
These are the things you absolutely have to do such as returning client calls, responding to complaints and requests for help – and completing assigned tasks.
Now progress to the ‘nice to do stuff’ such as filing, web surfing for new ideas and socialising both on-line and off-line.
Irrespective of the number of companies I work with, the major challenge is never lack of money or team resource – it invariably boils down to the busyness – the number one enemy hampering your effectiveness.
Be honest with yourself and make 2013 a productive year instead of a busyness year.
For help with providing you with the antidote to Groundhog Day insanity, you can contact me can e-mail email@example.com, go to @RichardWhatIf on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on www.whatifforums.com.