In my experience as a business strategist and executive coach of increasing the profitability of business owners and leaders of family businesses – I understand that you have to be an expert juggler and wear many hats.
In a typical week you might pitch your product at an industry event, hunch over your desk for hours examining your financials, mentor a new employee, or even roll up your shirtsleeves to sort out a broken piece of equipment.
While most owner managers relish the diversity (few entrepreneurs miss the repetitiveness of many corporate jobs) – they also find it challenging. The social vibrancy you need for a networking event requires a very different head space to that of focused diligence to comprehend what your accounts are telling you.
However there is a cost to being an ‘Activity Junkie’. You lose time shifting your brain into the right gear for the next item on your to-do list, and precious minutes are wasted on logistics. Just think of the unproductive hours you’ve spent driving back to the office after an errand or digging out the research you need to answer a question.
So what can be done to minimise the time you lose switching between different work modes?
- Organise your calendar into “In” days and “Out” days.
- An “In” day is one when you get behind your desk and focus on your paperwork, make phone calls and don’t leave the premises.
- An “Out” day in one where you book meetings for breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee, you schedule client visits, and run errands. It’s a day when you’re completely out of the office.
- This technique of batching similar tasks together allows you to not only to reduce the time you spend running around town – but also helps you to get your mind in the right game for the day and keep it there.
Following this fruitful formula will hopefully reap dividends – for example, by preventing you losing time waiting for your brain to settle down after a lively lunch meeting or networking event so you can concentrate on your numbers.
It will also stop you interrupting yourself when in full flow of processing paperwork to realise it’s time to leave for a client meeting that you are not in the mood for.