You are a hardworking business owner who is consistently stressed for time. You end each day reflecting on all those tasks and activities that you didn’t check off your tick list. Darn, you should have called that vendor to negotiate a better price. Zoiks, you forgot to review the marketing calendar that you promised to approve. Oops, you completely missed an important scheduled meeting with your distribution manager. And that was just today.
Important tasks and activities are being dropped regularly. But who can blame you? You are just one business owner trying to run and grow your company. You tell yourself that nobody could keep up with all the noise and distractions. There is just not enough time. But you know that is not entirely accurate. The forgotten meetings and missed calls are not really about lack of time, but rather the need for substantially better Time Management.
If this sounds a lot like you, take solace in knowing you are not alone. According to a recent report by Zippia.com, 82% of people don’t have a Time Management system in place.
As a business owner, intentionally managing your time allows for substantially higher productivity, much greater focus, and considerably less stress throughout your day. Effective Time Management helps you prioritize activities and daily goals. If you tend to be a procrastinator, enhanced time management efforts will also help you identify and address those tasks you tend to push to the side.
The following are easy, executable Time Management tips that can help you add efficiency to your calendar and squeeze more productivity out of your day.
For busy business owners, everything can feel like a priority. By not appreciating that there actually is a pecking order to the importance of certain tasks, business owners put themselves at a great disadvantage as it relates to their time. Consider the “Eat the Frog” method of task prioritization. The concept originates from author Mark Twain who wrote, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it is best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it is your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” The point here is, identify your most important or most complex tasks, then address and complete them first.
This might seem so simple, but the word “no” is surprisingly difficult for many business owners, particularly ones who have inured themselves to regularly putting out fires. A business owner’s ability and willingness to say "no" establishes important boundaries for themselves and other key players in their business, like their management team, employees, vendors, and sometimes even customers. Remember, “no” doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t get done, it just means it won’t get done by you. Delegation is an important device in every business owner’s time management toolbox.
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Leverage your sales team's existing network. Ask each salesperson to expand their network by making specific requests for introductions. The best time to ask this of them is when you know their current contacts are happy with them (so they need to continue to invest in these relationships). These kinds of warm introductions are really helpful.
Acquiring Investors in Your Business
When looking for investors or buyers for your business, keep communications to the team consistent with your culture. If you have a very transparent culture, share at a high level and align your message with the company goals. For example, "We're looking for an influx of cash to support our marketing and sales goals for our new product." If you're less transparent, then you might want to wait to discuss the dynamics until you have solid leads. Constantly balance the amount of information you share, the impact to your team, and the risk that someone will find out before you tell them.
Bringing on a New Manager
When you're bringing on a new manager, first spend time selling the "why" for this change to those directly affected and really the entire team. Make sure to stress that you are not diminishing anyone's performance or effectiveness, but are pulling in this new manager to make things better for everyone. And it's always good if you can use yourself as a scapegoat by positioning the acquisition due to your own need for more help. Engage in candid and strategic conversations with the other leaders on your team. Over-communicate with them and continue to temperature-check so you can make small adjustments as you go.
Protective Packaging Solutions
Use SMEs To Reinforce Message
Use a subject matter expert to reinforce your message to your team. Whenever you have an opportunity for your team to hear from an expert that is saying the same thing as you, invite them to tune in. Your message will carry a lot more weight when they hear it from someone other than you. Use the power of the outside expert!
Jazz Car Wash & Detailing
When Transitioning Managers
When adding a new mid-level manager and shifting roles, have the person that's being displaced or partially displaced engaged in the success of the new manager and have the new manager engaged in the success of the person he or she is displacing. This is a really important strategy in making the transition a success!
Lisa Marie Maxson
Finding Long-Term Solutions
Recovering from challenges can be difficult. The calm, post-triage mode phase is probably the hardest, particularly finding solutions that are going to work in the long term. I tend to find these solutions by taking advantage of input from different industries and diverse schools of thought. I use my TAB board to help me do this.
Don't underestimate the importance of organizational alignment in your business!
Alignment is the side-by-side working relationship that makes great results a daily reality for both business owners and those who report to them directly. Learn how improving alignment in key business areas can dramatically increase results and decrease stress for all parties.
This webinar will:
- Discuss how organizational alignment will help increase productivity & profitability in your company.
- Change the way you think about how you communicate & interact with your team.
- Provide simple actions you can implement today to increase alignment in your company.
As businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic, a lot of emphasis is being placed on helping employees find a healthy work-life balance. This goal is no less important for CEOs and business leaders. Without such a balance, they are just as susceptible as employees to stress, burnout and a marked loss in productivity.
It's the start of a new year. Why not take this opportunity to focus attention on your own work-life balance? Here are tips to keep in mind:
Start with your health.
Really, there’s nothing more critical to business success than maintaining your health and well-being. Start with the basics:
- Eat healthy.
- Stay hydrated.
- Exercise (even a brisk walk) whenever possible.
- Get enough sleep.
Mental health is equally important. As Business News Daily suggests, “If you struggle with anxiety or depression and think therapy would benefit you, fit those sessions into your schedule,” even if this means taking time out of the office. Remember, “overworking yourself prevents you from getting better, possibly causing you to take more days off in the future.”
Productivity. It's the steady hum that keeps a business thriving at a clip. Highly productive business owners often run substantially more productive businesses, as leadership’s efficient and effective approach in addressing daily tasks tends to trickle down throughout an organization. In turn, improved productivity and streamlined processes can translate into reduced operational costs, increased revenue, and enhanced competitiveness.
Savvy business owners should make productivity a priority, both personally and throughout the companies they run. While the concept appears pretty straightforward, many business owners find the term ambiguous and are thus plagued by common productivity gremlins covertly adding inefficiencies throughout their companies.
Understanding the mannerisms and habits related to poor productivity is key in developing smarter, more efficient workflows and best practices for you and your business.
The following are the top three impediments to productivity in businesses today.
Inadequate Communication. Lack of clarity is an efficiency thief. It is also a key driver in poor performance, an inability to identify and reach goals, and ultimately the granddaddy of all business downers – lost revenue.