Overwhelmed? Too many distractions? Busy all day but not producing income? Wonder where your time goes?
Last year I received a critical time management tip: I ask myself at the end of each business day, "What did I do to make money today?" And then I examine where I spent my time, and how much of it was spent on money-making activities.
When you're your own boss, it's easy to get caught up in "busy" work and get distracted: responding to emails; doing errands; opening and reading mail; searching for stuff on your desk; thinking, planning, and daydreaming; answering the phone; surfing the internet; writing blogs ;) ...
One day I worked so hard I was exhausted (mentally), but at the end of the day I couldn't name one single thing I did to make money. I was busy, but was I productive? I reviewed my day's work, and everything seemed important and productive... What was I doing wrong? Help!!! My days were simply getting away from me.
For those of you who often receive divine inspiration, you'll understand this: God just dropped this list to me the next day. Then I polished it and finalized it, and would like to share with those who can use it. It's a very rough draft, I'll probably write out full explanations for my next book. Here it is:
Your Keys to Time Management Success - Prioritizing & Scheduling Management Tips
All these activities are important; the goal is to do activities that are HIGHER on the list in lieu of doing those that are lower on the list.
A. Make Money
- Actually performing work
- Collecting $ due from work
- Submitting bids for new jobs
- Reconciling $ due
B. Cultivate Customers create Targeted Relationships (future money-making activities)
- Retaining existing clients (service them, communicate with them)
- Communicate with new prospective clients (hot leads)
- Put prospects in the pipeline (get warm leads)
- Market, Network, Request referrals (develop new leads)
C. Manage Business
- Organizing & Scheduling: daily to-do list; writing items down, making notes, following up; Delegating
- Paperwork (contracts), bookkeeping, & IRS reporting; P&L; calculate hourly earning; measure results
- Design vision / goals / future; reflect; determe philosophy & mission
- Product & service development - determine & add new services (R&D)
D. Invest in People
- Yourself - education and knowledge, training, industry brainstorming
- Staff & Contractors - delegating; training staff/others
- Partners - strategic partnerships with other businesses
- Others - community involvement / mentoring others
Hope this list helps you the way it did for me! In fact, I've printed it out and posted it above my computer, I refer to it during the day. When doing an activity, I ask myself, "Can my time be better spent doing something else higher on the list?" Because if I'm not making money every day, I'm going to be out of business soon!
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Regina P. Brown
Allison James Estates & Homes