One of the biggest challenges for visionary leaders and creative entrepreneurs is running out of time. We all wish we had another 24 hours in the day to get more done. Seems that our most valued resource is our time — and yet its the one thing we have the least of and can’t get back once its gone.
Having enough time to do what’s really important seems to plague business owners at all levels — from the new entrepreneur to the established, successful leader. 80% of my clients struggle with knowing what to focus on to achieve their goals so let’s review my five most effective ways to free up your time for what’s really important:
1 Say No A Lot More
Sometimes saying YES just gets you in trouble. Even if you believe you can do it, and it would be a GREAT opportunity, saying yes to everything that comes your way can land you in a sea of overwhelming (and under-performing) situations. When you make a habit of saying yes you can end up drowning in over-commitment. If you want to reclaim your time for what’s important, say no to everything that isn’t 100% aligned with your priorities.
2 Delegate Radically
Its easy to slip into “I can do it better (or faster) myself” but if you are a high-achiever with a big mission, you can’t afford to do it all yourself. Figure out what your high payoff activities are — then delegate everything that someone can do faster, better or cheaper than you and delegate it — right away.
3 Leverage your Effort
There becomes a point that an entrepreneur just simply can’t work more to grow their income and impact. That’s when its time to leverage your effort more effectively. Figure out how you can transform your offerings so you are serving more than one person at a time. Evaluate your pricing to see if you can re-position your offer and charge more. Make the commitment to leverage your time and effort so you can keep growing.
4 Block Time for Priorities
Maybe its not about more time, but using the time you have more effectively. Try setting up blocks of time to do similar activities. This technique will help you expand time by allowing you to stay in your groove longer. When you bunch like activity together your mind can focus for longer periods of time without getting distracted by “switch-tasking.”
5 Eliminate Distraction Bandits
Often our precious time is stolen by distractions and time bandits. Pay attention to the little disruptions (like a client who always has an emergency or a team member who instant messages you for a quick question) that end up derailing hours in your day. Create uninterrupted time by turning off your phone, email or other technology that beeps and pings you. Communicate to your team, friends and family what your availability is for questions and you’ll find yourself ten times more productive.
You don’t have to do all of these at once — but try at least one new strategy this week and see how much time you can free up to do the things that ONLY you can do to grow your business. What’s one technique you’ll try right away? Be sure to share it in the comments as often it will inspire others to take action too.