If I asked you a question today like: Why aren’t you using social media as a tool to grow your business?”, the majority of you will respond, “I just don’t have the time.” Asked a range of similar questions on developing your business, you will probably give the same response. Are you really that pressed for time, or is it a fallacy?

If you believe time is the only currency that matters, how is it possible to “find” more time in the day to achieve your goals and grow your business? Here are a few ideas you can take today that will open more time tomorrow to work on the IMPORTANT stuff in your business, not just the urgent.

Start the Night Before. Sun Tzu (“The Art of War”) is quoted as saying, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” He strongly believed having a plan in place, along with options, was critical to success. We can apply his logic to your workday. Your success tomorrow starts with proper planning tonight. Create an action plan on how you want the day to go. What are the major objectives/goals you want to accomplish? When will you do them during the day? Be proactive, not reactive.

Move Out Smartly. It goes without saying that the earlier you rise, the more time you have to accomplish all your goals for the day. Have a proper breakfast to fuel your body and kickstart your day. When you get to work, start with the biggest goals or the toughest assignments first. They will require the most effort, which you can give when you have the most energy. Try reading “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy.  If you don’t have it, email me HERE and I will send you a summary.

Watch for Time Robbers. Whether it’s a 45-minute phone call with an old friend in the middle of the day or playing games online to avoid dealing with the work on your desk, it’s imperative to address time robbers in your day. If time is money, then wasted hours are costing your business in a big way. Be diligent in getting rid of them!

Take a Break. Every 45 to 60 minutes, stop what you’re doing to recharge your batteries and clear your mind. Go for a walk, stretch or do something that gets you away from your work. Also, leave your phone behind. There is no medal for working 12 hours a day without taking a break. Work in short bursts of feverish activity, then take a micro break. Make sure you drink water and eat, but don’t overeat.

Stop Multi-Tasking.  It seems heroic to be juggling 4 balls in the air at once and claim you get more done that way.  Research has proven it is a fallacy.  It spoils your focus and makes you ineffective.  Work on one task at time and give it your full attention

Handle Paper/Email Once.  Set a rule for yourself to handle a piece of paper (or email) once.  Don’t look at it, think about it a bit and then put it down for a while, only to do the same thing again (and again).  R.A.F.T. it:  Get RID of it (to someone else), ACTION it now, FILE it if you may need to refer to it down the line or THROW it in the bin/deleted items file.

90% is Good Enough.  It sounds great to be a perfectionist, but is it REALLY necessary?  You can waste a lot of time working on the last 5 to 10 percent, and will anyone know anyway?  Will someone pay you a big premium for perfect?  If not, go with 90% and move on.  God grant me the serenity to accept the things that cannot be perfected; the courage to perfect the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Andy Burrows

The Trades Coach.