If you had an unlimited amount of time available, how would you use it? The reality is that you would probably end up wasting a lot of it. Human nature dictates that a commodity that seems unlimited is seldom cherished and used wisely.
If you’re one of the 4.3 million small business owners and entrepreneurs in the UK who basically run your business on your own, then you’ll be acutely aware that time is one of your most valuable (and limited) assets. The five topics below provide a whistle-stop tour of techniques to use your time more effectively.
Parkinson’s Law - work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Set yourself clear goals and deliverables to be achieved within a fixed time period.
Prioritise - identify your single most important goal or task and work on that exclusively. The word priority comes from the Latin word prioritatem, meaning item prior. So a list of priorities is an oxymoron - pick your most important goal and make this your current priority until you’ve completed it.
Shiny object syndrome - we’ve all heard of it, but that doesn’t mean we are good at recognising when we succumb to it. Startups and new businesses are prone to this. New product ideas, new markets, new channels - the list goes on. Stick to one idea, execute, measure, and amend as required.
Multi-tasking - avoid it. The myth of multi-tasking has been well and truly debunked. Computers can multi-task but people can’t. The human brain cannot move efficiently between tasks - which is what multitasking actually requires.
Just say no - if you’re the founder, owner or sole proprietor of your business you’ll know continual interruptions can be a big problem. When queries come in, be ruthless in assessing whether they align to your business goals. If they don’t, then politely park them.
If you’re looking for a methodology to apply, Sean Covey’s The 4 Disciplines of Execution is an easy read (or listen).