One of the benefits of writing on a weekly basis, is that it gives me a chance to reflect on what I’ve learned in the last week. Each week, I sit at my computer and think of the questions I’ve been asked or conversations I have been involved in and try to find some meaning from it. Sometimes I have a great “ah-ha” moment, other times an old lesson is reinforced. Regardless of what I learned that week, I am taking the time to identify a life lesson and how to incorporate this into my life and business. I share them with all of you so you can do the same. This week, I realized how we spend our time as business owners is so important. Time is money, so what are you doing with your time?
Time is Money
No matter how much technology we incorporate into our lives to make our work easier, we never seem to have enough time. It has gotten to a point these days where multitasking is a desired skill. News flash, multitasking is a myth. Your brain is incapable of concentrating on two things at the same time! Our days are hectic from the time we get out of bed to the time we lay down at night. If you change the way you think about your day, you’ll find you can be much more productive.
Think of time as money. Just like money, you can either spend time or invest time. Do you know the difference? Here are some examples to consider.
Busy or Productive
Everyone is busy. In my career I have seen people working twelve to fourteen hour days on a regular basis. They work hard, and do a lot of work, but when you ask them about completing a specific assignment, they say they didn’t have time to get to it yet. What? You’re working this much and you’re not getting your work done? How is that possible? Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. Being productive means getting things done. Productive means moving closer to a goal, growing your business and career, or getting closer to project completion. This assumes that you have a goal that you are working towards (most people don’t or have the wrong goal). If you find yourself in this situation ask yourself a few questions. Is this the most effective use of your time? Do these activities get you closer to your goal? If you answer “no” to either of those ask yourself why you’re doing it?
Everyone on planet earth is working with a twenty-four hour day. I’ve said time management is a myth. You cannot manage time. Time is going to go by one second at a time, you can’t speed it up and you can’t slow it down. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is yet to come.
Most people spend time. They spend time watching TV, playing video games, or any number of activities. Especially at this time of the year when millions of people are spending countless hours analyzing football stats and numbers to build the best fantasy football team. Then, they spend hours on a Thursday night, all day Sunday, and again Monday night watching football, so they can start the cycle all over again! Look, I’m not knocking leisure activities, I am just stating an observation. However, this is spending time. Yes, it is fun, but it doesn’t help you make money (aside from your league pool), it doesn’t help you grow your career, and it certainly doesn’t help you generate more free time!
The people that rise to the top are the people that invest their time to achieving a goal, growing a business and being productive. I have quoted Jeffrey Gitomer in the past so here is another good one. “If you invest an hour a day toward developing a skill, in a year you’ll be an expert. In two years, you’ll be a world class expert!” I will tell you without any uncertainty the impact on your life of becoming an expert, or even better a world class expert, will be astounding! Your career will accelerate, your business will grow, your income will grow, and you’ll find yourself with more time.
Why does this work? Because 95% of the general population will not do it. Investing your time into becoming an expert will automatically set you apart from your peers. It will set you apart from your competition. It will make you more valuable.
This Week’s Challenge
Over the next week, or even month. Keep a journal of all your activities. I promise you will find pockets of time when you are spending time that you could be investing. Drop activities that are keeping you busy but not helping you be productive. Challenge yourself to spend an hour a day for 45 days (including weekends) to perfecting a skill needed to succeed. In 45 days, you’ll see such improvement, you’ll want to keep the trend moving forward!
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.