Have you ever arrive at the end of your working day, week, month or year and cannot really articulate what you accomplished?
How many unfinished projects do you have lying around your office?
How many unexecuted plan do you have right now?
Why are you struggling to complete your projects or execute your plans?
The simple answer will be: you do not have enough time right?
You have attended several time management training, read all the time management books you can lay your hands on yet you have still not been able to get a handle on your time?
This means the problem is not you, the problem is the assignment right?
As a small business owner, you have so much to do.
You have to do marketing, customer services, operations, finance etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
It’s impossible! No single person can do all of those stuff and still be productive.
That’s what you think.
I mean let’s face it, all of those time management gurus cannot be wrong.
All of those time management authors cannot be wrong.
It true, they are not wrong. The problem is they are not dealing with the core issue of time management: productivity.
There is the saying that people buy drill because they want hole.
You do not just want time for the heck of it, you need more time to be able to produce something valuable.
Check this out: image you were a small business owner twenty or thirty years ago, what did you need to do accomplish task as simple as finding information. Let’s say you had a meeting with a prospect and you wanted to learn a bit about that prospect before the meeting, what did you have to do then?
You had to drive to the public library, look into the business directory or business pages or the newspapers and heaven help you, if you had passed a homeless guy on the way without dropping a penny into his hat, by the time you arrive at the library someone else will already be using the book you were rushing to see and there are already five other people on the waiting list.
Can you imagine that scenario?
Now fast forward to 2013, you have an appointment with a prospect and you need some inside scoop on him, how long do you think it will take you to get the same information that twenty or thirty years ago would have taken you a day or two to find?
You are right nano seconds.
You do not even need to go anywhere, you just need to flip open your smart phone and Voila in nano seconds you have any scoop including some info you might not even need.
At present we have automated this, automated that, for good measure you even have automated babysitters yet you still do not have enough time to be productive?
Why Are Most Time Management Training Scams
So why is it that with all our automated this and that and the literally thousands of time management books, the majority of people are still scandalously unproductivity?
The answer is this: as a said the large majority of time management training and books do not tackle the core issue which is productivity.
It is not the amount of time you put into your work that matters, it is what you put into your time that matters. A research was done in the US of top CEOs of fortune 1000 companies, what the researchers found was that all of the CEOs who took part in the studies did not succeed in gaining 90 minutes of productive time per day.
We are talking about people who are running multibillion pounds businesses. If the guys running multibillion pounds businesses cannot get a handle on their time, what hope is there for the small business owner like you and me?
Well there is hope. The first step in the process is for us to identify the core issue that most time management training and books fail to tackle, which is productivity.
There is a difference between activity and productivity. Activity is engaging in the doing of the thing, productivity is the result that is produced.
Another way of putting it is activity is like public sector work, where people just show up mess around the entire day and get paid at the end of the month, while productivity is like a sport team. When a sport team take onto the field, they know they are on the field to achieve a specific result.
How Can You Be Productive As A Small Business Owner?
Step one: you need to ensure every activity you engage in is geared towards a specific result. As a business, you need to have a goal. Any activity you and any of your staff are engaged in has to be measured against that goal.
If you are engaged in any activity that does not directly or indirectly lead towards your goal, you need to stop, no matter how important that activity might appear on the surface.
Step two: you need to create the most appropriate productive environment. Having the right environment is 50% of the low productivity battle. The environment includes your actual place of work, your staff and your close relations.
Step three: you need to hire the right people. I cannot over emphasize how important this step is. When you employee the wrong people, they become a drain on your time and resources.
Step four: do the right work at the right time. I am sure many of you have experienced this scenario, working hard at the wrong thing. Productivity demands that when you work, you work on the most essential thing for that moment.
Achieving extreme productivity is not about time management, it is about self-management, it is about people management and above all it is about control of your work environment.