Time Management: What are you worth?

This post is about your most vital resource… TIME! In business time is basically a double edged sword when it comes to marketing. Why? Because although they know these marketing strategies I outline are designed to provide more time, most struggle to find the time to actually put the strategies in place! Start working on your business… not in it!

The basic premise of this edition is ‘Time is Money $$’!  Just how much you ask? Well that depends.

Here is a formula for working out just how much your time is worth to you.  Firstly, decide what your base earnings target – the lowest amount of money you want to earn – is. For example, if your target is $150,000, with 365 days per year (minus, say 130 days for weekends and holidays leaving 235 days) multiply by 7 hours in a day, giving you 1,645 working hours in a year. Divide the base earnings by 1645 and you have required per hour in this scenario, $150,000 (divided by) 1645 = $91.18 per hour.

The MAJOR FLAW with this formula is the presumption that every one of these hours will be productive! Nobody is that good. A scary statistic I once read (unfortunately it is nearly spot on) stated the average staff member spends a total of 25 minutes a day in actual ‘productive time’! I will spare you the indignity of what the average ‘owner’ spends on productive time and just let you work it out for yourself!

The proper way of working this out is to divide into the actual number of ‘productive hours’.  On average you can bet you spend no more than 3.5 hours a day in productive time.  If you are highly efficient – your formula would look this. $150,000 (divided by) 822.5 (3.5 x 235 days) which gives you $182.37 per hour as a measure of what your time is worth.

The first obstacle you must over come… IS YOU! Statistics show the average business owner gets interrupted once every 8 minutes!  If each time you’re interrupted, it takes you 3 minutes to get your bearings and move on, you have just lost 15 minutes in every hour! Multiply these 15 minutes by the number of hours in your work day and the amount of time lost on a daily basis is frightening in terms of ramifications on your business!  Notwithstanding some issues are going to be a whole lot more important to deal with than 3 minutes and therefore even more time is lost in your day. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not allow your time to be abused or misused!

The urgency to communicate, and the abuse of your time, is directly related to how easy it is to communicate with you! Open door policies do not work in the boss to employee relationship.  The more you respect your time the more they will respect your time.  End of story. Notwithstanding the same can be said for your customers.  Most business owners fear that if they are not available 24/7 for their customers they will jump ship and take business elsewhere.  In some cases you need to be available on demand but in many this creates an ‘elevation of status’ and the people dealing with you actually start appreciating your time more.

Make it HARD for people to abuse your time… respect your own time.  Those with important matters will find their way to your office anyway… the tire kickers will soon give up. More to the point you want them to start talking in ‘solutions’ rather than ‘problems’.

You do not have to answer your mobile phone! If someone needs to speak to you that badly they can leave a message, and time permits, return the call. Most people spend hours a day just answering and making phone calls ad hock. When you hour is worth $182.37 can you really afford to be wasting time chatting in a schedule where there is already a shortage of time? Block out lots of time to listen to messages and then make important calls… the rest of the time the phone is off/silent.

Junk communication… courtesy of technology. The blight of junk communication has been spawned by the same technology that has revolutionized the way we do business!  When this amazing technology is used efficiently, its capability is mind boggling… and when it is not, it’s capable of generating a staggering amount of time wasting JUNK! Be careful not to fall into the trap of sending and receiving pointless emails when you really should be working.

Solutions…

Work fast… the sense of urgency is one of the most respected attributes in the business world. When one of my clients sends me an email I work hard to get them a reply quickly!

‘Perfection is the lowest standard on Earth’ Perfection stops you from starting.  Just get moving and the snowball starts rolling!

80/20 rules… EVERY BUSINESS HAS THEM!! Work on what provides the most production and rewards you in terms of remuneration.  Most people have 100 tasks to complete and spend the same amount of time on each… Turn these ratios around (80/20 rules) and you instantaneously become 4 times as productive!

Work backwards! Have deadlines within deadlines!  Decide what and when you want to achieve and start making it happen.  Most people work left to right and take 10 times as long to complete anything (if ever at all)! Start with the end in sight and feel the effects.. they will be staggering when applied properly. This is effectively goal setting.

Learn to say NO! You must learn to discriminate… when something does not fit into your 30 day to do list or your 80/20 rules… Probably not worth doing at this point in time.  If it does, prioritize it and start working on it with a sense of urgency!

Don’t make other peoples problems your own! Don’t fall into the trap of ‘reverse delegation’. If you are available to whomever – whenever… you are the one being delegated to!  You are the one that needs to be doing the delegation!

Time is the most vital resource in your company… use it wisely!