What gets in your way, day to day?
Thursday, December 11, 2008/
What has worked for you and your business this year? It is a good time now to sort the efficient from the time-wasters. POLLYANNA LENKIC
By Pollyanna Lenkic
Last week I wrote about planning a strong finish for the year; having thought about what that means for me and my business I am now reflecting back over the past year to what has worked well for me and what hasn’t.
What has worked well for you over the past year?
Write down your successes and how they came about, what strategies did you use? If they worked, you may want to use them again. It is powerful to have a list of these stories and strategies written down so that when you are feeling stuck you have a resource written by you, for you.
What hasn’t worked so well? Again, I encourage you to write about it, how did you respond, react and behave? What did you learn from the experiences?
What often doesn’t work well for people is how they manage time. This comes up time and time again in my conversations with business owners and executives. How do I manage my time better? A place to look for the answer is to identify your habits, make changes and become the master of your time. Don’t allow circumstances or others’ demands control your time.
For example, do you have an automatic notification running on your email program? How’s this working for you? Yes it’s fun to hear that you have a new message, we all love new things, distracting things (well I do!), however did you know that every time you are interrupted at a task for more than about 20 or 30 seconds, your brain has to switch gears to stop what you were originally doing and then start something new. Then it has to switch gears again to go back to what it was on.
This process takes between six and 10 minutes, every time you do it. So if you got distracted by only 10 emails a day, that is costing you an hour of lost time just waiting for your brain to switch gears.
Something very easy that you can do right now to stop reacting to outside influences is to simply turn off the notification; better still log out of your emails and only log in a few times per day.
Create a system that works for you and your business. I noticed recently on one of my clients email signatures a simple statement that said he only checks emails at the beginning and at the end of the day, in case we needed an urgent response then call him. Good idea.
Email is certainly one of my big time wasters if I allow it to be. Also a fabulous tool for procrastinating when I am avoiding a task, it’s amazing how deluded I can become using email. I can waste loads of time and convince myself that I have been busy. I’m sure you don’t do that!
The other place to focus some attention is on becoming the “master” of your systems. The one and only principle of being this master is that your work systems must work for you, not against you.
We have all read the books and get the concept that it’s important to spend most of our time on the things that are going to bring revenue and results for our business in the short and long-term. Focus on our strengths, on what we are good at. Do we actually do it? If not it may be time to stop doing things that you don’t enjoy and which don’t bring the results you want.
Create systems, delegate and/or outsource whatever is not worth your hourly rate to do. And of course if developing systems is not one of your strengths then find someone who is good at it; get them in to help you.
Enjoy the next few weeks, celebrate all you have achieved this year, also look at the things you have tolerated, choose whether or not you are going to tolerate them next year.
Wishing you a very happy festive season.
Pollyanna Lenkic is the founder of Perspectives Coaching, an Australian based coaching and training company. She is an experienced facilitator, certified coach and a certified practitioner of NLP. In 1990 she co-founded a specialist IT recruitment consultancy in London, which grew to employ 18 people and turnover £11 million ($27 million). This blog is about the mistakes she made and the lessons she learned building a business the first time round and how to do it better second time round. For more information go to www.perspectivescoaching.com.au
For more Second Time Around, click here.