Organized and Still Out of Time

Written by: Harlan Goerger

How Time Management is More Than A To Do List

The majority of small business owners I come across all have a similar challenge; where do I get more time to do what I need to do?

The reality is, a small business owner does wear many hats and often times the 50, 60, even 100 hour week is needed. But every week???

Yes, you have a to-do list and review it every day, prioritize it and block time to do projects, yet there still seems to be something missing?

Be it the single person operation or the CEO of a Fortune 100 company, the challenge is the same; 24 hours in a day, but we need 36!

The core cause is lack of true focus on what is really needed to make the business function. Once my clients understand this they are more in control of their time, more productive and growing their business faster. So follow the steps outlined and discover more focus and productivity…

Do you have your core values clearly defined, stated and communicated?

Ok, what are core values and why are they so key?

Everyone has values that drive both their behavior and choices. Most people cannot articulate them, but know they have some. The key is to boil down to 3-5 very core values that make you who you are, make your business what it is. NO, profit is not a core value!

This is not an easy process, so set aside some time to start writing what you feel are your core values. The list may grow to 20 or even 50. Now combine, prioritize and eliminate until your down to 5 if not 3 that encompass the complete list. If you lived by these values 100% of the time you would be motivated, challenged and at ease with yourself and your choices.

An example might be;

  • Honesty always wins,
  • Innovation is an absolute,
  • Help others win so you can.

Now consider how utilizing such values in every decision and action you take today, how would these guide you and change what you are doing, thinking and acting?

Now that you have your core values, use them against your to-do list. How do the items listed fit with your core values? If it is at all questionable, there needs to be a change!

  •  Take your goals against the core values?
  • Take your clients against the core values?
  • Take your actions against the core values?
  • Take your decisions against the core values?

If they fit and align keep them, if not reevaluate and drop if not fitting.

What are the 3 key actions that move your business forward?

Again, this is not a quick simple process. Think through all that is needed to run your business, prioritize, categorize, combine these until you are down to 3-5 very core action areas. This is now what you focus on as all else is noise.

Let’s assume you’ve boiled this down to People, Growth, Cash. Each day you ask, what am I doing today to grow people, grow the business, grow our cash position? If the activity does not contribute to one or all three, drop it!

Of course, put your 50 items on your to-do list against this, bet 80% or more doesn’t fit!

Yes, CEO’s look at me as crazy, so do small business owners. Yet, when they actually do it, they suddenly find they are in control and the important things are happening! They no longer micro-manage, instead they find creative ways to get things done and enjoy the day!

The items that do not fit, either are busy work, not important or can be farmed out to others that are better at it than you.

The big challenge is to let go of things that you like, use to do or feel no one else can do. All 3 are a false belief. Henry Ford of Ford Motor, “I hire people that know that and are better at that than I am!”

If the focus is right, directed by core values and key issues, then innovation can take over and solve the “how to get it done” question. But this starts with your thinking and perceptions. Core values and issues provide the focus so you have the right thinking, thus the right actions and outcomes.

Yes your brave enough to do this, after all you started a business didn’t you!

Article titled "Organized and Still Out of Time" was written by Harlan Goerger. Get organized already! Use ProTasker.