Despite what you may have heard, you can not make time, save time, find time, or manage time. You can however liberate it.
It is easy for a small business owner, to become a ‘poster child for people who do too much’.
It is a mistake – one I have made and in all honesty I continue to make – to believe that as an owner, I have to do everything.
There is a big difference between deciding what needs to be done and the actual doing everything. It is critical as the owner to decide what needs to be done. It is just as critical to do what you do well but hand over critical functions you are not good at to someone who can do it better and more quickly.
Time liberation starts when you get clear about what truly needs doing, deciding who can do it best and then monitor progress.
Deciding What Truly Needs to Be Done
The list of what can be done never ends. Clarity means you narrow down the options based on brand (mission and vision) , focus (target market and product/service offerings) and core values(what you stand for) to a reasonable number of tasks and projects. Keep a balance among the key functions of building leadership, advancing technology, building expertise, executing marketing and staying current with the finances. If you are struggling with what to do, revisit the brand, focus and values decisions.
Deciding Who Should Do It
Do the things you love doing and are good at – delegate everything else. Hire an employee, contract with a professional or a virtual assistant, barter with someone else in your network, bring in an apprentice – what ever it takes. The time locked up when you struggle to complete hated tasks, or locked in worry about what it not getting done is worth looking for an option that can work for you. Employees are just one of many options.
In my earlier post about delegation, I set out a clear method for controlling authority levels on each delegated task or project. As the owner and therefore leader of your enterprise, you do have the responsibility of making sure that work you delegate to others is completed in a timely manner and in alignment with your brand, focus and values.
Bring clarity to your to-do list and begin to liberate time. What task should you remove from your to-do list because it doesn’t build your brand, fit your focus or values? What should you delegate to someone else?