Has it ever felt like you are pushing a bolder up a mountain in your business?
Trying so hard to get things done, but feeling like nothing is really working?
- The clients aren’t coming.
- The money isn’t flowing.
And then at the end of the day, you look up and realize it’s already 6:00 PM and you haven’t crossed half the items off of your to-do list.
I come across this problem all the time with my clients. The solution is a hard pill to swallow. In a regular job, the kind where you are working for someone else, you don’t have to focus all the time on your work and you still get paid. Heck, you could spend three hours on Facebook, and you will still get paid. We’ve all been there – worked with someone who was a complete bozo (did nothing) – and he still got paid (sometimes he even got promoted).
As an entrepreneur, it’s just not like that. You can work 12 straight hours, and if you are working on the wrong things – you’ll still be broke. In fact, there is no real correlation between hard work and success. There is a correlation between the “right” work and success.
Many entrepreneurs equate “working” with “making money”. But the things they are working on aren’t going to lead them to make more money. Or they are spending way too long on smaller tasks, leaving them little to no time to focus on the important ones.
Here are some examples of possible time wasters:
- Spend 6 hours writing a blog post – every week.
- Schedule meetings all over town – traveling for an hour between each one.
- Allow clients to schedule appointments whenever the client desires, killing the opportunity for large chunks of time to get things done.
- Spending hours rescheduling client appointments.
- Spend an hour on FB every morning and evening.
- Allow family distractions to eat two hours of their time each day.
- Spend 120 minutes on the phone with an “accountability” partner.
- The activities above are great examples of time that is wasted on activities that aren’t revenue generating.
- Or spending way too long on some tasks and leaving not enough time for sales and marketing.
So how do you solve this problem?
Start watching the clock! Here are my rules of clock watching:
1. Check Time at the Start. Whenever you start a task, look at the clock and make an estimate of how long you’ll need to finish the task. Do your best to stay on schedule.
2. Analyze How Long Regular Tasks Take. After you’ve watched the clock for a while, you’ll start to get a sense of how long things take you. I.E. writing the newsletter takes one hour, going through e-mail takes one hour.
Once you understand how long things take – be sure to stay within that time frame – and always watch the clock.
3. Limit the Time of Interruptions. If you have a work interruption – a phone call or a conversation, watch the clock and limit the time for your interruption. Perhaps say, “I have 30 minutes for this conversation.” Stick to it.
4. Use a timer. If you are prone to being distracted, use a timer to help you stay focused. I like to do 45 minutes on and then a timed 10-minute break. Then 45 minutes on again. This process is especially helpful when you are writing.
Here’s to you becoming a clock-watcher. May it lead to greater wealth and greater time off!
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