Lack of Time – Time the New Commodity

June 26, 2010

Posted By Patrick Brinkerhoff

As a busy owner and entrepreneur of a business, it can be challenging to find time to look at your business and experience what you have built.  In fact, in my experience working with small business owners, aspiring to develop their companies, the biggest stumbling block owners’ face is a lack of time.  As an example, I started to write this letter to you a month ago.  Time is the new commodity!

I take time most days to enjoy the park or Curious George with my son.  We watch the sunrise with mom, if he wakes early.

This past week mom reminded us of the summer solstice! I wanted to see where the sun landed on my front porch to verify my passive solar design, but I did not allow time to witness the event.

Later that day, I observed my wife’s sadness as she reflected on the shorter days to come.  We both sense that things are speeding up. Doesn’t it feel like time is moving faster than it did when we were young?

Between the demands of work, family, community service, and self; I, too, struggle to find time to evaluate what I have built.  Today, my schedule is so full; I’ve become adept at juggling multiple responsibilities and still finding time to look at what I have created.

Even though time is the new commodity, we need to allow time to evaluate what we have built and the direction in which our business travels.

Here are seven techniques I use regularly. I hope that they will help you too!

Don’t wait until you have a big block of time to evaluate your business.  Set a goal to look at the individual aspects of your operation, spend an hour three days a week.  If I’d wait for an entire day I would never actually look. It sounds great to imagine spending a few weeks looking at reports, but it would never happen.  Instead, I set a goal to look at each individual aspect of my current operation; I may, spend an hour three days week.  This process builds a consistent approach for me that yield better habits for future evaluation; it is, also, less stressful and consumes less time.

Never start without a plan.  Invest the time to plan your weekly goals.  I never start without a plan. I invest the time to determine what I want to accomplish each week. Sometimes, I create a stout outline, or blue print of my week; it saves me time and heartache while optimizing my schedule. I feel awful if I miss a beat throughout my week.

Note your strengths and weaknesses. I write notes on my outline, enabling me to find the strengths in my business model  and image; I note where the model is weak.  Often, I rewrite my outline and notes, so it is clear to me in the future.

Find a mentor to discuss your goals or gain advice. I have found a trusted friend to discuss my notes.  This allows me formulate an outside opinion and gain advice.  Advice, I have learned, is just that; I am not required to use the advice given, but I have found that it usually gives me poise that I am on my correct path.

Adjust to your business world with confidence.  I try to pay attention to the every changing business world. I adjust where needed with confidence.

Keep work fun to make things happen. Also, I try to keep in mind where I find business to be fun.  I notice this is where I actually do my best. If the work you perform is fun, your business will grow and you will enjoy a better customer relation. Decide what you like about your business then make it your brand!

Be aware of your work environment, keep it healthy.  Your environment can support you or distract you when you work. I have in all my practices developed a healthy work environment that supports my accomplishments and what I need from my staff of consultants.  To save time and energy, create the kind of work environment that immediately supports you and your employees.

Finally, create an affirmation, or ritual to evaluate new areas every week; to ask for the ear of a trusted friend; and to spend a moment everyday watching the sunrise.

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