The most common grumble in business is “I don’t have time”. For many, time is more elusive than money.
When we work with our many business clients on their financial planning, we always focus on the quality of life they desire. We explore the options and consider what is possible. Yet, we find so many are crazily busy and as a result, are often firefighting. The work/life balance, as all business owners know, is not easy to come by. It takes dedication and commitment to wrestle control of our diaries and remain productive.
I’m often asked about my own work/life balance. It’s interesting for me at the moment as due to a sporting commitment my son has at a professional football club, my wife and I have increased demands on our time. This has impinged upon my normal working hours. It was tough at first but I know it’s all too easy to wallow in your own time deficiencies. I have found that having ‘less time’ has led to me being more productive in the time that I do have.
Being busy, according to Kristin Tucker, is a catch all term. Rammed, buried, busted, overloaded, whatever we want to call it, Kristin comments “when we say busy we really mean something else!”
I like her phraseology.
I’m busy = I’m important
“Being busy gives people a sense that they’re needed and important. It’s also a sign that you are self-imposing these measures of self-worth by looking at quantity instead of quality of activity. Busyness does not equal productivity.”
Kristin goes on to say “busyness is not a virtue, it’s an error in perspective. It’s easy to think that quantity of activities is quality. It allows us to avoid meaningful interactions, commitments etc.”
“In this way, busyness functions as a kind of laziness. To combat this mentality, you need to be purposeful in your actions. Set goals for you day and make some promises to yourself to be accountable for your activities. By all means, use your vocabulary, there are other ways to convey your priorities and availability without using the ‘B’ word. Work smarter, not harder and enjoy your life, people interactions and activities”.
You can read Kristin’s whole article by clicking here.
This resonates hugely with our passion for helping people live the life they want. Creating a work/life balance that is the envy of those around you; it’s all about deciding what’s important.
To help you create more time within your business I’m going to introduce you to a few tips courtesy of Andy Bounds, someone we have worked closely with in recent years.
As Andy states, they are all easy. All will save you time BUT which will you do?
- Don’t have 30 or 60 minute meetings. Instead make them a maximum of 20 or 45. Even shorter whenever possible.
- Review last week’s diary and identify all the things that took longer than they needed to. Then, make sure you don’t let them over-run next week.
- Make sure EVERY single one of your communications ends with a call to action. That way, there will always be actions!
- If you can’t think what action you want someone to take as a result of a communication, DON’T send the communication!
- Have fewer face to face meetings. Have telephone meetings instead.
- If someone asks you to prepare a communication for them, ask them upfront what headings they want in it. That way you are creating what they want and not guessing!
Identify which of these will 1, save you most time and 2, will be really easy to do. Question is… will you do it?
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA