Are you in charge of time, or does time rule you? Do you allocate time, or do you simply manage it? The distinction may appear subtle, but the outworkings are profoundly different.
As a business owner, time is a precious commodity, but do you factor it into your budget? Do you count time as a resource or consider it only as it relates to meeting deadlines?
Business guru Peter Drucker noted, “time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.”
I’ve worked with client after client whose budgeting starts (and usually ends) with how much revenue they believe they can make, ensuring expenses are covered and calling the remainder “profit”. The problem is that they consistently fail to include the time they put in to achieve the revenue.
Efficiency versus Effectiveness.
How often do you quote for a project while looking at time management through the lens of efficiency? When we think about time only in relation to efficiency, we fail to consider how effective we will be.
Effectiveness is directly linked to how we allocate time while focusing on efficiency leaves us at the mercy of deadlines. Or, to put it another way, efficiency is outgunned by effectiveness, which is the underlying driver of time allocation.
Where do you spend your time?
Time allocation is all about where you spend your time. Are you spending time on the right things? What can you do to make the most effective use of time?
What do you spend time doing?
Do your work deadlines take your discretionary time into account? Do you sacrifice rest, and sleep, to get the job done? We’ve all done it. We’ve all worked late to meet a deadline, whether self or other imposed. Yet, in our desire to be efficient, we fail to consider what will be the most effective use of our time.
That’s the difference between time management and time allocation. Efficient time management doesn’t consider other factors. For example, if you’re most productive when well rested and relaxed, do you consider sleep and recreation when you quote?
It's time to flip the narrative.
It’s time for a mindset change. I believe that time is the first resource you need to consider in your business. You need to allocate time to three critical areas; sleep, personal time, and work. Instead of focusing solely on work efficiency, how about assigning the right amount of time to rest and look after yourself?
For many, it’s a revolutionary concept. We’ve grown up thinking we must do whatever it takes to get the job done. Speed and efficiency have been held up as virtues, and we’ve even managed to make them proof of productivity. But are they? I think we’ve cheated ourselves, customers, and clients out of our best for the sake of expediency.
Quicker doesn’t equate to better. If you’re meeting unrealistic deadlines but exhausted – no one’s getting value for money. If your quoted timeframe means sacrificing rest, sleep, and recreation, you won’t deliver the best outcome for your customers. You’re working with a false economy.
Time to make a change?
It’s all very well to recognise the issue, but the critical next steps are understanding how you got to this point and finding the way out. This is where a business diagnostic comes into its own. If you don’t know what a business diagnostic is or why you need one, check out my blog, Five reasons you need a good business diagnostic.
Life is short, it’s time to make your business work for you
In the end time is our most precious resource and the one thing we can’t get back. If you’re ready to work on your business, not just in it, we’re here to help. Our mission is to help you move from constant busyness to effective business.
Book a 15 Minute Complementary Discovery call today and start the journey towards a sustainable rhythm for business success.