It’s the most precious resource we have and one of the very few that cannot be replaced. For service professionals looking to create a highly successful, lifestyle-focused business it is essential that we use the gift of time well so that we can achieve our goals.
One of the top challenges service professionals face in marketing their business, is overcoming the perception that they don’t have enough time to market their business. For a number of reasons, most service professionals I know fail to use their time wisely each day.
It’s easy to get distracted and, at the end of the day or week, find yourself frustrated with not having accomplished all of what you set out to do. If this happens to you week after week, you may find that your business is not as profitable or successful as it could be, simply because you aren’t working efficiently and marketing consistently.
Understand — you DO have the time. You simply need to “buy” it out from some other activity AND start utilizing the time that’s being wasted.
Following is my five step system for eliminating the time wasters that are hindering your success:
- Have an honest conversation with yourself. Acknowledge where and how you’re wasting time. Are you chatting with friends and family during the day? Watching TV? Aimlessly surfing the web? Looking for items you’ve misplaced? Running personal errands? If you want different results in your business, you have to start taking different action. This starts with an honest assessment of how you’re currently using your time and how you could be using it better. What time wasters are eating up your day? You can’t fix the problem if you don’t know what it is, so this is a crucial first step in eliminating your time wasters.
- Identify the cause. What is contributing to your distractions and time wasters? Is it the email notification that “pings” you each time you have a new message? Your cell phone or office line ringing throughout the day and you feeling compelled to answer the call? Is it a lack of organization that keeps you looking for items or information that you’ve misplaced? What is the REAL reason you’re wasting time? Identifying the underlying cause will allow you address the challenge and implement a solution to eliminate it.
- Makeover your mindset. You have to make the DECISION do things differently. Starting TODAY. This means owning where you’ve been wasting time and not making excuses. Making over your mindset also means being willing to change old habits and break out of your comfort zone. You may have gotten used to carrying out your business and marketing activities a certain way, but to create the next level of success in your business you must be willing to make some changes. Start getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and be willing to embrace the changes you need to make.
- Redefine how you spend your time. If your day is a haphazard free-for-all of activity, then it’s time to get strict with how you’re spending your time, especially as it relates to your marketing. Review your calendar, plug in recurring weekly appointments and then block out dedicated time(s) at the beginning of each day (at least each week) to spend on marketing your services. Note on the appointment exactly what you will accomplish during the specified time and commit to sticking with this schedule.
- Setup systems and accountability. Let friends and family know that you are not available for personal calls during working hours. Dedicate specific blocks of time during the day when you check your email and then other than that, keep your email client CLOSED. Consider how you can work with a marketing coach to break your projects down into manageable tasks so you make steady progress and so the coach can keep you on track.
Putting off until tomorrow what should be done today is the main reason so many feel overwhelmed and confused, when they could be enjoying the fruits of their labor. So make the commitment to eliminate your time wasters, focus your energy and stick to your marketing plan! You’ll be rewarded with a profitable business that serves others and allows you to reach your goals!
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Your Action Plan For The Week:
- For the next 7 days, keep a record of how you’re spending your time each day so you can develop a clear picture of where you are wasting time.
- Commit to eliminating YOUR time wasters and changing the way you view your work day.
- Designate specific blocks of time on your calendar to manage recurring tasks (including marketing!) I recommend scheduling priority items early in the day and early in the week. Then allocate blocks of time to manage client work and other operational tasks.
- Get some support! Partner up with a colleague and schedule weekly check-ins to keep each other accountable and on track. Better yet, schedule an appointment for a “Profit Breakthrough” session to discuss how we can work together to re-design your business and accomplish your goals in 2011.