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THE Secret to Time Management for Business Owners

How many of the following statements can you relate to?

•    “I have so many balls in the air, I don’t even know where to focus.”
•    “I can’t believe I said THAT to one of my employees the other day—I was just so fed up with nothing being done to my standards!”
•    “I’m so tired of being the only one who can get things done around here!”
•    “Another year has gone by and I can’t see anything I’ve done anything to make my business better than it was last year.”

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve probably muttered something along these lines recently —  if not this morning, then probably it was yesterday.

What do all of these statements have in common? The irony of owning a successful business is that time management becomes a bigger and bigger problem. In fact, the severity of your overwhelm and frustration likely is directly proportional to the success of your business.

Make Your Time Count

The secret to good time management is identifying and focusing your energy on high value activities, while successfully delegating lower value activities to others. Doing so not only frees up your time, but also has a significant impact on your bottom-line.

There are 2 challenges we all run into:

Challenge #1: Determining the most valuable use of our time

Challenge #2: Making sure that lower-value tasks get handled while we focus our time on those high value activities that move our businesses forward.

In his book, 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More, Perry Marshall delineates the value of various activities on which we business owners spend our time. I’ve adapted his chart here for you to use in considering how you are spending your time.

I love sharing this chart with my clients – it’s a real eye-opener! All of us are easily tempted to do the $10 – $100/hour activities. These tasks tend to feel urgent. These tasks are the ones we kid ourselves by saying, “I can take care of that myself more quickly than I can delegating it.”

Unfortunately, when we spend our time on the $10-$100/hour tasks, it’s the $1,000 – $10,000/hour activities that fall to the wayside. If you—the owner and chief strategist in your business—aren’t doing these $10,000/hour activities, no one is! No wonder you feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels.





Running Errands

Solving a problem for a prospective of existing customer

Planning and prioritizing your day

Improving your Area of Innovation

Talking to unqualified prospects

Talking to a qualified prospect

Negotiating with qualified prospects

Interviewing your top clients or customers to better understand their needs, challenges and frustrations

Cold-calling (of any variety)

Writing an email to prospects of customers

Building your sales funnel

Creating value-added experiences for your top clients or customers (based on what you learned from interviewing them)

Building and fixing your website

Creating marketing tests and experiments

Analyzing results of your marketing tests and experiments

Executing “bolt from the blue” brilliant ideas

Doing Expense reports

Managing pay per click campaigns

Creating pay-per Click campaigns

Negotiating major deals to benefit your top clients or customers

Working “social media”

Doing Social Media well

Doing social media with extreme competence (this is very rare)

Selling to high-value customers and members

Cleaning, sorting

Outsourcing simple tasks

Delegating complex tasks

Attracting and selecting top-performing team members

Attending meetings

Customer follow up

Writing sales copy

Public speaking

Where to start? Pick a $10,000/hour task that needs your attention. Block out a couple of hours of uninterrupted time next week. Shut your door and don’t allow any interruptions.

Treat that time as you would an appointment with your best client or customer – you wouldn’t cancel it, would you? Do something nice for yourself at the end of that block of time to celebrate the actions you took to move your business forward.

Send me an email right now to let me know the $10,000/hour task you are blocking time for next week. Then, email me next week to let me know you spent that time on your $10,000/hour task (even if you didn’t complete it—what’s most important is that you got started).  Seriously, I want to celebrate your win with you! Those of you who do this will be entered in a drawing to win Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More. I’ll announce the winner in my next newsletter. Just email me directly at

Now, go make your time count!

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and author of How to Hire the Best specializes in transforming small businesses into highly profitable, Great Places to Work!

Employee problems can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks for any business owner. With her background in psychology, and years of driving profit in small business, Dr. Starling knows what it takes to find, keep and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment-your employees.

Catch her next Masterclass, Quickly Double Your Profit with Top Performing Employees and access her comprehensive video training 5 Secrets to Exceptional Employee Performance (her gifts to you!) by texting EMPLOYEES to 4422.

One Response to THE Secret to Time Management for Business Owners

  • Congratulations to Melanie Myron, owner of Casper Glass ( for moving forward! Lightening landfills one tiny glass diamond at a time… Casper Glass is a manufacturer and wholesale supplier of wine accessories & unique gifts made from rescued glass (how cool is that?!)

    Not only did Melanie set a strong intention to take a BIG action to move her business forward, she followed up by the end of the week to let me know what she had done. For this, Melanie wins a copy of Perry Marshall’s 80/20 Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More.

    Congratulations to all who entered this GIVE-AWAY that was announced in my newsletter and the blog. Even if you didn’t win the prize, you won by moving your business forward with a $10,000/hour action. WAHOO!!

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Sabrina is essentially the most profitable employee my business has, yet she is not on the payroll. She facilitates me to have insights about my business and myself that no one else can. She opens my eyes to my weaknesses and my strengths and you need to see both to be successful.

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