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.

$10/hour

$100/hour

$1,00/hour

$10,000/hour

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.

Want to know more about how to make your time worth $10,000 an hour?  Catch my webinar here. 

About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.