How Do I Find Time To Grow My Business?

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The most common response I’ve heard to advice on how to grow a business is:

“That sounds great, but how do I find the time to implement your suggestions?”

The harsh truth is that you somehow have to fit in regular sessions of working ON your business – as opposed to just IN your business – if you want to grow in a sustainable and profitable way.

To help you carve out that essential time in your hectic week, try out these 5 expert approaches:

1. Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix

“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


What To Do:
– List your common daily activities

– Draw a box with 4 quarters inside it and label them: Q1 – Urgent & Important, Q2 – Non Urgent & Important, Q3 -Urgent & Not Important, Q4 – Not Urgent & Not Important

– Put each activity in one quadrant of the matrix
– Reduce time spent on Q1, Q3 & Q4 tasks, increase time on Q2 activities

For Example:
A demanding but low-profit customer may be taking up a disproportionate amount of time against their value to your business, and belongs in Q3 – Urgent & Unimportant.
A valuable customer may be left feeling ‘unloved’ and needs more attention’, and belongs in Q2 – Non-Urgent & Important.

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2. Getting Things Done

” Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them” – David Allen, founder

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What To Do:
– Capture everything that gets your attention – write down all ‘to-dos’, big and small
– Clarify what action needs to be taken – bin, file, action now, add to an action list
– Organise actions into lists, such as e-mails, phone calls, reports.
– Reflect on and update all lists regularly to clear your mind.
– Engage your systems to take actions confidently

For Example:
Create a process to precisely deal with every type of e-mail you receive, reducing anxiety around what to do with them and when. Regularly review and clean action lists. This allows your brain time for creativity and renewal.

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3. Put First Things First

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities” – Stephen Covey

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What To Do:
– Work out your short-term and longer-term priorities using your values, principles and goals
– Consider these the ‘big rocks’ you put in the jar first before the ‘sand’ of other tasks fills it
– Don’t be afraid to say no to requests that don’t fit with your mission and that drain energy

For Example:
Prioritise essentials that bring future value over short-term reactions to ‘trends’. If you aim to be the number one Cleaning Company in your area, focus resources on Staff Training, Planning, Relationship-Building, Quality Products and Outstanding Service, rather than chasing low-value jobs, cost-cutting projects and ‘fashionable’ contracts.

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4. Get The Hard Stuff Done First

” Eat That Frog ” – Brian Tracy

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What To Do:
– Tackle the hardest-to-do thing on your list first, to stop difficult tasks hanging over your head
– Learn self-discipline, put your head down, ignore feelings and get it done

– This approach increases productivity and performance

For Example:
Start the day by writing the bid, making the challenging call, organising rostas, dealing with the difficult employee. Getting the tough task done first boosts confidence and energy.

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5. Change A Keystone Habit

“The brain’s dependence on automatic routines can be dangerous. Habits are often as much a curse as a benefit” — Charles Duhigg


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What To Do:
– Change one ‘Keystone’ habit for far-reaching effects
– Select a physical, emotional and person cue to practise the new habit
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit
– Practice your new habit cycle every day for 30 days

For Example:
– Set the cue of one hour closed-door/uninterrupted planning time after lunch every Tuesday
– Work out the Emotional trigger, such as excitement for developing the business, and Who will trigger it, such as a mentor/friend by calling you
– Design some carrots and sticks for the new habit, such as treats, celebrations, tracking progress streaks and reporting to close associates
– Practise for 30 days to establish cues that create new habits, and build belief in change

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