Over 20 years coaching business leaders we’ve observed most spend their time fighting fires, handling urgent (and often unimportant) tasks rather than focusing on what brings in the money. In short, running around dodging alligators when they should be draining the swamp. Now I know, it’s often easier said than done, unless you have a structured model for separating the important from the not so urgent.
Every business has the metaphorical equivalent of $10,000/hour work, $1,000/hour work and $100/hour and $10/hour work.
In other words some tasks have higher impact than others on the short, medium and long term health and profitability of the business. For example, for the average small business, $10,000/hour work is about being strategic. Spending time working on your business. Time that’s spent which will massively leverage your results. For example:
- Creating and implementing long term strategic growth plans
- Designing and implementing strategic marketing systems that bring in a steady stream of new business
- Creating products and programs where you do the work once and can sell it time and time again
- Consulting to top clients
However many business owners spend their time on $10/hour (or less) work and only a small proportion on $100/hour work (selling, delivery etc.). Now I’m not devaluing the $10/hour work. It does need to get done. But by whom?
Are you the best person to do it or could your time be better spent doing $100/hour or $1000/hour work or $10,000/hour work (which only you can do)?
So your first priority is to sort your tasks into those that will help grow your business and bring in the money and other distractions.
Using the Impact/Ease model is one way of determining priorities.
List all your activities. Then prioritise them as best you can into the 4 quadrants.
Do the High Impact/Easy tasks first. Then the High Impact/Not Easy (usually strategic, long term business building activities). Delegate the Low Impact/Not and not important and frankly forget about the low impact and easy items.
If it’s important enough, it’ll rear its head again.
And finally, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to take a helicopter view and work on your business and priorities.
It’s very easy to get subsumed into the day to day stuff. So I believe it’s vital to set aside time each week, leave your “normal” environment and work on your equivalent of $10,000/hour stuff.
Even if it’s only for a few minutes of quiet thinking time!
Over 20 years, we’ve worked with myriad business owners to help them rise above the fray, set strategic direction and grow their businesses, often by multiples of 3 to 4 times within a couple of years.
As a first pass we’re offering a half or full day strategy session where we jointly work out your priorities, impact and ease of carrying each out and put a plan in place for getting it done.
Interested? Call me on 0414 913 334 and we’ll get you on the right track.