Win back the lost minutes in your day

Win back the lost minutes in your day

Like many business owners around the country, my day starts with a list. The things left over from yesterday, the items that must be covered today and then a quick think about what the staff are doing and need to keep on top of. Oh, before I started the list, I thought about getting up and training but my phone beeped at 5am – message from London. Then of course I couldn’t get back to sleep….that’s right get up for that training session! Too sore from the day before, still you must get up, the internal voice said….then phone rang at 7.15am. First meeting is at 8am, second meeting is at 9am, first check in with a staff member for their “one on one” as soon as I get back in to the office. Now back to the list!

Today we are focusing on creating a new way of delivering a 600 pax Gala Awards for a tender; the creative team turn their minds to how to best activate corporate brand. Building concepts to create more value for sponsors and the customer as well as creating new revenue streams to keep the event growing.

Now I turn to the Festival. The marketing, how are we travelling against our ticket targets – need to send out that update due a few days ago, that’s ok – add it to the list. So that is today.

Yesterday I was MC’ing an event, tomorrow I’m working with 2 trusted sources to work on “new concept and development events” to support out ambition for growth, and Friday I will set down to look at the budgets, invoices in and out and check how far I have got down my list.

A few things that I can guarantee that will happen today:

  • I will get interrupted;
  • I will run over time inspired by a development conversation going on;
  • I will have forgotten something off the list; and
  • I will have run out of time to work ON my business not in my business!

Famous last words, right – why do I lose that time, where do I lose that time, how can I get that time back?

Imagine if you could write that daily list and get through it, knowing that each step would get you closer to your business goals! Here are a few of my tips for getting through that list and keeping on task, regardless of your day never being the same:

  1. Remind myself, that I wrote it for a reason….these things need to get done;
  2. Have one more look at the list and put an A next to those tasks that are going to get you closer to your business goals (the others, really they can wait) – having the longest list does not win the prize;
  3. Be realistic with time; I am an over achiever and long list writer, so this often is something that I struggle with, but it’s my “thing” at the moment to get better at daily;
  4. Use a timing system in your business if you sell hours rather than widgets; it’s not about micro managing, it’s about having technology support you;
  5. Start with the most complicated or difficult task, it will take you less time when you are fresh in the morning;
  6. Make sure that task is complete – don’t half do something to only get it back again, that’s just a waste of time. Complete the task, with clear instructions to where it goes next so it moves towards the outcome that will serve you and the business;
  7. Use your highlighter, your red pen, or your star stamp for a mental reward when something is completed and ticked off – little wins are often needed in business, so you can really be reinforcing your success culture right here on your list;
  8. Get a laser like focus when you start a task; email – be brave and turn it off, phone – be brave and put it on silent and in the drawer – focus on one thing at a time.

Explore your own options for how you will get through your own “to-do” list….or borrow some of the tips above.

Now, back to my list!

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