Try This One Exercise For Productivity
Productivity is key if you’re trying to keep a small business going. Many of my clients are small business owners working very diligently to build their companies and bring their dreams to reality.
It takes a very special person to go into business for themselves for doing so shows a willingness to exchange the security of a paycheque, and its incumbent peace of mind, for the sleepless nights, desperate days and constant worry that frequently are the lot of the entrepreneur.
Knowing that each month you are paid exactly what you are worth can be extremely daunting and there are frequently months when your worth amounts to precisely zero, yet your obligations to making payroll and covering bills remains ever present.
The one commodity common to us all is time and how we use that time will determine whether our entrepreneurial ventures will bring our dreams to reality or turn them into panic-inducing nightmares.
It’s About Time
I frequently ask my entrepreneur clients to record everything they do, while working, for a two-week period.
And when I say everything, I mean everything: social events, break time, coffee with friends, business meetings, planning, texting, sales calls, and everything else that must be done each and every day.
This is a time-consuming exercise yet, when done with complete honesty, the results can be so startling that they are often sufficient to ignite a flame inside the entrepreneur to catapult them into a frenzy of essential business activity capable of remarkable productivity.
When you ask most people how much time they spend at work each week, they will tell you they spend five 8-hour days each week totaling 40 hours.
For many, that is true but if instead the question was “How much time do you actually spend working each week?”, the truthful answer would be very different.
When we leave home in the morning and tell our spouses/partners we are going to work there is quite a difference if the word “work” is a verb or a noun.
And it is this very difference that is such an eye-opener to those folks who, with great honesty, complete their two-week task of recording how their time is spent.
Interestingly, before I assign the task always I ask for a rough estimate of how much time they are spending in, or on, their business each day. A typical response is eight hours, and many will suggest an even higher number. Most really believe this productivity estimate is accurate.
And then comes the moment of truth. Together, we review their activity for that two-week period and the results never fail to show that they spend far less time actually working towards the realization of their goals than they had guessed.
In fact, many are shocked to discover that during the actual time they believe themselves to be working, they are working fewer than 3 ½ hours each day.
It’s Not About “Busy”
Oh, there is no doubt they are busy. Their calendars are filled with activities to be done and people to meet with, but when they examined how their time was actually spent, so much of it was spent socializing, taking a break, quickly checking something on the Internet, visiting with an office mate, doing busy work, booking their next vacation, reading restaurant reviews, that they quickly realized that “work” was as much a noun – a place where they would come to spend time not working – as it was a verb.
I have the good fortune of meeting enormously successful people who have built massive businesses from scratch. They have shared with me their secrets and methods, philosophies and cultural norms they have incorporated into their organizations that have helped contribute to the success.
They have all talked of different techniques and strategies but the one thing common to all of them is an uncompromising commitment to extreme work. They have all made huge personal sacrifices of their time to build their businesses and have foregone many short-term social and family events to have in the long term all the things they want for themselves and their families.
These folks work harder and longer than anyone in their organizations and understand that nothing happens by itself, through wishful thinking or through intention. Results come from action and nothing else.
They have taught me that there truly is a secret to success. It’s called work, and it is the difference between playing at something or accomplishing something.
So, go ahead, take my challenge. For the next two weeks track everything and every single minute you are at work. And then study your findings.
The truth may really hurt you, but if you’re wise enough to learn from it, it will help to change the trajectory of your business.
If you want to learn how to get 8 hours of productive work done in an 8-hour workday, then reach out to me. I promise to get you there faster than you could possibly imagine.
My number is (403) 203 0343 or (888) 929 0343. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The worst that can happen is that you’ll start getting twice as much done in half the time. And that would be a great problem to have.
Till we read again.