Do you often have a number of things left over at the end of your day and always seem to be chasing your tail?
Are you like many small business owners who often get caught up and stuck in the day-to-day running of your business?
Too often small business owners just try and ‘fit it all in’ and react to what comes up on any given day. This is a recipe for a disaster and keeps you stuck running on the treadmill doing the same thing day after day.
To break this cycle, you must start to understand what happens with your time and your business.
This will help you get much more done each week…
Think of your time as a jar
The first thing to acknowledge is that you only get 24 hours in a day. No more. No less. It is what you do with your time that counts. This is based on the principle that Stephen Covey shared with us, which is that your time is like a jar of rocks.
Stephen taught us that there’s four things that you can put in your time jar:
- Big rocks, which is the important, but they’re not urgent;
- Pebbles, which are urgent, but they are important;
- Sand, which is urgent, but not important; and
- Water, which is not urgent, not important.
They’re the four elements that you play with every day.
The drama is if you fill your jar up with urgent but not important things (sand) and you try and put a big rock in, it’s just not going to fit. You might be able to squeeze a few pebbles in there but not much else. You will not win your game of business that way.
So how should it work so that you can more done each week?
Put the big rocks in first.
The big rocks are important, but they’re not urgent. It’s the tasks you do known as working ‘on’ your business. These are the things that are really going to drive your business forward. This includes things like systemizing your business. It’s about creating a marketing machine so that you are always generating leads and enquiries. It includes improving your sales process. It’s all those things that are going to make life easier for you in your business.
Do not even think about putting anything else in your time jar until you’ve put the big rocks in first.
Next is your pebbles.
Put the pebbles in to make sure they fit into your day. These are the important things, and they’re urgent. They are often the day-to-day things like servicing your customers. These often easily fit around the big rocks.
Be aware of the sand
The sand can often trick you in business. You can often get caught out because it was urgent, so you can be tricked into thinking it was important. When you really look at it, it’s not as important as you thought… and often someone else is driving the urgency. This can waste a lot of time in your day. If you put your big rocks followed by pebbles in your jar first, the sand can fit around it and you will get done what you need to get done. But if you don’t your day will just be very busy and filled up with sand, and so you are deceived.
By filling your jar in this order you’ll always have time to get the important things done. Your jar gets filled and anything that doesn’t fit in there will be the things that don’t really matter. You’ll have your big rocks so you’ll be working on your business to improve it. You’ll have your pebbles in there, which is the important and urgent things that must happen to keep things ticking along and looking after your customers.
Remember to put your big rocks in first otherwise they’re not going to fit in. You need to plan every week so that you work on those important but not urgent things that will drive your business forward.