Small Business Owner Alert: 5 Tips for Taking Time Back michellelandis, by Michelle Landis

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We grew up with the adage, “Time is a precious gift because you can’t ever make more of it.”  Or, “You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.”  Although it’s not tax time, I am willing to give small business owners a walloping loophole you can really go to work with right away.

There is a Loophole in the Time Theory.

Really, there is.  Think about this:  every single day, there are many moments that are doing nothing more than draining your resources and talents.  These malicious little instants take away your time when you’re not thinking about it or even aware of what’s happening.   In a blink, it’s wasted, gone, lost before your ever had it.  The small business loophole is to NOT give your time away in the first place.  Letting time slip away is a difficult habit to let go of, but if you put the effort in, your defense will soon become routine.  You’ll gain more and more time to work with each day.

Do you Have Your Defense Planned Out?

In baseball, it’s called protecting the plate.  You have to work the same concept into your business plan.  Have that bat up and ready no matter what comes at you, be it a curve ball or a changeup.  Daily, the amount of time you have is under attack; and I will wager that every small business owner wants more time to work ON their business, rather than micromanaging everything IN it.

Here Are the Five Tips to Live, Breathe, and Work By.

1. Treat Email as An Enemy.

I will advise you NOT to start your day at your Inbox.  This ABSOLUTELY should be delegated to an employee, or put off until later in the day when your essentials are over.

2. Don’t Get Lost in Social Media.

Social media takes HUGE amounts of time! I am not understating the importance of a strong social media platform for a company, but this is not something a business owner should get hung up on.  Outsource a professional or delegate to your marketing department.  Only intervene with social media when it requires an owner’s touch or comment.

3. Use Conference Calls Whenever Possible.

We are now in an era where conference rooms are available on the internet at any moment.  You can even give presentations while networking online.  Gone are the days where you need to drive an hour to have a conference.  Most large sized businesses have grasped this concept, but small to mid- sized owners are sometimes hesitant to give up the old school within them.  There are times when networking in person is important, but team meetings or monthly client updates can be accomplished without ever leaving your desk.  And make sure EVERY meeting has a concise agenda, with no room for going off point.

4. Begin Each Morning at the End of the Day.

Your next day’s agenda should be precisely planned out at the end of every business day.  You should enter your office in the morning knowing EXACTLY what your first task of the day is – and it should be your most important.  Trivial things like email or bookwork should be saved for late in the day (if you are absolutely not able to delegate this task completely).  But don’t leave your office without knowing what needs to be done FIRST thing in the morning.

5. Kiss Your Ugly Toad First Thing Out of the Gate.

When the princess finally took a leap of faith and smooched that old toad, she was quite rewarded, right?  Play some music that pumps you up on the way into work.  Hype yourself however you can, and get ready to go in that office door hard.  Procrastination wins you nothing at all.  Do the most important, and often most unlikeable item first thing in the morning (a.k.a ugly toad), and you will be ensured a much smoother day.  With no moments lost to procrastination.

Taking advantage of the time loophole will allow you the fabulous freedom to focus on new business opportunities, marketing strategies, networking potentials, or simply to go on vacation for a much needed break and a chance for renewal.  Don’t reward procrastination, throw it out the window, and don’t forget to guard that plate effectively.  Plan, delegate, do, and succeed!

About the Author, Michelle Landis

Michelle is a certified Master Business Coach and owner of ActionCOACH of Greater Lehigh Valley/Berks of Pennsylvania.  She is an educator and a business professional with over 25 years experience in the business world running both small and medium sized businesses. She has an extensive background in education, executive management, sales & marketing, operations and entrepreneurial pursuits that include international consulting in China, extensive teaching and educational endeavors as well as executive leadership roles with General Electric, Dun & Bradstreet, and Armstrong World Industries. Her leadership skills have delivered over $58 million to the bottom line.

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