Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Making Time

Vlad (http://www.vladville.com) poses the question: How does one manage to get more things done in less time?

There's a real challenge to this. Some would ask, "How do you make time . . ." but Vlad knows you don't make time at all. We each get the same number of minutes in the day, the week, and the month.

The first step is to get more done in the same amount of time as everyone else. The next step is to get more done in less time.

Is such a thing really possible? Of course it is. Look around and you'll see plenty of people who get amazing amounts of work done. They seem to have major accomplishments announced all the time.

Without simply telling everyone to just go read the entire RelaxFocusSucceed.com web site, let me answer Vlad's challenge. To wit: how do I reduce the time commitment and stress related to running a business?

The most important thing I do in my life and for my business is to sit down every morning, take some quiet time, and prepare for my day. I do a little relaxation exercise. I write out 1-3 goals for each of the three most important areas of my life: Personal, family, and work.

These goals are actions that need to be done today. They are directly related to my goals for the week, the month, and the year.

There's nothing new here. If you read Making It Big In Small Business by Beatrice Mulzer, you'll find that morning quiet time and goal setting is a common theme. I practice it religiously because it keeps me focused and on track.

If you want to make something happen (have a personal life, don't work weekends, double your income), you need to focus on that every day and not let it get lost in all the busy-ness that steals your time.

I don't do everything myself. I don't even try.

This also sounds simple. But it's actually very hard. As a business owner, and the founder, and the chief technical resource, it is very tempting to believe that only I can do it right, only I care about the customers, and only I can manage the money. After all, only I can set the work priorities, only I can do employee reviews, only I can handle client renewals. And on and on and on.

Learning that I can hand a job to someone and then hold that person accountable has dramatically increased my ability to get more done.

Again, it sounds simple, but it's the single biggest hurdle at every stage of growth for any business. Look at your clients and you'll see this is true.

Some businesses are stuck at three people because the owner won't give up the customer relations. Some are stuck at five because the owner won't give up finance. Some are stuck at twenty because the owner won't give up the H.R. function.

One of my long term goals is to set my little consulting business free from my daily control. The only connections will be a single monthly meeting and large dividend checks. That's only going to happen when I trust other people to handle every single thing that needs to be done.

I attend professional events, go to seminars, and talk to lots of people in this business.

Did you ever see the movie Starship Troopers? There's a scene where the alien sticks a probe into the good guy's head and sucks out all of his knowledge. That's me. Just ask Dave Sobel, a recent victim.

Thank God I don't have a job! I'm lucky enough to be working in one of the most exciting, growing, changing, challenging, and rewarding professions there is today. I love this profession. Which means I love sitting around with other nerds and talking about how they do stuff (and how we do stuff).

Even posting this simple blog brings feedback. People email me questions and suggestions. It all contributes to making the business run more smoothly with less of my time.

I could go on and on. I could write a monthly newsletter on this stuff. I could write a book. But that's my short answer to Vlad's challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Thankfully, the hole in my head healed itself nicely.

    Always happy to share ideas Karl -- that's the whole point of conferences, isn't it?


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