Komal Shah, is a Senior Enabler at Espark-Viridian, India
“I don’t have enough time”
As an Enabler, I regularly hear entrepreneurs tell me this.
What’s really happening is that they are caught in the busy trap and filling their time with unproductively,through emails, phone calls, management by crisis, inadequate reporting and ill planning. They seem busy, and look busy, but what results are they producing?
What’s the solution? better time management.
In order to combat the busy trap, you need to be acutely aware of how to manage yourself and your time. A good place to start is with sales forecasting, key to which is understanding your sales pipeline and the activity required to achieve those all-important sales targets. That is, how many calls will result in an appointment, and how many appointments will result in a sale.
For Good Measure
Measuring your business performance is critical, you need to be able to quickly measure key areas such as:
1. daily visitors to your website,
2. gross margins on your products/services,
3. staff productivity,
4. overhead costs, and
5. hours per project.
If you monitor what is relevant to your business, and you have the necessary targets in place this will allow you to focus your efforts where it matters.
Eye on the Target
Procrastination – we all suffer from this, too much contemplation and not enough #GoDo. Most entrepreneurs have a cash runway, a pot of money to tide them over until income starts coming in. The focus, therefore, should always be on validating your business model, gaining traction and raising finance before you run out of money. It should NOT be on social media, coffee and endless networking.
Top 5 Tips
Here are my 5 top tips to think about and implement if you need help with your self-management:
1 – Switch off your email pop-up so you don’t get distracted when working on important documents and proposals. You could go one step further and only check your emails 3 times a day.
2- ‘Just do it now’ – if you read an email then respond to it, or allocate time in your diary to respond; if you take a phone call, then follow up straight away or re-arrange to a more suitable time. Don’t plan to do later what you can do now.
3 – Be aware of the bigger picture, write down where you want to be a year from now and what steps you need to take to achieve that. Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day stuff, remember your vision.
4- Communicate effectively – manage people’s expectations by sharing deadlines and timescales. Ensure that your team/suppliers/customers are aware of what you will deliver and what you expect from them.
5- Plan your time. Ensure that you make time to plan, and then stick to your plan. Hold yourself accountable if you don’t achieve what you set out to do.
At last remember, ‘Time Management is really a misnomer – the challenge is not to manage time, but manage ourselves. The key is not to prioritise what is on your schedule, but schedule your priorities’ – Stephen Covey.