The Advancing Leadership Blog

How to effortlessly create more time than you know what to do with… and transform your business

Every entrepreneur and business leader I speak with identifies ‘not enough time’ as one of their major obstacles to getting important things done in their business.  That’s about to change for you with one small shift that you can make tomorrow.

Tip:  Simply start your day with high-value activities, not email.  When I work with clients to help them implement growth strategies and proactively manage customer profitability, I share the one secret and corresponding tool that transformed my own business.

Quick, write down the time that you usually start work in the morning.  Then, write down a time that is 90 minutes later, i.e. if you start work at 8am, your later time is 9:30.  Now, ask yourself if the world will end or if your company will implode if you don’t check email until AFTER you have spent those 90 minutes in a high value-add activity.

Most executives spend at least 90 minutes a day on email.  Ask yourself when doing email last added a significant amount to your bottom line.  Too often, we check email first, end up working everyone else’s agenda, and find ourselves asking sometime in the late morning “what happened to my day??”

Only customers create cash flow.  Only the talent, knowledge, ingenuity, skill, and motivation of your employees creates the kind of value that customers will pay good hard cash for.  Your first 90 minutes of every day need to be spent in a high-value activity with a client such as a Value Creation Conversation™, or mentoring a high-potential employee.  Period.

As a leader its your job to set the agenda, not the job of your Inbox to control what you do.  You don’t have to choose between email, doing everyday stuff and achieving what really matters, you just need to get focused.  But if you have time for email, you have time to transform your business by creating growth strategies and proactively managing customer profitability.

Every one of us has at least 260 90-minute windows in every quarter.  No client of mine has ever been able to assign 260 worthwhile to-do’s to all those windows (and as you’re not working a 9-5 day as an entrepreneur, you have even more windows… or you could just get focused and go home at a decent hour to spend time with your loved ones instead). So the problem ISN’T that you ‘don’t have the time’ – the problem is that you are frittering away your time and that you don’t have the FOCUS on what really matters.  I’m not asking you to choose between doing email and higher-value activities – email is a reality in the 21st Century just as voicemail became both a tool and a burden in the 20th Century.  When you see how much ‘white space’ is left in every work week with this approach, you’ll vividly realize that you have plenty of time to do everything you need to do for your business… in fact, almost more time than you know what to do with!

Take Action:  Reclaim your golden time.  Spend the first 90 minutes of every day out from behind your desk, holding Value Creation Conversations™ with key clients or mentoring a high-potential employee.  You’ll find that you can transform your business in less time than you’re spending on email.

As a proven business leader, successful consultant, and author of the Profit Maximization Breakthrough System™, the Not Another Boring Strategy Session™ Program, and the Legendary Value Cycle™, Anne Graham helps motivated business leaders transform their organization in two ways: with Learn-by-Doing programs guaranteed to deliver results within 91 days, and with hands-on hold-feet-to-the-fire coaching and consulting support to execute well. Click here to find out more about Anne >

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3 Responses to “How to effortlessly create more time than you know what to do with… and transform your business”

  1. mooreby

    Good food for thought here… My advice is that your situation is different to everyone else. Everyday I create my “To-Do” List. I create my list at the end of every day so that the list is ready to activate at the beginning of the next day. My list places in order all the tasks I need to complete – in numerical order – OR – order of priority. It is a fantastic way to 1) Ensure you have a great night sleep the day before and 2) No mucking around early in the morning because you know before you hit the office what has to be done!

  2. Kevin Foster

    This is crucial & fantastic advice! I started this concept a couple of months ago. I start most of my workdays focused on connections that will develop into greater networks and in-person relationships. It’s basically productive & income-generating activities for all involved. It is not email! It’s not old-school networking. It 100% really works.

    Thank you for writing this. I love the “mentoring high-potential employee” part! I wish more people would understand that especially in lower wage service level jobs.


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