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Yes, effectiveness can be learned…………………………..

A lot of things in the life of a business owner may seem overwhelming. There is so much to do and so little time and funds to do it.

In a recent visit with a client, even though the words weren’t verbalized, he was telling me that he was “maxed out” in his business and really needed help getting organized and staying accountable to what had to be accomplished.

My grandson is now learning math in first grade. He has to repeat math facts until they become a part of him, a habit that will stay with him forever. Developing an effective business life is basically the same thing. You have to practice being effective in the critical areas of business life until your mind becomes conditioned and you have now developed a habit.

The number one critical habit that is the foundation for becoming effective is time management. Many things in your business can be expanded, such as staff, more space, additional products/services, but you only have a limited amount of time with which to work.

Effective time management can be learned. The learning process has to start with how you are currently using your time. Before you can go forward you have to have a starting point, and that is accomplished by tracking your current time usage. This is best accomplished by creating a time log by activity; this will determine where your time goes.

The next important phase is that of prioritization on a daily basis. This is not “new news. Most everyone knows that if you prioritize the things that have to be accomplished on a given day or week, the top 20% will accomplish 80% of the desired results.

The issue is not with not knowing what to do, it’s the habit- building process that is neglected. Let me share a few solutions that I use with my clients:

On time management, I have them keep a daily time log by activity for two weeks. Together we review the log and work on putting together activity time blocks. This includes all time including rest breaks, phone conversations, customer contact, lunch, and everything else that occurs in a work day.

The next task is to set daily goals which are prioritized by order of importance. We allocated time for marketing and accounting along with other day to day activities. Once the work is prioritized, the task is to take number one and complete it and so forth. ( All the work is scheduled in the time  blocks that were created in the time activity report)

What makes it work is the e-mail I receive at the end of each day which shows the “to do “list which was created in the morning and what has been accomplished. It’s a hard regimen to follow, but after several months a habit is created and effectiveness has occurred.

Don’t be afraid to accept help, no one can do it all alone

Nick J. Petra CFP     www.strategicduck.com      take a sneak peek at www.onebizcentral.com and join.

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