Every single day, we are all given the same 24 hours. So, why do some small business owners get more out of their day than others?
I have learned that entrepreneurs who are the most successful earn the highest return on their hours. Essentially, quality matters more than quantity. But how can we create high value hours and earn the highest possible return on our time? Here are four tips to improve the effectiveness of each and every day:
There is a big difference between effectiveness and efficiency. If you complete each task on your To-do list with a high degree of efficiency, but haven’t generated the desired results you are not effective. Are business tasks making your day as productive as possible?
Many people spend their days being busy without first pausing to evaluate which tasks will give the highest return on their time and which tasks are nonessential. Peter Drucker said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” Choose the right things — the things that reap the highest return on every hour — and delegate or eliminate the nonessential ones.
Once you choose business activities that increase your effectiveness rather than your efficiency, you can determine the level of importance for each task. Ask yourself, “If I could complete only one task today, which would yield the greatest impact on growth and profitability?” Add low priority, but still-essential, tasks to your To-do list and return to them once high priority tasks are completed — no exceptions. Prioritizing your schedule ensures that your daily activity aligns with long-term goals and objectives.
Plan your day.
Each morning (or the night before), before you begin work, plan how you will invest every hour. Without a plan, the day can easily get away from you. You can easily get busy being busy and before long, it’s 6 p.m. and you are left wondering what progress you actually made. The more intentional you are about aligning your daily activities with an expected return and congruency with goals, the more rewards you will reap. Your hours are too valuable to be left subject to unpredictability.
For many, the most productive and energetic time of the day is the morning. Early mornings are the best time to get your most important priorities of the day completed. Afternoons tend to be interrupted by distractions. Blocking out time in the mornings to complete your most pressing and challenging priorities is a very effective way of making significant progress in your day; you are sowing seeds for the rest of the day to be successful and productive.
Implementing these simple tips consistently will help bring a lot of clarity to your day, giving you the ability to organize and focus on the activities that will produce the best results — and get you closer to accomplishing your goals.
Richard Lorenzen is the CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands, a public relations firm in New York. He has been featured on Fox News, Forbes, NBC, Inc. and 100 other media outlets nationwide. He speaks on business and politics.
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