Small Business Time Management: Where Does Your Time Go?

By Alzay Calhoun

Edited Video Transcript:

Hey, it’s Alzay Calhoun with Coveted Consultant, and this whole video series is focused on giving leaders better tools build the best-in-class business you envision.

There is no way that you can build that best-in-class vision if you are firefighting small tasks everyday. This whole series is focused on helping you transition from chief firefighter into chief executive.

This video focuses on how you manage your day, and how to make sure on a day-to-day level, you are focusing on things that are most important. I want to give you a structure for that right now.

We’ve all had this experience, right? You wake up in the morning. You’re bright-eyed, you’re ready to go. You feel like you’re focused. You look down, you look back up. It’s 1:00 in the afternoon. Whoa, what happened? You look down, you look back up. It’s 6:00 in the evening. Whoa, what happened? You look down, you look back up. It’s 9:00 at night, and you’re still working. What happened to the day?

Now, not only can the days get away from us, but, as the leader, if your job is to be focused on these next-level, 10X opportunities, this is extremely expensive for you as a leader. This whole dynamic is one of firefighting. You’re dealing with small tasks during the day. They eat up your day. Before you know it, you haven’t done … haven’t moved the big rocks that are most important for you to move.

Let’s structure this, and let’s think about how to attack it.

Where does YOUR time go?

Download this simple, one-page guide to help you track your time and set new priorities

Download the Guide

Let’s figure out what you’ve been doing today. Let’s first go to your email inbox, look in your sent folder, and write down the person you sent the email to, and the subject of that email.

On this day, you responded to a number of emails. Who’d you sent them to, and what was the subject? Okay?

Next step is who did you meet with today? On your calendar today, you met with a number of people, or you may have had some impromptu meetings. Who did you meet with? What was the subject of that meeting? You probably also had some phone calls today. If you need to, look at your phone. Look at your call log. Right? Look at who that person was, and what the subject of that meeting was.

Now, you’ve got a list. You’ve got a list of who you sent emails to you … who you sent emails to, who you met with, and who you talked to on the phone. That list is now built.

Now, it’s time to categorize. Now, you’ve got this list, and let’s think about things in terms of urgency. How quick you have to respond. There are things are of low urgency, and high urgency. Now, let’s think of things in terms of importance.

There are things that are of low importance, and high importance. Where you want to focus your time and your energy is on things that are of high urgency, and high importance. Right? High urgency, and high importance.

When you go down that list, and you can do this actually pretty quick … rank them. Which things are high urgency, which things are high importance? Those things that meet both criteria belong to you. If those things are things that you should have been doing today, those things matter.

Anything that is high urgency belongs to someone, but not you. If it’s high urgency, but low importance, it belongs to someone, just not you. Every other category can be considered. Should we even have done that today? Should not have occupied time today?

When you think about that, and you look at those things that are high urgency, high importance, you make sure that those things, those type of things, as a category, are always dealt with first part of the day. They don’t stress you, they don’t wait till the end of the day. You don’t put them off, you don’t delay them. You have to eat that frog, so to speak. Right? You’ve got to do that heavy lifting task. You’ve got to do that thing, even if it makes you shudder a bit. You’ve got to do it. Get it off your desk, because it is high urgency, high importance.

Now, here’s where a mistake is typically made. If you’re not careful, you will default to things that are only high urgency. Just because someone calls, and they call you on the phone, and they’re yelling about an issue, then you immediately go into firefighting mode. Someone sends you an email, and the title is in all-caps, and you immediately go into firefighting mode. We want to actively work against firefighting mode. There are things that are urgent, but they should also be important. Important in your world, and only you can deal with them. Those things belong to you. Everything else should be categorized appropriately.

Now, here’s your challenge. Use the comment box below, and type the number of tasks that you found that were high urgency, and high importance. I bet it’s less than you think. I bet it’s less than 5. All the other tasks can be delegated. Sit down with your team. Sit down with your virtual assistant, and begin to kind of figure out what’s the best way of handling these things that are not highest priority for you.

If you’re already on the blog, you can scroll down just a bit, and you can get access to a resource that I’ve created to help you categorize these things, and also have that conversation with your team, if you need some help with that.

Please, put that comment in the box below. Download that resource, if it’s a good one for you, and I’ll look forward to seeing you in the next video.

Where does YOUR time go?

Download this simple, one-page guide to help you track your time and set new priorities

Download the Guide
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