One thing I've noticed is that people LOVE to talk about how busy they are. They are so busy with their business, their job, volunteer commitments, etc., they can't possibly do one more thing or their head will explode. However, if you look at what they really do with their time, their complaints of "too busy" are really just their big ego talking.
How do you recognize such people? They're the ones sending emails to their boss between 10pm and 6am. Or maybe they are the boss, sending emails to employees during overnight hours. They're the ones staying at work until 8pm because they spent an hour and a half chatting with co-workers during the day or calling useless meetings. They're the ones constantly interrupting others during the day, having no respect or boundaries for other people's time. They're the ones that show up, unannounced, in someone's office just to "pick their brain." They might also complain a lot about how busy they are.
These people don't suffer from being too busy and a lack of time. They suffer from a lack, yes, but a lack of organization, lack of respect for the time of others, and a lack of awareness that the world does not revolve around them. If they actually planned out their day and got organized, they'd find themselves with a lot more time on their hands.
If you struggle with being productive and find yourself frittering your day away, maybe it's time to take a look at what you really do in the course of a day. How many minutes did you spend socializing with co-workers? How much time did you spend on Facebook? How much time did you spend checking the news, shopping online, or doing fantasy sports? If you're doing any of these during "work" hours, it's highly likely you could be more productive and claiming to be "too busy" is probably a stretch. If you'd rather be a slacker or just need a few breaks during the day, nothing wrong with that, just don't be that person sending emails at 8pm to the folks that got their work done during the day.
Super productive people are able to block: block their time and block out distractions until they get a task done. That means not checking email for an hour, staying off social media and not taking calls. All of those interruptions will derail actually getting anything done. Unless it's an actual emergency, those things can wait. It's hard for your ego to accept, but the world will go on without you for a bit while you finish a few tasks.
Is your business a leaky faucet? Are you unsure where your cash flow is going every month? Does it seem like you just can't get ahead? Your business may be a leaky faucet.
As your business grows, it becomes more likely that little leaks will start springing up in your revenue. At first, it may not seem like a big deal, but over time, these little financial leaks end up costing your business big bucks. It's critical to understand where the leaks are and stop them as soon as possible before they cause major damage.
One thing I undertake with my multi-unit business owners is a comprehensive analysis of where they might be leaking money. Whether it's in inefficient staffing, sub-optimal vendors or a poorly structured lease, before my clients make a major expansion, we go over any potential leaks and move quickly to stop them. This increases their cash flow, provides capital for growth and makes them feel more in-control and at peace knowing their business is running efficiently.
If you're considering a business expansion, such as opening a second location, expanding staff or starting a new revenue stream, first take a hard look at your current operations and make sure you plug any leaks. As always, you can contact me
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.