Have you noticed there’s something of an obsession among ‘business people’ to be seen as constantly, and dare I say chaotically busy?
There seems to be an almost unwritten ‘law’ that telling everyone you meet how excessively busy you are is somehow good for their business.
But what does it actually do for their business? What messages does it send out? Is it really what current and potential customers want to hear?
Most importantly, are these people just busy being busy, or are they actually busy being productive? There is a huge difference!
I’ve made a study of over 100 micro businesses over the last 2 years, and here are the conclusions.
Unsurprisingly, the people who are busy being productive are very much in the minority – typically just 1 in 10 at best.
The remainder are, quite literally, busying themselves with what they consider is ‘being busy’, yet have very little output to show for their efforts.
In many of these cases, they have a firm belief that filling their time with what they consider to be “essential” or “important” tasks is good for their businesses, sends out a positive message, and as a result they are “too busy” to do other things (which would improve their productivity).
But what are the causes of this obsession with busyness?
Well, from the businesses I have looked at, it’s fundamentally about being disorganised – poor diary/time management, not prioritising the necessary tasks, not thinking clearly about being productive instead of just being busy, and consistently not understanding the full requirements of each task (including what they would deliver, how long they would take to complete, what the whole task requires, and so on).
So, how can you improve your productivity and free-up more of your time in the process?
Try these 3 steps:
- Make a list of your essential tasks first. Then note down everything you need to complete each task (and I do mean everything): whose help/input you will need, what materials and other resources you need, deadlines, etc, then work out how long it will take to complete fully.
- Prioritise these tasks – simply compare each task with all the others, and decide which task in each comparison is most important. The number of ‘wins’ from each comparison that each task gets, gives you your prioritised list – the more ‘wins’, the higher the priority.
- Give yourself feedback on how successfully you increase your productivity – do you estimate enough time, do you remember everything that each task requires, how is it benefiting your customers and your business, and so on?
To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:
e: click here
© Adrian Malpass 2015-17. All rights reserved.