Do you find it hard to focus on your longer term strategy for business growth and still keep the day-to-day running?
Even more of a specific question: How hard is it to choose what to prioritise on a daily basis?
You’re not alone.
Hi, I’m Heather, and I know exactly how you feel!
Not only has starting my own business recently pushed my own juggling skills to the max, but as a remote personal assistant I’ve also helped many people just like you. I meet so many business owners who are stuck in the day-to-day.
It is killing their business AND it’s killing their passion.
Don’t let this happen to you. You can manage your time better.
you are doing enough
I have read blog after blog with advice on ‘How to act more like these successful people’, ‘Get up an hour earlier with a green tea’, ‘Try these 10 tips for a more productive life’…
However, the truth is that I imagine you are doing enough.
You just need to learn to delegate.
I can already hear your resistance!
But I don’t want to delegate…
It’s quicker to do myself.
I don’t have time to manage someone.
I am a perfectionist.
I can’t afford to hire help.
Yet imagine the alternative. If you weren’t swamped with your…everything… your business might just be more efficient, feel more professional and grow to be more profitable.
important vs urgent
In Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he introduced this matrix to assess the importance and urgency of what we spend our time doing.
Take a quick look at it. I imagine your conscience is groaning at you not to look at it while your perfectionist side is twitching at the bottom two rectangles ‘Delegate’ and ‘Don’t do it’. Ouch.
But like I said you really don’t have to do everything.
Hear me out on this one.
these tasks are sucking up your time!
Have a look at the bottom left box. Some of these you cannot avoid. If your phone rings you are going to have to answer it. But how many times your phone distracted you from the core elements of your business? Is this something someone else could have handled?
They are low value for your business yet need to be done. But they often can done by somebody else. Got a presentation you need to do? DELEGATE. Got an invoice to send? DELEGATE. Most emails, DELEGATE.
I could go on but I imagine you have my point.
quick! put out the fires!
Firefighting is a common word in the lives of entrepreneurs. The tasks in the top left box are those that often require your immediate and urgent attention yet aren’t always important for your business. They may be other people’s deadlines that have been imposed on you, or they may be times when you have to fix something that’s gone wrong.
These tasks will need to be managed, but an effective entrepreneur will then look at ways to prevent the fires from starting in the first place. How?
the top right box
Prioritise your time so you can focus on the top right box. Design your business strategy so you know what opportunities you should be saying yes to. Create processes and procedures that will allow your team to work effectively without your ongoing involvement in the day-to-day. Build relationships with key partners and potential customers.
When you’re able to make time for these important, but not urgent, activities, there will be less fires to put out. But with only so much time in your day, something will have to give.
learning to let go
Entrepreneurs are incredible individuals who have decided to jump ship and conquer. Amazing people who will not settle for the easy way so they can do what they want to do. Your passion and energy works best on the front line of your business.
The bottom two boxes won’t put money on the bottom line and you shouldn’t spend your passion nor ambitious energy on them.
I know how hard it can be to delegate. My business is my baby and I like to know what’s going on.
But I’ve worked with enough entrepreneurs to also know that delegating is an absolute necessity at some point. See delegation as a way to lift the burden of doing everything, freeing you up mentally to be creative again and letting you enjoy your business.
It is not the end of your company being run fantastically. In fact you may find it runs even better with the input of new knowledge and tools.
Let go of the tasks that keep you bound to that office chair. Allow your business to grow.
over to you
What is your biggest struggle as an entrepreneur? Leave a comment below and let me help you.
Heather Holden escaped her role as a corporate personal assistant to create the lifestyle and work satisfaction that she desired. She founded The Fearless PA and now specialises in helping entrepreneurs tackle their ‘to do’ lists.
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