Deciding What To Do Each Day

Gee, what do I want to do today?

If you ever started your day by asking yourself that same question then pay very close attention because the question above is the beginning of an ineffective day.

Strategic entrepreneurs don’t start out their day asking “what do I want to do?” They ask themselves “What are the most important, highest leverage activities that need to get done?” and create a list of the most important activities that answer the question.

After that, they estimate the amount of time each activity should take.

Next, they analyze the list of important activities that must get done and determine which activities they should do themselves and who they are going to get to do the remaining activities.

Then when they start work they tackle the most important, highest leverage task or activity first. They do not ask the question of themselves “which one of these task do I want to do now?”

Remember no entrepreneur is born effective you have to cultivate it and you do that by practicing the habits of effectiveness. You wouldn’t want an employee who worked on what they chose and you should respect your business at the very least as much as you want your team to.

Here’s a quote from the Harvard Business Review, June 2004 p59

“Jack Welch realized that what needed to be done at General Electric when he took over as chief executive was not the overseas expansion HE WANTED to launch. It was getting rid of businesses that, no matter how profitable, could not be number one or number two in their industries.”

Today be conscious of the choices you make when deciding what to work on.

Are you picking tasks based on what you want or are you picking your activities based on what your company needs from you?

If you pick the most important task to work on first you’ll be more effective, your company will be more profitable, and you’ll be able to work less so you can actually pick fun things to do outside of work instead of the poor substitutes you’ve been using to fill your work days.

So remember – it’s not what you want to do – it’s what your business needs done.

To Increased Effectiveness,

Rich Schefren

Your Business’s Scarcest Resource

If you’ve kept at it and tracked your time you should now have crystal clarity about how you are currently using your time.

Any surprises?

Are you doing things that you shouldn’t be doing?

If so, it’s costing you a lot more than you think, here’s why…

When you study systems you learn that the maximum output of any process is set by its scarcest resource. Your business is a system.

And what are the key resources needed by your business?

1. Money

2. People

3. Time

Money

If you have the right business model and you are effectively progressing toward your business goals you should either have, or have access to enough money. And the ability to get more isn’t constrained, there are plenty of investors for the right businesses.

People – There is no limit usually to the people you can hire or outsource to, especially when you have enough money.

Time – Of the 3 major resources time is scarcest. It’s also totally perishable and cannot be stored. Yesterday’s time is gone forever and will never come back.

Everything you and your business does requires time.

All work (whether useful or not) eats away your time. But, most entrepreneurs (at least the unsuccessful ones) take for granted the unique, irreplaceable, totally perishable, and necessary resource.

Effective entrepreneurs realize that time is the limiting factor.

So, with your time logs in front of you answer the question:

What are some of the activities that I am currently doing that does not contribute to my effectiveness?

And once you come up with some answers the next question to think about is:

How can I either eliminate these time drains, automate them, or pass them off to someone else?

If you are not sure what are the activities that you should be doing, have no fear, I’ll quickly explain how you can arrive at the right answer.

Let’s pretend for a moment you were leaving your company for a while and you were going to hire a company president to grow your business while you were away. Before you left, the new company president asked you – what are the activities I must focus on, on a daily basis if I really want to grow your company as quickly as possible?

Your answer is where you should be spending your time. Because if you are running your company then you are the company’s president. And if you want to be effective you better be able to answer these two questions.

What am I getting paid to do?

What should I be paid to do if I am being paid for the right things to be done in my position?

Once you are clear about that – begin to ruthlessly cut away at activities that don’t make the list. In my upcoming notes to you I’ll show you how to do exactly that – get rid on the wasteful activities that clog up your cashflow.

To Your Effectiveness,

Rich Schefren