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Protect Your Time

17 January 2019

You understand the importance and power of reflection in your business, right? Taking the time out to work ‘on’ your business instead of in it.

Yet you still find yourself running around, fighting fires, constantly busy and there’s never time to sit and do this very important thing… why?

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That golden, thinking time is incredibly valuable and needs to be protected. If you’ve been meaning to do it but haven’t actually done it, that’s ok. Hit the reset button and solidify this.

And communicate it clearly to your team.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

We’ve Grown and Now I Have No Time

What I want to talk about today is time management, or what I say is, self-management in the given time.

I was having a conversation with one of my clients. He’s a very aware person, very tuned in, and knows he needs to focus on the strategic side of things as well as day-to-day operations.

He told me, “Shweta I just need to reset because I think I’ve been regressing as far as my self-management is concerned in the given time. It just feels like I’m busy, running around. There’s so much going on, the hiring of new people, the growth of the business, and really it’s just so full-on because with growth comes many many complexities.”

I heard what he was saying and I did empathize because there actually is so much going on. I’m sure that would be the case in your business as well. But at the end of the day we can not let that become an excuse and we have to be very honest when we take stock of things.

Have You Blocked Out The Time?

So I did ask him. I said, “Tell me one thing, I remember you actually blocking your diary…”

We had had this discussion earlier and I know that he had blocked his diary because I always believed in this – if something is truly important to you, you need to give it a space and some time to live and breathe, which means actually blocking your diary and not just having an intention.

So I said, “I remember you blocking your diary, so what’s with that?”

He said, “Yeah, I know it’s still there in my diary, it’s on Tuesday.”

And I said, “What does it say?”

“It says business strategy, our office, because that’s the plan.” He wants to work on his business strategy on innovative ideas, the next thing in his business, and so that’s how he’s blocked it out.

“So then what’s the problem? Why are you not able to do that?”

“Because my team comes and they say, ‘Oh we can see that on that day you don’t have any other meetings, is it okay if we block this client meeting.’ Or, ‘Is it okay if we block this fire extinguishing meeting, whatever it is, right?’ The day-to-day, the meetings, so it just gets eaten into that.” That’s interesting.

Time Management is Protecting That Time Block

So I said, “How would you rate yourself in the sense of how much are you protecting that time?”

He said, “No, I kind of just look at it and say OK then let’s have this meeting and I’ve done that now three or four times.”

At this point what I want you to really reflect on, is that true communication is the response that you get. It’s a fundamental thing. How you are getting that response from your team? Actually, it’s a reflection of what you are communicating to them, in either spoken or unspoken words.

Just because, in this case, my client agreed to these meetings to be getting into his planned Tuesday, his team was like, ‘That’s OK, that’s actually his free day. We can actually let other things sit there.’

It’s so important that you protect that time, the time which is golden thinking time, reflection time.

I did say this client is very aware, he understands the importance of this reflection time. So that was what was bugging him. We obviously agreed that the beauty of life, the beauty of business, is that on the day you decide to improve on something, you can just press the reset button and you become strong about it. You protect that time which is so fundamental to any business leader and then you make sure you communicate that accordingly to your team and tell them that this is not acceptable. This is my time. This is business thinking time and strategy time.

So look, in my true style of being very direct, if you tell yourself or if you tell your team that I’m not getting time and I’m running around and I’m doing so much, seriously you need to sit down, take a stock of your diary. Look at your calendar, see what kind of things are sitting there and ask yourself, am I truly protecting the time which I need to protect, the time where the most valued things get done?

At the end of the day, what you are telling your team through spoken, unspoken words is how they are responding and respecting your time.

If you would like to hear more about this please feel free to get in touch below.

Get in touch

We are looking to invest in good businesses.

If you would like to have an obligation free discussion about selling your business, please email shweta@growthidea.co.uk. You can find more about our investment criterion on https://growthidea.co.uk/private-equity.

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