As entrepreneurs and business owners, we’ve long since accepted that there isn’t nearly enough time in the day. Time is our most valuable resource—every second we spend on one project is a second that we can’t spend on other issues that demand our attention. In our most frantic moments, we’ve wished we could clone ourselves—but maybe the world can only handle one Jimmy and one Travis.
Running a business means constantly battling with entropy and inertia, struggling daily to get things done. You are always reactive—the time you spend is dictated by your staff’s needs and the immediate crisis you’ve got on your hands. You find yourself putting out fires all day, and you realize on the drive home that you didn’t accomplish any of your goals. Sound familiar?
Astrophysicists often talk about black holes—gravitational fields so powerful that light itself cannot escape their pull. They are gaps in space that devour anything nearby. Entrepreneurs deal with our own kind of black hole every day: diversions, interruptions, and “emergencies.” These are productivity zombies that steal your functioning hours away if you aren’t careful. A master of time management must learn to avoid these at all costs.
A few examples of these black holes:
The Minute Meeting
“Got a minute?” You probably hear this line a dozen times a day. Your sales manager asks if you have a minute to talk about a non-urgent issue and a full-blown meeting breaks out right there. The “minute” quickly turns into an hour. Seize control of your time. Structure a weekly meeting with key members of your store, and instruct them to hold their complaints, concerns, and issues for that meeting. The most important part is holding yourself to this policy. A strict, organized agenda will force your meetings to be on topic and to the point.
The Social Media Vortex
We know that vendors and “marketing experts” tout the importance of building a presence on social media websites. While this is certainly good for their business, you will likely end up wasting your time and money. It’s important to cultivate a social network that gives customers an inside look at your store or a forum to voice their opinions or suggestions. But the craze over social media marketing seems to us like a glittering lure—Facebook alone won’t move any metal off your lot. If you are managing a social account on behalf of your store, you can schedule updates in advance so you aren’t constantly checking your account. Social media is a downward spiral that can result in wasted time and excessive consumption of cat videos.
The Paperwork Pile-up
Learn to let go of the clutter in your life. The National Association of Professional Organizers (yes, that’s a real thing) reports that 80% of all filed information is never consulted again. Look at the papers on your desk right now. Ask yourself: “Would it hurt me to throw this away? If I needed this information, could I retrieve it again?” If you don’t need it, or if the information is easily accessible, toss it. Take a look at your email inbox and delete the messages you don’t need. Purge the junk. A tidier environment will help you think clearly and spend time effectively.
Think about how CEOs of multi-billion dollar companies might plan their busy, hectic schedules. They don’t have any more hours in a day than you do. High-powered executives have simply mastered the delicate art of time management. They learned early in their careers to navigate around the black holes and zombies that siphon productivity. To make the most of your days, train yourself in the ways of the billionaire’s discipline.
Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are the founders of Rich Dealers®, the nation’s leading experts on attracting customers and the authors of Gravitational Marketing. Visit www.trafficscale.com to request a complimentary Traffic Scale Report, which compares the quality of your traffic to other dealerships in your area and helps determine whether or not there’s potential business you’re missing out on. Use coupon code DMM14050