Honestly, I don’t know where I first heard the phrase “time theft protection” but, like you, it made me chuckle. Yes! That’s what I need! I need something to protect my most precious of resources — time.
Time is money for the small business entrepreneur. Time is the currency by which we move our small businesses to the next level. Time, like money, can be either spent or invested.
The Entrepreneurial Robbers
When I stop to consider time embezzlement, several activities come to mind, such as:
- Reading emails that don’t further my goals
- Reading newsletters or online articles that don’t add value to my goals
- Engaging in social media without a specific goal or intention in mind
- Not setting limits on projects, phone calls, or meetings
- Not sticking to limits set on projects, phone calls, or meetings
- Allowing interruptions and distractions by everyone, including myself
Can you think of other ways your time is pilfered?
Small Business “Time Protection” Plan
Wouldn’t it be great if, like identity theft protection, we could buy a subscription that would guard our time? And, if stolen, would turn back the clock to restore our time? (Hmmm, I see a new business brewing. <G>)
Unfortunately, until advancements in technology, time machines, robotics, and holograms allow for this to occur, we have to protect our own time.
That means making choices on how you’re going to invest your time — many of them tough, including:
- Stop any activity that “spends” your time.
- Dramatically increase the amount of time “invested” in activities that move your business closer to its destination.
- Place limits on phone calls, meetings, and projects — and stick to them!
- Unsubscribe from all newsletters that don’t contribute to your goals. (Do you really need to know the sale items at Costco?)
- Place hard stops and starts on business hours. Business, after all, is not meant to keep you occupied 24/7.
- Apply boundaries on your availability.
- Devote the first two hours of each day working “on” your business — not “in” it. That means dedicating time to projects and initiatives that advance your business…not email!
What other items would you add to the “time protection” plan?
One of the biggest frustration small business owners experience is being overwhelmed with all they have to do. As a strategic business coach, my biggest angst for overwhelmed small business entrepreneurs is when they say “they can’t” implement a “time protection” plan. It’s tough to watch them struggle in their overwhelm knowing there’s a better way to invest their time — if they were willing to make some tough choices.
Are you ready to say “heck yeah” to these tough time choices?