Mastering Time Management: A Key To Expanding Your Service-Based Business
Mark, an owner of a thriving marketing agency, recently found himself buried under a mountain of unattended tasks. He kept looking at the clock knowing he needed to ‘clock out’ soon and pick up his daughter from school. “How did time always seem to slip through his fingers?”
Like many entrepreneurs, he’s caught in a relentless tug-of-war between his long-term strategic goals and the immediate demands of his business. Mark has happy clients, a steady pipeline, and decently satisfied team members. But what Mark doesn’t do well for his agency (or for himself) is effectively manage his time. And that’s putting him on a fast track for burnout, stunted business growth, and missed opportunities.
In Oliver Burkeman’s book, “Four Thousand Weeks,” he states, “time management is pain management.” It’s about deciding what you will prioritize to prevent burnout, a great New Year’s resolution for any entrepreneur.
As we step into a new year, are you making the most of your time? Or could there be a more efficient, less stressful way to manage your daily tasks and long-term goals? Let’s explore this together.
Choosing Your Priorities
You are already wearing so many hats, and the demands of a growing business is going to create new hats for you as if there was a Mad Hatter sitting behind your office chair. So, your goal is to keep things as simple and efficient as possible for your day to day work so that you can stay motivated and energized in your work. Choosing your priorities is critical in accomplishing this.
Our adapted version of the Eisenhower Matrix can serve as a guide here.
- Your Zone of Genius & Your Goals. First and foremost, focus on tasks that align with your zone of genius and your goals. These are your top priorities. Your zone of genius refers to activities you not only excel at but also deeply enjoy. These are tasks that energize you, stimulate your creativity, and drive your passion. Coupled with your long-term goals, these activities form the roadmap for your business growth and personal fulfillment. Ex. For Mark, this includes tasks like crafting compelling narratives and attending conferences.
- Outside Your Zone Of Genius But Pushes Goals Forward. What about tasks that are essential for reaching your goals but fall outside your zone of genius? This is where delegation or outsourcing comes into play. By assigning these tasks to capable team members or outsourcing them to trusted partners like Auxo Business Services, you free up valuable time to concentrate on what you do best. Dedicating your time on these tasks could actually be less cost-effective than delegating and could potentially contribute more significantly to your burnout. Ex. For Mark, this includes managing client project details, scheduling meetings, or researching client gifts.
- In Your Zone Of Genius But Unrelated To Goals. While these activities might be enjoyable and stimulating, they may not contribute significantly to your business growth. However, this doesn’t mean you should eliminate them entirely. Instead, schedule a specific time to indulge in these tasks without derailing your focus from primary objectives. Ignoring these types of tasks completely can drain motivation or cause mental distractions. By scheduling time for this work, you’re able to indulge your interests without losing sight of your primary objectives. You can also leverage your virtual assistant here to keep track of these tasks and continuously rearrange your calendar time blocks as your schedule and other priorities evolve. Ex. For Mark, this includes reading new books on branding and marketing strategies.
- Question & Delete: These tasks are outside of your zone of genius and unrelated to your goals. These activities are often distractions disguised as responsibilities. It’s crucial to question their value and, if they don’t contribute positively to your business or personal growth, delete them from your to-do list. Ex. For Mark, this could be spending time on Instagram. While a social media presence is important, this isn’t where his ideal audience is and he doesn’t like or know the platform very well.
Embracing Your Time Management & Leveraging Strategic Outsourcing
The one piece of advice that always stands out as a beacon of time management, happy productivity, and scalability is outsourcing.
Choosing to outsource and delegate is a time-saving and cost-effective solution that allows you, as a business leader, to focus on tasks within your zone of genius that you’re passionate about while delegating other goal-enhancing responsibilities to skilled professionals. It’s about identifying those tasks that can be impactful in your business even when someone else is doing them to enable the sustainable growth of your business (while keeping your sanity and avoiding burnout).
Auxo Business Services can be your partner in enabling this sustainable growth! Our services are designed to align with the best practices of effective delegation and strategic outsourcing. We take the guesswork out of finding the perfect virtual assistant (VA), creating a clear 30-60-90 plan for success. We’re ready to take over urgent tasks immediately, using a staggered approach to training that ensures that introducing a new person to your team is never overwhelming.
With Auxo, you get more than just a VA. You’ll have a dedicated operations manager, a fully vetted and expert US-Based VA who’s exclusively dedicated to you, and access to additional VAs should yours be unavailable.
The end result? An integrated team member who understands American culture, language, and nuances, anticipates your needs, and enables you to scale without burning out.
If you’re ready for 2024 to look stronger than 2023, then let’s talk about the perfect support you need. Book your Possibilities Chat today!