How to Build Your Business and Still Take Time Off

Hannah McNamara

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We all know people who are like human dynamos. They seem to make an art form of building their business and still enjoy quality time with friends and family. It isn’t magic, you can do it too.

The world of business ownership or management is inhabited by two main personality types. There are people who never miss deadlines, who can be replied upon to deliver the goods whatever the odds and, who seem to thrive under pressure. Then there are people who achieve very little and yet seem to be permanently in a rush.

The first group actually manage to build their business or practice and do even more, whilst the others often struggle to stay afloat. So how can you learn from those who are able to create success while they still take time out for holidays and quality family time?

Consider your working time. You can spend it in two ways. You can be working in your business or, you can be working on your business.

Working in the business means doing whatever is necessary to provide your products or services to existing clients. Working on your business is the creative time that you spend developing a clear strategy for the future, planning the tactics that will make it happen and, building relationships with clients. You will be well rewarded if you take some regular time away to think clearly about this business building.

There is a wide variety of branded ‘time management systems’, many of them will be used during an initial flush of enthusiasm and then end up as very expensive bookends or doorstops. The reason is obvious. Time management is a false description of self management. There are some very simple techniques that you can start using today to build your business and still enjoy time off. Use them as you consider your ‘in business’ tasks and then your ‘on business’ activity.

Consider the task

  • Is it necessary to do it at all?
  • If it is a major task, ‘chunk it down’ into smaller elements or steps
  • Is each step necessary?
  • What is the result or outcome of doing it?
  • How else could this result be achieved?
  • What is the cost of not doing it?

Even if this step seems too simple to be effective, almost every organisation, large or small, perpetuates time consuming tasks that are no longer needed. There is little point in demanding a log of every photocopy made in an office if nobody ever checks it. Do you spend time on needless meetings, memos and emails when you could deal with a matter in a brief phone call?

Consider the person

  • Who does it?
  • Why that person?
  • Who else could do it?
  • Why that person?
  • Who else should do it?

The objective here is to delegate downwards to the lowest level with the ability to perform the task satisfactorily. It is pointless to send a highly paid PA to the Post Office if the office junior can take your outgoing mail there just as easily. Better still, investigate the possibility of having your outgoing mail collected. Remember the old adage that ‘nobody is indispensable’. Examine ways to take time out from your business, secure in the knowledge that it will run just as well when you are not there.

Consider the place

  • Where is the task done?
  • Why there?
  • Where else could it be done?
  • Why there?
  • Where should it be done?

Perhaps your printer has just delivered your latest brochure for final proof reading. You need a quiet environment with no distractions. Go home an hour earlier to do it in peace. If your home environment is noisy, find a quiet lay-by or car park.

Out of the dilemma

Of course, it is easy to consider aspects of what, who, why, when, where and how . . . when you have time for yourself. And that creates a Catch 22 situation. You will not have the time until you do it, and you cannot do it until you have the time.

Fortunately, there is a practical and effective way out of this dilemma. You invite a business coach to help you. All coaches are not equal. Some are specialists in the art and science of self management and developing a sound balance between leisure and work. HRM Coaching Ltd has a wide network of experienced and qualified coaches and can select the specialist who is most appropriate for your situation. An initial discussion is totally free of cost or obligation.

Call Hannah on +44 20 8544 8024 for more information. This could be your first significant step towards building your business and still taking time off.

You can find more information on where you can also sign up for Hannah’s regular business coaching newsletter.


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