Time Vampires | October 2010

by Michelle Spalding

The rich and the poor have the same 24 hours in a day; it’s what they do with their time that sets them apart.

Recently I re-read a great book by Dan Kennedy called No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs, The Ultimate No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity & Sanity.  Now, before you jump online and order this book, I’ll warn you, it’s not for the faint at heart.  He is brutally honest and at times some may say even rough, but there are so many nuggets of information in this book that can be applied to our businesses, it’s so worth the time you’ll spend reading or rereading it.  Until your copy arrives, I’ll give you a few gems I’ve picked up:

Know the Value of your Time and Pay Yourself First – Figure out what you want your income to look like, then figure out the per hour rate that Time saving tips. small business advice. virtual assistantyou’ll need to generate to reach that income.  Remember of course that even the best don’t get in a full 8 hours of productive work each day.  Determine how many hours you aren’t productive at making income, i.e. driving to appointments, filing documents, time on hold, etc. and subtract them from the equation.  Knowing what your time is worth is a REAL awakening for most of us.  Next time you pick up the phone, walk to the file cabinet or any other “busy” activity, stop and ask yourself, is this something I’d pay someone else $150.00 an hour (or whatever your number is) to do? Or is this an activity I need to delegate or eliminate?

Minimize Interruptions – In Dan’s book he calls people who steal your time “Time Vampires”.  I just love the way he puts it.  Minutes interrupted in your day can lead to fewer and fewer productive hours over
the course of a week, month and year and literally take income right out of your pockets.  If we want to really manage our time, it’s our job to slay the “Time Vampires” and regain control. You must drive a stakes right through the “Time Vampire’s” heart (his words, not mine) and take the upper hand. When a“Time Vampire” stops by unannounced, say something like “I’m really busy working on a deadline right now, let’s talk at 4:00”.  You can also do this with people who call you as well.  Another suggestion is to be busy and keep your door shut, which often sends them running as well. It may take a few “stakes” to get their attention and regain control of your time, but trust me, it’s so worth it.

Turn time into wealth –  Think about the unproductive time you have in the day, driving, standing in line, waiting on an appointment, etc.  Always carry a book with you and have your car loaded with CDs.  If you commute for work, imagine how many hours of education you can have at the end of the year.  You’ll have time to learn a new language, new business strategies and so much more.  It’s simple to turn your downtime into wealth building knowledge.

Take control your time – Too often we just show up, the day happens and we wonder why we aren’t getting more from our business.  The easiest way to get more productive is to schedule important tasks just like  other appointments.  With a few tweaks in your schedule you’ll see thing really change.  Having more time to do the activities that make the phone ring and generate sales is the role of a successful entrepreneur.

The best way to thrive in a challenging market, is to make the most of our days and slay any “Time Vampires” that try to suck up our time.