An interesting article by Verne Harnish recently appeared in Fortune magazine, listing five ways to cut your endless to-do list and get your business life in order. Here, I present that list along with some of my thoughts:
- Stop paying attention to the bad news. I have been an advocate for focusing on “my economy” rather than “the economy” for some time now. Take the time you would normally put into watching the news or reading the paper and do something positive for your business instead.
- End a contentious relationship. Do you have any clients that just put a drag on things? Would you rather replace this client, or a few of your best employees? Pull the plug on the relationship with this client and find someone easier to work with. You’ll be happy that you did.
- Quit selling some of your products or services. Are you being pulled in too many different directions? Are some of those less profitable than others? Lighten your load and focus on what you do best. Give your attention to the products and services that you can really make a difference with.
- Don’t answer your own email. Some executives are handing their email off to assistants, freeing their time up to actually spend face to face time with members of their team! Other ideas range from using folders to really organize your in box, to closing your mail application and only opening it once every two hours – during the business day. It is far to easy to get distracted by the “You’ve got mail!” chime going off.
- Stop eating alone. Scrimp on business lunches – as so many companies are doing – and you’ll lose vital business leads. One business owner interviewed has broken bread with professional contacts and employees every workday since 1984. Imagine the the exchange of ideas, comrade, and contacts that have occurred for him!
Use this list as your catalyst to find the activities that are draining the productive energy from your business. Stop!