Julie Pickersgill

Member Article

Critical steps to manage your time to grow your business

The late management guru Peter Drucker famously said: “Until we can manage our time we can manage nothing else”.

There is no doubt that running a successful business is hard work and all consuming - so much so that many owners feel like a hamster on the proverbial treadmill.

When this happens it’s crucial to take stock, take a few breaths - and challenge yourself if you are making the best use of your time.

We have all met bosses and managers who seem to be constantly busy – from my own experience in the retail world where I worked alongside some that appeared to be permanently overworked and exhausted. Going the extra mile to ensure customer service exceeds expectation goes with the territory but if you find yourself constantly playing a relentless game of catch up, question whether your frenetic activity is effective – or if you are simply playing the proverbial busy fool?

It is well worth taking some time out if you feel your role in the business has something in common with Groundhog Day. The iconic Bill Murray film has become cultural shorthand for being trapped in a scenario where the same events repeat themselves over and over again.

If you are spending most of your time doing small, routine tasks, how will that help you find new customers, move the business forward and ultimately create growth? It won’t. Instead there is a danger you will be overwhelmed rather than alert and energised in order to boost performance and gain competitive advantage.

Give yourself permission to escape from the business for a day. Whether it’s a walk in the Dales, on the beach - or a session at the gym, choose an activity that helps to blow away the cobwebs and reinvigorate your thinking.

When returning to your desk the next day, put down a marker in the sand that reinforces that you are running the business, rather than letting it run you.

To start making the necessary changes make sure the first item on your to do list is ‘delegate.’ Hand over the tasks that threaten to bog you down and stop you looking the bigger picture.

Here are some of the fundamental questions to help you ramp up your efficiency and drive your business to the next level:

  1. Are your daily activities driving - or deviating from - the company’s goals and vision?
  2. If they are detracting from them, what do you need to do differently?
  3. Do you communicate your vision and goals to your team?
  4. Do you have the right people in place to delegate effectively to?
  5. If you don’t have the right people, what are you going to do about it?
  6. Do you have proper processes and systems in place to free you up?
  7. Do you make time to keep any eye on the bigger picture?
  8. Do you know your company’s competitive advantage?
  9. Do you innovate to stay ahead of the game?
  10. Do you know which of your products/services are the most profitable?

The responses from the above questions will give you clarity and focus to move forward with purpose and enable you to make the necessary changes and decisions to reinvigorate yourself as the owner and your teams.

Coach and motivational speaker Anthony Robbins said: “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”

Follow the above steps to ensure you keep yourself and your business on track for success.

Julie Pickersgill, operations director of Harrogate based Advanced Digital Dynamics - a global IT supplier, specialising in computer hardware and data destruction - shares her insights on transforming the business from a team of three with a £300k turnover into a 24-strong operation with a £3.4 million turnover.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Julie Pickersgill .

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