An Hour A Day
I asked a group of our clients what difference it would make to their operation and their life if they had an extra hour a day of productive time. Most folks said they’d get more done, or they’d get the same amount done but feel less stress doing it. Then I reframed the question, “Instead of an hour a day, what if you had 65 four-hour blocks of time?” (It is the same amount of time as an hour a day, five days a week for a year.) Most people thought that the impact would be much more profound. Many thought it would help them take their business to a whole new level. What difference would it make to you and your operation?
Of course you can’t create more time. Alex McKenzie eloquently wrote about time in his best-selling book on time management, The Time Trap:
There is only so much of it, and no matter what you do, you can’t get more. The clock cannot be speeded up or slowed down. Time is the only resource that must be spent the instant it is received, and it must be spent at one fixed rate: sixty seconds per minute, sixty minutes per hour … we cannot manage time. We can only manage ourselves in relation to time. We cannot control how much we have; we can only control how we use it. We cannot choose whether to spend it, but only how.
He’s right. We can’t manage time, we can only manage ourselves. So how do you reserve time for WOTB (Working On The Business)? You start by scheduling it. We recommend blocking out two three-hour blocks of time to work on your business each week. How do you cram more into your already busy schedule? You don’t. You either:
- Become more efficient with how you use time. Interruptions, looking for things and poor planning waste at least an hour a day.
- Delegate a few of the $10 per hour jobs. Even if personally you would have produced a superior outcome, is it worth $600 per hour?
- Use contractors to do some of the work. If that seems too expensive it’s probably because the contractor knows the value of his time better than you know the value of yours.
- Leave some things undone. It may be that 80% of the things you do are unnecessary.
If that seems unlikely, consider what one RFP alumnus told me. He said, “When I took the Ranching For Profit School I wondered where I would find the time to WOTB. But it wasn’t until we started doing our WOTB that I realized that 80% of the WITB (Working In The Business) we’d been doing was unnecessary and even counter-productive. We were busting our butts working in enterprises that weren’t working for us.” Ultimately he simplified the operation, eliminating most of the enterprises. That dramatically increased profit and reduced the workload. He’s not alone. While 80% may seem extreme, most of our alumni find that they wind up making more by doing less. Less WITB and more WOTB.