When you run your own business, you may have the luxury to decide exactly when you will work, but for those used to following a schedule decided by someone else, it may be difficult to learn when or how to focus on crucial tasks. Also, with employees and meetings throughout the standard work day, a productive, uninterrupted hour of work may be hard to come by.
First, you will need to actually find the time to crack down. Try dedicating an hour of your day to be your most productive hour. One hour really isn’t that much time, but if you tell yourself that you will be the most productive for a span of just 60 minutes, you can trick yourself into really cracking down to get things done. If your normal work day is hectic, try waking up an hour early or working for an hour extra at the end of the day. If that’s not possible, try scheduling a meeting with yourself on your work calendar to keep that block of time free and put your employees on notice that you cannot be disturbed. You can also use your lunch break.
After setting aside that hour, you’ll need to use it in the best way possible. If you don’t want to focus on projects that are handled during the work day, consider using that hour for the following:
1. Reflecting on the big goal. Make a list of what you want your business to accomplish in the next month, six months, year, or even longer. By identifying your desired results, you can then evaluate whether you are on track to meeting them.
2. Deciding to delegate. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the amount on your plate, use that hour to decide what projects you can delegate to another employee or an outside contractor. If you are not quite comfortable in delegating a task that is approaching a deadline, consider the usefulness of taking time to train an employee to handle that type of project to save you time and headache down the line. It’s just like that old “Feed a man a fish…” vs. “Teach a man to fish…” adage.
3. Work on your weaknesses. Think about what you do for a living and identify one thing that you could improve about your set of skills that would increase your marketability. Are you a lawyer with not much experience with the tax side of trusts? Are you a graphic designer that doesn’t have a lot of vectored drawings in your portfolio? Dedicate that hour to really improving your weak area, and you’ll be a more well-rounded and marketable person in no time!