How many times have you felt worn out, beat up, and exhausted. You put in an 8, 10 or 12 hour day, but didn’t accomplished very much?
Yes, you were busy. Yes, you shuffled a lot of papers back and forth. Yes, you attended a bunch of meetings. But at the end of the day were you any closer to achieving your business and personal goals?
If that’s happening to you, you’re a member of the “I’m Wasting A Lot Of Time” club.
Look at everything you do from a Return On Investment perspective. What is your payoff for the time, energy, and effort expended? How much time are you putting into activities that don’t give you a payoff? Eliminate them and you’ve much more time to spend on activities that can have a huge payoff.
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Here are some big time-wasting examples.
Jill, belongs to a networking/mentoring/support group that has monthly meetings. She attends frequently. When I asked her what she gets out of them she said she likes the people, and always enjoys herself there.
When pressed she said that she hasn’t gotten any business from the
group, and the referrals haven’t generated any sales.
As we talked, we calculated the time she “invests” in these meetings.
She spends 2 1/2 hours in traffic for a 60-90 minute meeting.
She came to the conclusion that she would be much further ahead if she were to stop attending these meetings and commit to spending those 3 to 4 hours on the telephone looking for more business. (Which is something she avoids doing at every opportunity.)
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With this new change, Jill has become much more successful because
she is now spending her time looking for new business, instead of
sitting in traffic and meeting with a bunch of people who should also
be sitting at their desk, making telephone calls, and looking for new business.
Here’s another way to blow the better part of a day. John, is an architect. He recently wasted 4 hours doing something that could have been handled with a 5 minute telephone call.
One of his clients wanted him to measure the size of a pipe in a
building that was being constructed. So John drove 90 minutes out,
and 90 minutes back, and spent 15 minutes measuring the pipe.
“Was it ‘really’ necessary that he do this?” I asked. After a few moments reflection, John said that he wanted to keep the client happy, so he obligingly agreed to drive to the job site.
“But would it have been possible for someone onsite to have taken
a few pictures, done the measurements, and then mailed the information to him?” I asked.
John said sure. He went even further to say that they could have
just marked up a copy of the drawings and sent them to him.
In the future, John’s going to do a better job of guarding his time.
This will enable him to better serve his existing clients — and give
him time to look for new ones — because he’s wasting less of it.
Sherry’s in sales. She was taught that her goal was to have as many
face-to-face meetings with prospects as she possibly could. She is
very good at scheduling meetings.
She spends a lot of time on the phone, and is able to schedule two or
three meetings each day. In addition, she takes lots of people out to
breakfast and lunch.
Sherry’s not happy. Yes, she’s generating a lot of activity, but it’s
not resulting in paid business.
I asked her what results came from these meetings — i.e. how many of these people buy from her. She said she closes less than 10 percent. This means that 90 percent of her activity is wasted.
When you look at the number of hours she works, and how little of
that translates into paid business, it’s no wonder that she looks — and feels — as if she’s been run over by a truck.
She’s changed her focus. She’s asking more probing questions — what
do they want and need, who are the decision makers, and so on — on
the phone before she ‘rushes’ to schedule a meeting.
Sherry’s having far fewer meetings, but 40-50 percent of them are
turning into sales, and because she’s spending less time in unproductive meetings she’s more time to look for people who are in the market … ”’today.”’
What About You?
Let me ask you:
*How much time are you wasting each day?
*How many unproductive meetings do you have?
*How many things could be handled over the telephone instead of driving an hour?
Turn this wasted time into productive time and you’ll make more money, have more fun, and be much more successful.
Resign your membership in the “I’m Wasting A Lot of Time” club.
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”’Reprinted with permission from Jeffrey Mayer’s Succeeding In Business Newsletter. (Copyright, 2003, Jeffrey J. Mayer, Succeeding In Business, Inc.) To subscribe to Jeff’s free newsletter, visit”’ http://www.SucceedingInBusiness.com