Have you ever wondered how the world’s top entrepreneurs get so much done in their days? After all, they have the same 24 hour days and 7 day weeks, yet they consistently get so much more done in that time.
Here are 15 time habits of the best entrepreneurs.
1. Tap into the real power of “Now!”
Do it now.
Decide it now.
Delegate it now.
Enjoy it now.
Finish it now.
Start it now.
The best time masters have a habit of getting it done now, whatever it may be.
2. Relentlessly focus on one thing at a time.
Multitasking is just not a pathway to business success. Sure, you need to be flexible and able to shift your attention from one thing to another, but the best time masters have cultivated their ability to block out distractions and temptations and focus on one thing at a time, and follow this most important thing until it is complete and producing for their businesses.
3. Learn to be both decisive and to purposefully delay decisions.
Some decisions should be put off until a later day; they just don’t need to be made now. Other decisions (and generally the larger pool) should be made on the spot. One of the most powerful habits you can cultivate is that of making solid decisions once you have the information you need at hand. Putting it off usually just increases the time that decision takes and the cognitive load it places upon you, without giving you a better decision. So ask yourself, “Will having more time really increase the quality of my decision?” If the answer is yes, delay it. If the answer is no, make your call and get on with its implementation.
4. Do your most-feared thing first.
In the words of Mark Twain, “Eat that frog.” Just get it over with and you’ll free up a tremendous amount of energy with which to get on to the rest of your day. This may be a phone call you’ve been dreading to make, or an email you were scared to write, or a team member you need to sit down and talk with. Get it over with as early in the day as possible.
5. Learn to say no to things that don’t advance the company and create little value.
This is perhaps the single greatest secret top entrepreneurs leverage to create more value–they grow their ability to say no to everything in their working life that doesn’t move them toward their important business goals. Less-successful entrepreneurs choose the comfort of saying yes to low-value people and activities rather than do the uncomfortable thing and fanatically guard their time so they can advance their companies.
6. Do one extra …
Make one extra call …
Send out one extra letter …
Visit one extra prospect …
Reach out to one more potential strategic partner …
When you add up all these one-extras, they just might make the difference.
7. Learn when to cut your losses–too many people hang on too long.
If you know a person, a strategy, a product, or a partnership just isn’t going to get you what you need, make the hard decision early and free up your resources to find a solution that will.
8. Persevere–too many people give up too early.
If you believe that a person, strategy, product, or partnership will yield the results you want, and if you have questioned the assumptions that would have to prove true for that person, strategy, product, or partnership to succeed, then stay the course.
9. Narrow your focus.
As the best entrepreneurs grow their companies, they narrow the things they do for their companies to those few that create magnitudes more value. More is not better; better is better. Develop the habit of narrowing your focus to those tasks and activities that create the most value for your company and progressively hand over everything else to your systems, team, and internal controls.
10. Learn to let go (delegate, defer, dump, forgive).
11. Feed your winners; starve your losers.
This applies to every area of your company. Cut your lowest half of marketing activities and invest that freed-up time, talent, and money to reinvest in scaling the top 10 percent of your marketing activities. Cut your lowest producing product lines, and invest the freed-up resources in scaling your winning products and service lines. And stop wasting your coaching time trying to make a bottom producer better; instead, invest that time in making your winning team members even more productive.
12. Start your day by identifying your “big rocks.”
What one or two tasks, if you completed them (or a part of them) today, would have the biggest impact on advancing your company? These are your big rocks for the day and these deserve one to three hours of your best time today.
13. Develop your integrity muscles by making and keeping commitments.
Be on time. Finish what you said you would do. And do all of this without excuses and even when you don’t feel like it because the best time masters know that your integrity is a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.
14. Maximize your learning from your life.
After a project, event, or meeting, ask yourself, “What went well? What would I do different next time? What are the most important lessons for me to take from this experience?”
15. Wherever you are, be there!
Let’s broaden our definition of success to include joy, growth, and peace of mind. Then we can confidently say that the most successful entrepreneurs are intensely present wherever they are. If they are in a meeting, they are focused on maximizing the output of that meeting. If they are working on a project, they are giving that project their best attention. If they are at home with their family, they are fully present with their kids and spouse. This last habit takes a good bit of practice, because your mind will wander. When it does, notice it, and bring your attention back to where you are and what matters most in that moment.
For more ideas on growing your business, including a free tool kit with 21 in-depth video trainings to help you scale your business and get your life back, click here.