“David, I’m overwhelmed! I’ve got too much on my to do list. Each day I come into my office and just put my head down and start working. HELP!”
I regularly hear this plea from new business coaching clients. They want to find a way to get back in balance with their day and time.
While there are no easy solutions, here are what I consider to be the five most powerful time mastery words that lead to great time behavior. They are the product of my 20 years of coaching business owners and their leadership teams, helping them to scale their companies and at the same time, increase owner independence.
#1: “Draft”. (As in “Just do a draft…“)
Too many business people let fear of failure, or a misplaced desire to be perfect, keep them from even getting started. I learned years ago that creating a final report might be tough, but heck, I can get a draft of that report done… I can do a draft of that new Inc. article… I can do a draft of that new sales script…
It is liberating when you use that word “draft” because it gives you permission to do it less than perfect. Of course, we all know that once you have that draft, coming up with your edited and finished version is much easier and more doable. So just do a draft.
#2: “Now”. (As in “Do it now…”)
Putting things off doesn’t make them easier, it just adds to their weight. Train yourself to continually say, “Do it now.” Have a decision to make? Decide it now… Have a prospect to call? Call them now… If it is an important task, and it doesn’t take a lot of time, just get the @*%# thing done now…
#3: “Why”. (As in “Tell me why you want to meet?)
Asking why is your way of challenging meetings, tasks, or projects before they get on your plate to begin with. Why do you want to meet with me…? Why do you want to do this project, what are you hoping it will do for our company…? Why are you asking me to do…?
#4: “No.” (As in “No, I choose not to do this.)
What a beautiful word -NO. It is the ultimate eraser to junk items and commitments on your to do list or calendar. No I won’t be joining you at the conference… No I don’t have a second to talk right now… No I won’t be setting up a meeting so you can sell me your product… No, no, no, no.
#5: “Enough”. (As in “I’ve done enough for today…”)
No to do list is ever fully done. Like our wants and desires, it is an always replenishing bottomless pit that while it can be fed, will never be done (assuming we have valuable work to do for our companies.)
There is a power in saying enough… Tomorrow I can come back into the office and take another pass at it, but tonight I’m going home to my family. I’ll hug them, and talk with them, and savor my time with them… Enough, the work will just have to wait to tomorrow.
A good friend of mine who not only sold her company for $80 million dollars but also is a remarkably happy and fulfilled woman in her 60’s shared three powerful questions with me: “What matters most? For the sake of what? And how much is enough?”
If you want to learn more about how to radically upgrade your use of time, I’m about to teach a new webinar that will focus in large part how you can create much more value in less time.
If you’d like to join me on this special webinar training, please just click here to learn the details and to register. (It’s free.)