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How to Spend Your Time

How to Spend Your Time

June 05, 2014

Do you frequently find yourself dealing with tasks you dislike?

Are you often working in areas where you’re weak, rather than areas where you’re strong?

The name of the game is to play to your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.  Find out how to get the most out of what you do best. It takes about 90 days to peel away from each significant task... but this process slowly leads to more freedom.

Time Assessment

Ever find yourself wondering where the time went, knowing that you never even got to the most important, income-producing items in your day? The problem is that you are doing tasks that you should be delegating or eliminating.

Want to maximize your time? Here’s the answer. Track your time carefully for two weeks.  If you do this, you will be able to:

  • Discover your areas of strength

  • Let others take on tasks you don't like or can’t do

  • Become more productive

  • Actually enjoy working on your business

Core Competency

Your core competency is what you do best; enjoy doing; are passionate about; and have proven success.

Did you know that I can hit a 30-foot jump shot just like NBA MVP Kevin Durant?

The difference is that he can hit about 10 out of 20 when playing against professional athletes, while I can hit 1 out of 20 playing against my buddies. Durant has proven success to go with his passion for the game. Basketball is his area of core competence.  

While it’s not as exciting to watch, I can also do accounting. In fact, I actually have something of a knack for it. The problem is, it’s not something I really enjoy, and I don't have any particular passion for it. I'd never be able to do it for significant periods of time.

Clearly, neither basketball nor accounting are my core competencies. I guess the NBA and The Big Four accounting firms will have to get by without me.

Empowering leaders, however, is something in which I have had great success. It’s something I think about 24/7 and it’s something that I get excited about. This is my core competence: working on empowering ideas and publicly speaking about the topic all over the continent. Of course, that’s not to say that I don’t have to do other work. We all do. But I use time management to make sure that the majority of my time (80%) is spent in my area of core competency.  Other tasks are better delegated to others. So, for example, I have someone put together my schedule, and I have someone handle my correspondences.  It’s all about managing your time to work in your area of core competence.

Introducing the S.C.O.R.E. Card™ the Brand Launcher Time Management System©

Your first goal is to identify your area of core competency and spend more time in that area.  To do this, you want to categorize your time into the five S.C.O.R.E groups:           

  • Strategic:  providing directions; growth; leadership; planning; big-picture thinking; and setting the mission, values and purpose of your company.

  • Compliance:  checks and balances; technology; bookkeeping; tracking progress; and quality control. Compliance ensures the competency of your team and that your system is delivering as promised.

  • Operations:  handling day-to-day business tasks and activities; being a technician, systems manager, or part of the staff that keeps processes going. Even sales. These roles require people who are process-oriented, reliable, consistent, and steady.

  • Relationships: both external sales and marketing.  and internal team communications.  External examples include being persuasive, promoting, and influencing. Internal examples include team recruitment, motivating, strengthening the business culture and handling emotional, intuitive, and creative aspects of the business.

  • Entrepreneurial: taking big steps, assessing risk management, joint ventures, big branding, positioning and pulling the trigger on big decisions big moves and major initiatives.

When you track your time in these areas, be specific.  For example, don’t write ‘30 min on phone’ but ‘20 minutes responding to phone request for proposal, 10 minutes calling overdue accounts.’   

Once you discover where your core competency lies, you can start freeing up your time to focus on what you do best.  You can also look at the other (weak) areas and see who, on your team, fits in those areas.  

Red, Yellow, Green

As a business owner, you want to use the Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light approach once you’ve done your two-week time assessment.  This will help you determine whether to dump, design, do, or delegate a task.

  • Red Light Tasks - STOP DOING.  These are your the time wasters. These are the things that should be stopped immediately. They need to be “designed," delegated, or dumped.

  • Yellow Light Tasks - KEEP DOING. These are things that are working.

  • Green Light Tasks - START DOING. These are the ones that need to continue forward. Go, go, go. You want to do these yourself if possible. Alternatively, you can delegate to someone else if you know the task is important but it’s not in your area of core competence.  

Green Lighting a Major League Football Task

A great example comes from Mike, a client of ours, who owns a landscaping company. He would get in before everybody like a responsible guy. When he began to explore his core competency by tracking his time, he found that a lot of it was spent setting up equipment, tracking client orders, and doing minor tasks.

Mike saw that his core competency was in entrepreneurial and strategic activities. He started to put the red light on some some tasks while delegating others to his team. By doing this, he was free to work on his core competency. As a result, Mike put together a contract with the National Football League. This was one of the largest deals in the country, lining up snow removal for a major stadium during the post-season. But it wouldn’t have happened if Mike would have continued spending his time on setting up equipment.

Start Your Own Time Assessment

Brand Launcher has some free tools that will allow you to work in your core competencies, or areas of strength, rather than in your areas of weakness. Contact us at JonGoldman@BrandLauncher.com to request them.

Remember, if you work in your areas of weakness, all you will have are strong weaknesses. You will also not be very happy.

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