Time is of the Essence

With a title like this, you might think I am referring to the painful economic times we are enduring.  Or, you could also infer that I am pointing to something that is urgent.

Actually, what I have been thinking about today is how one's use of time affects business.  Every day I encounter people who repeatedly lament the frantic pace of their daily lives, both professionally and personally.  And it got me thinking . . .

Are people lacking effective time management skills or are they truly over-scheduled?  Or possibly a combination of both?  And no matter the answer, what is the bottom line impact on business? 

I'm not referring to productivity as much as I am prioritization.  And in that regard, where do customer relationships fall in the pecking order?  So, I offer you a challenge:

For one week, carefully track all your daily activities in 15-minute increments.  Include time spent on administrative, social or just plain thinking.  It is important to do this in writing so that it becomes tangible.  Next, on a scale of 1 to 3, with one being high and three being low, assign a value to each 15-minute block. At the end of the week, evaluate all your 2's and 3's and decide if they were more important than developing solid relationships with your customers.  My guess is that there are a lot of activities that could drop off in deference to the activities required to build and retain great customers.

This exercise will probably be a real eye-opener.  Let me know if you are up to the challenge!  You will never be able to get more hours in your day, but you can certainly get more value.


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