5 ways to leave your lover….or the office on time

By mike | February 12, 2010 | Time Management

Time management is a skill that a lot of us struggle with. Even with the best intentions and the latest technological gadget that is supposed to streamline your work and improve efficiency, how often have you left work planning all the things you need to do in the morning because you didn’t get to them today? Busy business owners are just that: busy!

What kind of work is keeping you busy?

It’s a question we hear all the time from our clients. It doesn’t matter if you’re a retail store owner, a doctor, an IT professional or a contractor; everybody, it seems, is fighting the clock.

With the intention of freeing yourself from the technical work, in this process we take a look at how you’re spending your time to accurately determine how much of your time is spent on productive activities that directly contribute to the results you want, and how much of your time is spent unproductively. This is a  revealing process, and we usually identify areas for improvement very quickly.

Another thing we explore in our Time Management process is what we call “Time Bandits.” You know, those pesky “time stealers” and distractions that take attention away from strategic work—email, a talkative vendor, the telephone, your mother-in-law, broken office equipment… The list goes on.

Finding the discipline to eliminate Time Bandits is an important part of getting to the strategic work you need to do. Below are five Time Bandit Busters  that might instigate a change in how you approach time management.

5 Time Bandit Busting Tips

  1. Prioritize and Stay Focused Evaluate your daily tasks and prioritize. If nothing else gets done today, what are the one or two items that absolutely must be done? The most successful CEOs of Fortune 500 companies only focus on one or two priorities for a given day.
  2. Delegate as much as you can. Let go of the idea that nobody can do what you do the way that you do it! With the right systems in place, you can properly delegate the tactical work that keeps you from working on your business. There is critical distinction however, between delegating and abdicating.
  3. Set and meet deadlines for yourself and your employees. Set reasonable deadlines for all jobs and stick to them. Hold yourself accountable just as you would an employee. It’s true; work expands to fill the available time so set expectations.
  4. Don’t postpone unpleasant tasks. Those “bitter pills” that you put off can come back to haunt you in so many ways. A situation may become more acute with time, not to mention the fact that it will be sitting in the back of your mind (or somebody else’s mind) becoming a distraction. It’s best to take care of important matters that are unpleasant immediately. Resolution is so much better than wasting precious time wondering “what if…”
  5. Learn to say “No.” Beware of over commitment! You are the only one who can truly protect your time. Learn the art of saying “no” politely. If this seems daunting, try this: when confronted with an opportunity, don’t commit immediately. Take a moment to listen to your intuition and refer to your schedule; you may find that declining is the reasonable answer. People know you’re busy, it’s okay to set boundaries.

Building a successful business requires the ability to see the big picture while immersed in the details, the hundreds of decisions and activities that command your attention from minute to minute, day to day. Imagine the impact it will have if you can effectively establish priorities and focus your attention so your everyday decision-making becomes aligned with your big-picture vision. Eliminate the Time Bandits that take your focus away from the strategic work of the business and you will begin to work on your business rather than in it.

If you want help with regaining focus on your business, call Mike Harding now on 0401 631 904.

Small business tool kit

By mike | February 12, 2010 | Improve business

Are you a business owner in NSW wanting to develop your skills? The NSW Department of Industry & Investment has developed the Small Business Tool Kit to help you increase your business knowledge and grow your business.

All business owners, whether you are new or think you know everything there is to know about your business should take the time to review your skills and identify areas that need improvement. Remember, standing still means you will be going backwards…….

The Small Business Tool Kit can help you:

  • check whether you are ready for business
  • test your business knowledge on a variety of topics including marketing, finance, exporting and employment
  • create business, marketing and exporting plans.

To use the Small Business Toolkit, visit the NSW Department of Industry & Investment website.

If after looking at this, you find you would like to talk some issues through, or want some assistance, call Mike Harding on 0401 631 904.

Xero Accounting System

By mike | February 11, 2010 | Improve business

Harding & Co have recently evaluated the new accounting system, XERO. Xero is an online accounting system designed for small businesses that is simple, smart and secure – We are recommending clients move over to Xero who have a need to reduce the time they spend on accounting matters, and have non specific accounting requirements.

The fee for the accounting system is bundled into our fixed fee quote, and we, as your advisers will have access to the accounts for review prior to lodging BAS returns and to conduct our monthly review of the business. The beauty of the accounting system is that it downloads your banking information from your bank, allowing you to code the transactions to the correct account online. The more you use it, the quicker the process becomes as it learns what are the common postings.

The whole system is accessed online making it easy to work away from the office. Furthermore your data is secure – no more lost data when your office PC crashes or is stolen!

If you would like to discuss more benefits of Xero, and how we can bundle the cost into an effective annual accounting fee, call Mike Harding now on 0401 631 904.

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