Highly Chilled Habit #4: Be Thrifty With Your Time

time management business habits

The 7 Habits of Highly Chilled Small Business owners

This is the fourth article in a monthly series on small business owners I have met or worked with over the years who developed beautiful successful businesses.

Stories of successful real business owners

In 35 years of doing business and working with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met, I’ve learned a very important lesson: Success in small business starts by building great habits. I call these practices the “7 Highly Chilled Habits” and I find they’re best illustrated with the stories of real business owners who I happen to have had the pleasure of coaching.

The articles are based on my E-book, The 7 Habits of Highly Chilled Small Business Owners. All of my books and other resources are available for free here

Highly Chilled Habit #4:

Be Thrifty With Your Time

7 habits num 4 time management

In order to build a Highly Chilled business, you must get into the habit of always asking yourself: Is what I am doing at this moment the best use and management of my time?

BTW, You can read up on Chilled habit #1 here.

And Chilled habit #2, here

And Chilled Habit #3 here

Be disciplined, like Jacob

Jacob is disciplined time manager I’ve met in small business. Jacob started his IT business a little over 20 years ago and now he employs more than 100 people across Australia and New Zealand.

The business runs largely without him. So much so, that Jacob travels the world in style and has found time to start a new and totally different business besides his IT venture. This is the website of his IT business.

If there’s one habit that Jacob has disciplined himself to internalise, it’s to constantly remind himself of the question: Is this the best use or management of my time?

Time is the one thing you can’t buy more of

I sometimes ask small business owners what they think is the most valuable resource of their business. Generally, people mention contracts, customers, stock, equipment, IP, property or their people. While all of those things are extremely important, none are as valuable as your time. Your time, as the business owner, is the only thing you cannot buy, rent, hire, beg or steal more of. Therefore, whenever you say “YES” to doing one thing, it means, by definition, you’re saying “NO” to doing something else.

Jacob has learnt this over the years, and he’s become rigorous in applying that principle every day. Whenever Jacob is confronted with a demand on his time, he’s committed to asking himself the following 6 questions:

  • Does this thing HAVE to be done now?
  • If not by me, who else can this thing be done by?
  • What would happen if I say “NO” to this thing?
  • If I say “YES”, what will not get done?
  • Is doing this thing really the BEST use of my time?
  • What would be a better use of my time?

Thanks to this practice, Jacob has lots of time to do the stuff that matters most in his business; the stuff that only he, the business owner, can do. He can focus on the tasks that make the business grow, develop and bring in more money. Jacob’s is a Highly Chilled business and Jacob is a Highly Chilled small business owner.

Your Homework (the chilled kind)

Here’s a short exercise you could carry out to start the process of making this habit your own.

Every Sunday night or Monday morning, ask yourself: What are the three main things I want to do this week, to feel that I’ve moved forward in my business? (Remember, as a small business owner, there will always be more things for you to do than time allows.)

Practice Highly Chilled habit #4: Block the appropriate time to do those three things in your diary and only allow them to be moved in a DIRE emergency.

Are you a small business owner who’s wondering how to start playing it cool? Explore Highly Chilled habit #5 here [INSERT LINK WHEN COMPLETED].

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