You probably all know the term ‘busy bee’ and associate it with people you know who are always on the go, constantly active and living life in the fast lane. In the animal kingdom the bee is a worker, completing a specific task and contributing to the whole. There are measureable and tangible end-products; i.e. the contribution it makes to the environment through pollination and, of course, delicious honey for our morning toast.
If you’re an entrepreneur I suggest you stop and think for a moment. Think about how often you use the word ‘busy’ e.g. “I’ve been really busy this week.”, “I can’t make the meeting, I’m too busy”…
When you’re busy, are you really being productive? Are you really ‘making honey’? Is your ‘busy-ness’ having an efficient and effective impact on your “busi-ness”? Or are you getting side-tracked and distracted by the sheer volume of things to do?
If we find ourselves accumulating hours and hours of overtime, it might be because we have refused to delegate some tasks or are conducting time-consuming administrative jobs at peak times of the week, rather than reserving for them for a quieter time, like Friday afternoons. Once you are up-and-running with your enterprise you will get a feeling for which times are ‘quiet’ and when you can afford to allocate space in your schedule to certain regular tasks like invoicing. ‘Schedule’ is the magic word here. Plan your week ahead of time – don’t randomly decide what you are going to do when you enter your office each morning!
The best tip I can give you is not to have your email in-box open when you are doing anything that requires concentration. Incoming emails are a constant distraction. Checking emails apparently gives us an adrenaline shot, that’s why some of us do it every couple of minutes, but it can slow you down considerably when working through your tasks. Opening, reading, deciding if important, deciding to answer later – not to mention the time involved when you finally do answer later – will add hours to your week.
If you want more advice on optimizing your activities I highly recommend the late Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, if you haven’t read it yet. His ‘Time Management Matrix’ is unbeatable, in my opinion.
For a recent take on this subject also check out the following blog post by Vered Neta: http://www.balancedbusinesswomen.com/blog/5-strategies-in-creating-content-without-losing-your-sanity
It contains some great ideas on how to smarten up your act.
Vered also once recommended setting an alarm when using Twitter – another valuable tip along the way!
And now this bee says: “Thanks for reading and good luck with the honey, everybody!”