Watch where you're going and stay in the current
One of the challenges I faced when I ran a whitewater rafting company was to keep to fixed schedules amidst constantly changing conditions. During guide training I emphasized the need to keep the boat moving. River currents shift up and down and from side to side. It’s easy to get tossed from one side of the river to the other, causing the boat to lose momentum.
To avoid this the guide needs to watch for the main current and keep the boat positioned correctly. With some well-placed strokes the boat continues down river with ease. If not, the boat is delayed and both the guide and the crew are frustrated and worn out by the end of the trip.
Watch where you’re going and stay in the current.
Many business owners get exhausted and discouraged on occasion. “There’s not enough time in a day,” they tell me. “I’m working harder than ever just to keep my head above water. I need to focus on strategic growth, but how will I ever find the time?”
If there’s one mistake I see entrepreneurs and business owners make over and over again, it’s mismanaging their time. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: develop and use a time management plan.
Learn the Four Quadrants of Effective Time Management: This framework comes from Dr. Steven Covey’s classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, he posited that there are four quadrants into which all tasks fall:
The first quadrant, important and urgent, consists of things you simply must do NOW: a crying child, a fire, and so on.
The second quadrant, important and not urgent, is the "quality time" quadrant. It consists of critical tasks that can be scheduled in advance. Working on your business plan, personal recreation, and bonding with family belong here.
The third quadrant consists of not important and urgent tasks. These are distractions and interruptions, unimportant emails, tasks and phone calls that compete for your attention in the moment.
The fourth quadrant, not important and not urgent, is the "time-wasting" quadrant: online games, cruising social media, unproductive meetings and so on.
(Excerpted from my eBook 6 Keys to Rapid Business Growth Click the title for a free copy.)
Dwight Grant is a seasoned businessman with over 30 years of leadership experience. He lives in CO where he enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking and spending time with family.