4 Tips for the Busy Executive

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

4 Tips for the Busy Executive

I have a couple of prospective clients that keep delaying projects.

One really wants to do the project but the people aren't in place yet. The time isn't right. Is the time every really right?

More than one is just too busy to make a decision. Too busy. Stephen Covey would tell then to read his book.


Many business owners - me included - are busy running from task to task. That is a fast path to the day running you and not the other way around.

There are like a million articles on the web - about 20 of those are on BusinessInsider, Forbes or Entrepreneur mag - about how really cool people, really rich people or Steve Jobs work their day. You know what? It is all about Working Your Day (and not the other way around).

When I coached with Keith Rosen we worked on my time management. The four things I learned:

  1. We tend to schedule best effort. We guess that something will take 10 minutes but it actually takes 20. We try to schedule 15 hours of work into 9 hours. Stop that.Respect the schedule.
  2. Schedule buffer time. An hour (or more) per day for putting out fires or for run over.
  3. Egg timers. If you jump on Facebook or twitter or into email, set an egg timer for 10 minutes so that you don't get sucked into a black hole.
  4. If it isn't on your calendar, is it a priority? Start actually using your calendar to stop being so busy and working on the important stuff.

Quite a few things contribute to success. Here are a few:

  • Your schedule
  • Being able to delegate.
  • Marketing every day.
  • Multi-tasking is really BS
  • Prioritizing.

That multi-tasking is like cutting down trees by whacking at each one once, then going back and whacking at it again. We see it on the road: people talking or reading their cell phones who are not paying attention to driving, There are numerous articles about this, but you cannot active listen and do other cognitive activities. And if you are only going to passively listen, why bother?

Look how many tabs you have open in your browser. Really? Bookmark that stuff. If it was important you will get to it, if not why is that tab open? I fall into this every day as I open link after link from FB or twitter or my RSS reader. Then 2 hours are up and hardly any of the stuff was pertinent. Sure more trivia in my head but nothing actionable.

Delegating is tough because you have to stop to say, "Let me let James do that" then tell James to do that and maybe explain it. So by then it could be done. Key is: COULD. Between virtual assistants, oDesk, fiverr and other platforms you can find someone to do some of your tasks for you. It frees up your time to do other stuff. It requires trusting some else to do it and you not micro-managing it, but those are issues you have to work on anyway, right? ;) One year, my VA's ganged up on me to tell me to learn to delegate. It's a work in progress.

Most of the projects in the air are either marketing or sales training. Putting them off means missed revenue opportunities. How many of those do you think you have lying around? You read about the consolidation and how the cablecos are going to crush the market, you can't delay opportunities that are there.

Realize that some of it isn't that you are too busy to decide; it's more about the fear or the risk or the other excuse.

Rarely does an investment in sales training go to waste. Sure the salesperson may leave but you demonstrated that you care about their development -- to your employees now and future. In many cases, one additional sale will pay for the training. Just one.

Marketing projects: Lead generation is the number one problem for service providers. Without some kind of marketing, how do you get lead gen?

I did my annual Goal Setting webinar yesterday. One of the draft decks is up on slideshare along with a slide deck from 2010. Wouldn't hurt to run through the goal setting exercise.

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