Most of us start the year off with a few goals. You might want to lose weight by getting on an exercise program and eating better. Your new focus may be to head to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and to start taking your lunch to the office so you are eating a better choice of food. You start purchasing a variety of healthier foods at the grocery store. You may be like me and ask your wife to stop buying certain things so that they are not available when the urge hits.

You start off great — you are focused for the first couple of weeks, maybe even months. Then one night you are up late and decide not to get up early to work out, or maybe you forget your lunch, so you go to the drive-through. Soon, you are back to doing what you have always done and eating what you have always eaten. The excuse we all have is, “I am too busy.”

We start the year with things we want to accomplish in our business — grow revenues by 15 percent, add one more service truck, and hire another salesperson. When we get it on paper, it all looks good. You think, “Yes, I can do this.” Then we step back into the real world. This happens, then something else happens, and next thing you know, you are in the same rut — running around putting out fires, never getting to the important things that will really make a difference.

Zig Ziglar says a rut is a grave with the ends knocked out.

If you are like me, you make a list of 15 or 20 items you would like to accomplish this year. You schedule some time to place an ad to recruit for a new technician. The morning you set aside to do this, the equipment for a job doesn’t get delivered, and it’s rescheduled for tomorrow morning. So, what do you do? You jump in your truck and go pick up the equipment in order to take care of the client. By the time you get back to the office, you have an unhappy client who is upset with the price your service technician gave her. Because you see the importance of making every client happy, this takes priority over what you have planned for the day. The urgent takes priority over the important. This happens each and every day, and the next thing you know, it is Friday evening. When you review your list of what needs to be completed to improve your business, nothing has been accomplished. You say to yourself, “I was too busy to get any work completed.”

We all know the things we need to do to improve our lives: exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, and spend time with our family. We also know the things we need to do to improve our business: hire the right people, make a plan, and develop a budget. So why don’t we do it? We’re too busy!

This goes on for days, weeks, and even months until you make the decision not to let it happen. So, how do you make sure you focus your time, starting now, on the things that will make the biggest impact on your business?

  • Make a list of all the things you would like to improve in your business;
  • Narrow that list down to the top three to five items that will make the biggest impact on your company;
  • Schedule time to work on these items;
  • Leave time in between for the urgent matters that will arise;
  • Start the week with a list of what you want to accomplish;
  • Break that list down to daily goals; and
  • Plan your daily schedule.

You must make time for the most important things in your life and your business.

Publication date: 6/25/2018

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