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A Great Way to Get the Most Out of Your Time

A Great Way to Get the Most Out of Your Time

August 12, 2008

Eat ... swim ... sleep.

That's a typical day for Michael Phelps and that singular focus has made him the winningest Olympian of all time, winning 11 career gold medals as of this writing.

His story of dedication and perseverance is just one of the many we've seen and read about during the Olympic Games. Another U.S. swimmer, Eric Shanteau, wasn't a gold medal favorite but he won the respect of millions of people as he battled testicular cancer while also racing against the world's best swimmers. His father is also battling lung cancer. Yet, his focus on winning hasn't wavered. In fact, he postponed his own surgery until after the Olympics.

I could go on and on about the amazing stories of other Olympic athletes who managed to suffer through auto accidents, life-threatening illnesses, bankruptcy and loss. And yet they continue to persevere.

To compete at the highest level, you have to stay focused. The same is true for us as business owners. It really is no different.

Just like athletes have time set aside for training, recuperating and competing, we also need to be just as diligent about managing our time.

I'm not saying you need to just eat ... work ... sleep. Nor am I talking about scheduling appointments and meetings, rather I'm talking about managing your "type of time."

What "time zone" do you work in?

There are two types of time:

1. Productive Time (PT) - this is the time spent doing things that contribute to the growth of the business.

2. Super Productive Time (SPT) - this is the time spent setting up systems and making hard decisions, creating systems and forging alliances with business partners. These are the areas that often get pushed aside as we get busy working in our business.

Let me illustrate the difference in the two types of times. PT for a store owner would be time spent on the floor selling and working with customers. For a real estate investor, it would be time spent working with buyers and sellers. SPT for the store owner would be working with the ad agency to increase the traffic coming into the store and finding investors to help build new stores. For the real estate investor, SPT would be developing lead-generation systems and working with lenders.

Take a look at your schedule. If more than 20% of it consists of PT that's too much. You're spending too much time in your business and not enough time doing things that will grow the business. Most of your time (about 80%) should be spent on super productive things, such as creating systems for others to follow and making the hard decisions - you already know what they are!

This is something that won't happen overnight. You'll need to gradually move yourself out of the PT zone and make sure you have the teams and systems in place to replace you. Then, you can gradually spend more of your energy in the SPT zone.

You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish simply by focusing more on Super Productive Time.

Taking you from where you are to where you want to go,