Reclaim your time and money with time management skills.
You’ve gotta love a book whose title is:
No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs
The Ultimate No Holds Barred Kick Butt Take No Prisoners Guide to Time Productivity and Sanity
While this is a recent book review, it makes sense for me to tee this up….
Back in 1994 at the San Diego Convention Center I became entranced with this book’s author, Dan Kennedy.
I was attending one of those giant traveling road shows with inspirational/leadership speakers including Zig Zigler, Tom Hopkins, and Peter Lowe. They even had General Norman Schwarzkopf and Mary Lou Retten on the docket. At the very end of the agenda a portly fellow with a big moustache walked on stage. This was Dan Kennedy and I quickly understood why he is one considered one of the foremost (and controversial) marketing experts in the nation.
At the conclusion of his speech I sprinted to the back of the hall and dropped down a cool $295 to buy all of his tapes. A great investment. I must have worn out those tapes during the summer of 1994 in my Mitsubishi Eclipse. Great stuff. I soaked it up like a sponge.
So, time warp back to June 2005…..
Last month I am cleaning out my garage and I stumble across my original $295 investment. Tapes, books all from Dan Kennedy. I was re-fired up to listen again. And I re-gobbled up his awesome marketing insight on a recent drive up up to Sacramento. That then led me to Borders where I bought three of his books, including No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs.
For any of you have read a time management book, or worse, attended a time management seminar, you know some of the systems they teach. Some are good, others not. Most are boring and don’t create an emotional driving force to keep you on track.
Amongst many other things, Dan Kennedy is certainly emotional.
Here are 3 nuggets from this book that I have already taken to the bank.
1. Your time is worth $340.92 per hour.
If the project you are working on does not have the ability to generate at least $340.92 for every hour you invest, you are wasting your valuable time.
How does he come up with this amount? If your goal is to earn $200,000 per year (a solid goal for an entrepreneur) and you work 220 days per year (accounts for a healthy amount of vacation, weekends, national holidays), and you work 8 hours a day, then you would need to earn if $113.64 if every hour you work is billable.
But there is no way you are at 100% productivity every day. You are lucky if you are truly productive 33% of the time…. the rest of your time is spent haggling with vendors, filling out paperwork, stuck in insane meetings, emptying the trash, occasionally goofing off… all non productive time. So that means we need to triple that $113.64 number to truly measure what your time is worth for your *productive* hours. And that equals $340.92.
I now have this number placed on my computer monitor staring me in the face reminding me what my time is worth. And when I am working on a project or with a client that does not net me this amount, then I know it is time for me to start cutting the chaffe and focusing on ‘A’ opportunities.
(Right now my coach, David Facer www.activatepotential.com is likely standing up and applauding as he has been preaching this same mantra to me to focus on the A opportunities. Now with this monetary value of my time, this is really locked into my inner brain cycles.)
2. Avoid the Time Vampires that Want to Suck You Dry
This is a great piece of advice. The first thing we need to do is recognize these vampires before falling into their trap. This could be a ‘D’ level prospect that is lucky to net you $50 in profit yet wants to occupy 45 minutes of your time on the phone. Another one, especially for me, is maintaining an addiction to checking email every 22.8 seconds or scoping out ESPN.com to see if the Padres made a big trade yet. Seems obvious to avoid these things, but life sometimes takes you down this river and you react rather than proact. And sometimes I am reacting for half a day and meanwhile my time has flown out the window. (thus the reason for that big fat $340.92 sign on my computer).
So this is what I am going to do. I am not answering the phone. Period. The phone is perhaps the biggest interruption machine on the planet.
What I am working on right now, is my #1 priority and I intend to get that done. MY to do list are MY priorities. Someone else’s #1 priority is not necessarily my #1 priority. And besides, I work in direct marketing… it’s not like my wife’s job as an oncology pharmacist in a hospital. People are not going to die because I don’t pick up the phone.
Of course, there will be exceptions. I have a list of 13 people/companies that I will take a call immediately as these are my top customers, my most attractive prospects or my family. Everyone else can wait.
3. Self Discipline Is the Magic Power That Makes You Unstoppable
I love this word discipline. It evokes so many images, so many emotions… both good and bad. But in the end, all good.
This word also reminds me of a good friend and former boss, Mike Valant, who worked with me at Harte-Hanks. He made a big point of instilling a disciplined sales culture and I was his chief whipping boy to make it happen. We ruffled alot of feathers doing so. People that did not like the discipline either left the organization, or were asked to leave. But I believe we were better off as a result. Sales people were making more calls and delivering more proposals. Revenue and accounts were growing. Sales people were being measured for performance. Accountability was at an all time high. Discipline is a good thing. Ask your coach, your trainer, your doctor.
Dan Kennedy focuses on this topic as it relates to time management.The discipline to be massively focused on what is important and get it done.
- The discipline to block off time on your calendar and make appointments with yourself to work on projects and get them done.
- The discipline to be punctual in order to demonstrate to others that your time is indeed valuable and should be respected.
- The discipline to drive a stake through the heart of the time vampires.
- The discipline to link everything you do to your goals.
Overall I give this book 5 stars out of 5. Great book. Has me fired up to be more focused on my time and its true value. I now now starting on his “No BS for Business Success” book and his “No BS for Sales Success” book is in the on deck circle.
Come by and visit my office and I’ll show you my $340.92 green index card on my monitor.
If you have never heard of Dan Kennedy, then you need to stop, take a deep breathe and the visit his website (www.nobsinnercircle.com).