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How To Be Far More Productive

And eliminate time wasting activities ...


If you're finding you're swamped in your business, you can regain control of your valuable time by eliminating the things that get in the way of your productivity and profitability ...

To become more productive, you need to eliminate time wasting activities!

To become more productive, you need to eliminate time wasting activities!

copyright: 4p business development

Are you the business owner that is continuously in crisis mode? Do you spend much of you time firefighting? Are you juggling all the balls in the air and find it difficult to delegate? Do you check your email so often that it's preventing you from getting any actual work done?

Then you're confusing the urgent with the important. Continue in this mode, and you will ultimately drain all of your energy and leave you with little to show for it at the end.

Nearly every business person experiences distractions and interruptions that get in the way of your work. You don't have to suffer from the loss of focus anymore. Now is the time to use a model to prioritise your to-do list.

"What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important!"

As a business owner, it is paramount that you understand the difference between what is important to you and your business and what is urgent.

Take that to-do list and use the model below to evaluate what exactly you should be doing now, and perhaps more importantly, what you should be delegating and what you should be avoiding entirely.


    Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately)

    • Crisis

    • Pressing issues

    • Deadline driven

    • Projects

    • Meetings

    • Preparations


    Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule for later)

    • Preparation

    • Prevention

    • Values clarification

    • Planning

    • Relationship building

    • Empowerment


    Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to others)

    • Interruptions

    • Some phone calls

    • Some mail

    • Popular activities

    • Un-pressing matters


    Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate)

    • Trivia, busy work

    • Some phone calls

    • Time wasters

    • 'Escape' Activities

    • Irrelevant mail

As a business owner, you should only be working on the important issues and matters within your business. How many of you are in the 4th list dealing with trivial and irrelevant matters?

"The next issue you may encounter is how to make important tasks urgent!"

The easiest way to make sure an important task urgent is to give it a deadline. So the first thing that you have to do if you want to make sure important tasks get done is to set deadlines.

So very often, a really important task is more like a project inasmuch as it's huge and needs a tremendous amount of work. In order for you to set deadlines, you first have to break it down into smaller tasks and set deadlines for each of those.

When I listen to business owners telling me that they can do the job better themselves so they will not delegate, I realise immediately that they need my help!

In order to work on the business and to make it a success, you need to take a step back. It is paramount that all the tasks in the Low/Important boxes are delegated. Next, you need someone to delegate all the less important task to, and remember, you must keep those people accountable.

When it comes to holding other members of your team accountable to deadlines, it's important to make people realise how important these deadlines are to you. You can't tolerate missed deadlines. And that means actually checking in and having uncomfortable conversations when deadlines are missed.

If you don't do this, then people will understandably assume that deadlines aren't that important to you, and they'll start getting pushed back or missed more and more often.

"Will this help you to achieve your goals and aspirations?"

One final note: it can be hard to eliminate time wasting activities if you aren't sure what you are working toward. In my experience, there are two questions that can help clarify the entire process behind the Eisenhower Method:

  • What am I working toward?

  • What are the core values that drive my life?

Take control, be more productive and eliminate time wasting activities by using the Eisenhower Box and/or the Important vs Urgent model. these simple decision matrices will help you take action, organise tasks, and get more done.

The great thing about them is that they can be used for broad productivity plans such as, "How should I spend my time each week?" and for smaller, daily plans, "What should I do today?"

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like some help eliminating time wasting activities which, in turn, makes you more productive, give me a call on 01280 700405 or click here to send me an email enquiry and I'll ask you some bloody difficult questions about what's holding you back.

Until next time ...


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More about Kath Bonner-Dunham ...

For more than 40 years Kath specialised in sales & marketing, operations and general management. During that time she studied a business degree at London Thames Valley University and a coaching and mentoring degree at Oxford Westminster, started a successful innovative subsidiary business in Essex and was General Manager of a £12.5m company in Maidenhead.

Kath is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owner/managers to help them achieve their goals and aspirations. Her emotional intelligence combined with her warm, incisive and curious style ensure consistently good results. She encourages business owners to develop an entrepreneurial approach to their business and works with businesses at various stages from pre-start and start-up, through to high growth and exit, enabling the business to be successful and the owner to achieve his or her highest aspirations.

Kath is an approved and accredited Skills Advisor, and is a professional coach holding a certificate in Coaching & Mentoring Practice from Oxford Brookes University. She is a local Town Councillor, a Young Enterprise mentor, mentor of women through South East Women Mentoring Service, a member of The British American Association and an avid networker.

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