Time: The Big Differentiatior
“You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
Is it about time you use your time better? As a business can we afford not to? There are many things that are valuable to us: work, family, health, possessions etc., but it could be argued that the most valuable thing you’ll ever have, outside of your health, is your time. It is a resource unlike any other, you can’t buy it, rent it, borrow it, save it, store it, renew it or multiply it – the only thing you can do is spend it. In order for us to be effective in business we have to understand this and ensure everyone working with us also understands the value of their time.
“Work expands to fill the time” – Cyril Northcote Parkinson
At Enterpryze, a key part of our team culture is time, or more accurately, speed. We are in a hurry, we are working against time, every minute spent inefficiently is a minute wasted. We refer to the way we work as ‘organised chaos’. We embrace the way we work as it enables us to make quick decisions and complete tasks efficiently while at the same time being agile enough to halt an activity that is proving to be ineffective.
Have you ever felt like you’re always busy, but don’t have the work to show for it? This is the hamster’s dilemma, running on the wheel and not getting anywhere. It is easy to confuse activity with accomplishment. We all know the expression “work expands to fill time”, we have found this is especially true when jobs, activities and tasks are being carried out without firm deadlines, key stakeholders and KPIs in place.
Efficient and effective use of time
Efficiency refers to doing the job right. Effectiveness refers to doing the right job. When you’re efficient, you do the job in front of you in the best possible way. But, when you’re effective, you may or may not do the job in front of you. You do what most needs to be done at a particular point in time. In a business start-up environment this is especially true. Spending time on the wrong tasks can end up causing huge inefficiencies of resources. This is a very common problem and what we have found to help combat this is consistent communication in small, focused project teams and strategy or business updates straight from myself and the senior team to the whole organisation.
What I do to stay focused and efficient:
– I visualise what I want out of life and assess my activities – if they are consistent to achieving my goal, I keep them, if not, they are eliminated
– I work with my body clock to identify its peak times and try to schedule my days based on this. I know my energy is higher in the morning so I schedule priority activities during this period
– I take time every day to visualise my goals and meditate. I find it increases my efficiency, decision-making ability and concentration for the rest of the day
– I try to subtract an activity from my life each time I add a new one
“More is lost by indecision than wrong decision. Indecision is the thief of opportunity. It will steal you blind.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Not everyone can cope with the culture of working at speed. Speed requires an element of chaos that needs to be balanced with constant evaluation. If you work to this model you and your whole team need to be able to move quickly in the pursuit of common goals.