One huge time saving tip that business coach Clay talks about often and uses every day is the concept of “Lanes”. You have heard the saying “Staying in your lane” and this is exactly what you should be doing as a business owner. You have to sit down, look at your schedule, and decide what is in your lane and what is in someone else’s lane. Whenever you do not take the time out to establish roles and lanes for yourself and for your employees, you find yourself all over the road and productivity plumits. A huge part of time management is being productive and choosing to stay in your lane is a huge time saver.
How do you know what lane you should be in? The best way to determine your lane is to ask yourself this question for everything that you do in your business, “Is this my highest and best use of my time?” What that means is that you have to find out if there is someone else that you can pay $10 an hour to who can do this task so that you are not wasting your time. Most of the time, the answer is yes and we just don’t know how to get someone else to do it or we think that they can’t do it because they are not us. If we accept that business coach mindset, we will always be stuck doing answering every phone call that comes into the business, signing for every United States Postal Service package, and providing carpet cleaning services to all of our clients.
The way we can get other people to do the things that we should not be spending our time on is to create a system. It’s actually really quite simple when you think about it. All you have to do is write out your process for how you perform the task. If you are writing a system, also known as a script, for answering the phone you must write out, word for word, exactly what you say and have your employees follow that script. When you do this, you must accept that they will do a B+ to A- job every time compared to how you perform the task. You must accept this slight decrease in quality of your product if you want to have a high quality, or an A+, life.
Sometimes business owners go to the extreme with system creation to the point of trying to replace themselves completely so that they never have to touch the business at all. The flaw in this mindset is the fact that no one cares about your business as much as you do and they will make mistakes. This is why Clay always warns us a a business coach team against delegating out your accounting fully to another party and never looking at it because it will drift and you will find yourself in a really bad place. Sometimes, you will find that sales is your highest and best use of time. If you are selling large jobs you may need to be the sales person for your business. The point of system creation is to find your core competency that you can never let go of and delegate out the things that anyone can do with a checklist.
Once you find what your highest and best use of time is, also known as your lane, you should focus on that with a maniacal passion. You should check on the other lanes periodically but you should not be constantly weaving back and forth between everyone else’s lanes. When you leave your lane, you are taking time out of making progress in your lane and you are now going backwards. You must focus on your lane and keep your eye on the prize.