Opinion: You always have enough time.

You always have enough time.
By Neil Simpson, Enterprise Training Officer, Manchester Metropolitan University.

The most common complaint I hear from businesses is that they “don’t have enough time”.  I bet you think you have the same problem.

But you don’t.

You have the same amount of time as Elon Musk, Ariana Huffington and JK Rowling, this is fact.

So how come you aren’t consistently driving your business forward with all the relentless energy and achieving like a boss?

You definitely have enough time.

Because the real problem is never time.

The problem is your priorities.

“People fail because they spend too much time majoring in minor things”

– Tony Robbins

The Payoff

Here is the thing…

Your business exists to create value, both for your customers and also for you.

We can often spend a lot of time ensuring that we lavish our beloved customers with all the value that we can manage but often we forget to build in the value for ourselves.

…and when we don’t immediately see the value for ourselves, the thing you planned to do, shifts from essential (i.e. truly valuable) to desirable (nice to have)

Obviously, we prioritise the essential activities over the desirable ones.

Here is the problem.

A lot of the truly important things we need to do for the vitality of our business is valuable in the long term, so we can often mistake longer term value for lower value as it pays off further in the future.

So, because urgent things shout the loudest, we do them first and never seem to get around to the higher value things that pay off later.

Running a business is a little like being a farmer.

The really important things, like planning seeds pay off over 6 months in the future.  What’s worse, is that seeds don’t complain about not being planted.

But without seeds, there are no crops…and without crops…? Well you get the picture.

How to always have enough time (for the important things)

The short answer is reverse engineering your business.

To put it back into farming terms.  The farmer decides what kind of crop she wants to harvest, then plants those kind of seeds

As a business owner, you need to first, decide what outcomes you want and then plan the specific activities you need to do to make those specific outcomes occur.

Most importantly, you then need to make sure you do those things FIRST.

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog,

you can go through the day with the satisfaction

of knowing that that is probably the worst thing

that is going to happen to you all day long”

– Mark Twain

In his deceptively simple book “Eat The Frog”, Brian Tracey expands on Twain’s idea and outlines exactly how to do this on a daily basis.

Unless they are part of your long term plan:

  • Emails aren’t important.
  • Social media isn’t important.
  • Networking isn’t important.
  • Invoicing isn’t important.

I know…

I know you are thinking that your business couldn’t function without them. And you are right.

But they aren’t as important as your metaphorical crops.

Do them in the afternoon.  They can wait.

Hear Neil Simpson speak about the entrepreneurial mindset and how it can help you to grow your business at our next Big Networking for Small Businesses event, on Thursday 24 October 2019.
Register for your complimentary ticket to the event.


The Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme is a consortium of North West based partners set up to deliver business growth activities across priority sectors from 2016-2023.

With a £3.85m investment of European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) matched by investment by the three partner Institutions, this innovative programme brings together three key business support providers across Cheshire and Warrington to offer businesses access to a variety of services.

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