It can be incredibly frustrating when the end of the year quarter comes and you’re expecting to be a few steps closer to your goals, but instead are in the same place or even further away. Your first instinct may to immediately blame your team and their shortcomings. But when you point the finger at someone else, how many fingers on that same hand are pointing back to you.

  • How to Set Goals for Your Team
  • How Weekly Meetings Will Transform Your Business

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Do your businesses activities align with your goals?

Have you set goals for your business?

Setting goals documents the roadmap of your business and personal life over time that you share with your team.

This is important because once you realize these goals and the milestones that must be achieved you can then delegate those tasks to your team.

The goal is to create synergy in your business so that it is running without you.

Ultimately, the aim is to take you, the business owner, out of the day-to-day processes so that you can focus on bigger picture items.

Once your team has their goals and responsibilities, then you can have regular meetings with them to gauge their progress.

During these meetings, ask your team the 5 questions in this video.

How to Set Goals for Your Team

As a business owner, the process of determining which activities your team should focus on starts with goal setting.

The first level is the bigger picture that includes broad strategies to achieve the vision over a three to five-year period.

The second level of goal-setting will be over a 12-month period, documenting specific S.M.A.R.T goals – goals that are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

The third level breaks down the 12 months goals into 3 month increments, or quarters of the year.

Then finally we break down the 90 day goals into weekly activities that we track and measure to make changes for the next week.

The idea is to repeat this process each week and at the end of the first quarter, re-establish specific goals for the second quarter and repeat the disciplined setting of weekly activities and weekly reviews.

How Weekly Meetings Will Transform Your Business

Each weekly review and planning session should take about one hour each Monday (or Friday) and should include the business owner and team managers.

The discipline of this process will allow the differentiation of urgent versus important activities. Important activities are those that lead to the achievement of defined goals and provide the most likely chance of achieving the desired outcomes for the business. However, many of the important activities are not urgent.

Pareto’s 80/20 rule applies here as 80% of the outcomes will be generated by 20% of the activities. Unfortunately, urgent activities tend require 80% of the activities, only producing 20% of the outcomes. The process discussed in the previous paragraph helps differentiate between important versus urgent activities on a weekly basis. It will help routinely to identify potential conflicts and crises and to facilitate minimizing the number of urgent activities.

The benefits of this disciplined approach to managing activities will be the measurable control of goal-focused activities and the actual completion of targeted goals.

This process will help facilitate the delegation of activities to appropriately skilled staff and will reduce personal stress on everyone in the company from the owner down, and there will be increased productivity and profitability no matter what the external business or economic conditions.

You, as the business owner, will feel more in control of your life and destiny.

Here are seven suggestions to apply personal discipline within the context of achieving better management of business operations and the more effective utilization of your personal time:

  1. Delegate: Delegate activities to the staff with the skills. Manage this approach through an organizational structure and individual Positional Agreements appropriate to the size of the organization.
  2. Prioritize: Prioritize your daily work by reviewing the next day’s important activities in a ‘to-do list’ at the end of each day. You can maximize personal productivity by focusing on this list the next day. And don’t do what’s not on the list – resist the urge to be distracted and to do things that you enjoy more.
  3. Handle each piece of paper only once and never more than twice: Don’t set aside anything without taking action.
  4. Clean up: Clean up your desk and office shelves once per month. Categorize everything into four groups: ‘Do it’, ‘Delegate it’, ‘Defer it’, and ‘Dump it”. Before getting rid of anything, just ask the question, “What is the worst that can happen if the item was gone?” If the answer is “nothing”, then dump it.
  5. Put personal interruptions on hold: Put your calls and personal interruptions on hold for one hour, two hours, or whatever is appropriate to your task at hand. It is amazing how much work that can be achieved by using this simple technique and not being distracted by a phone call or personal interruption – and most of these potential interruptions will not meet the definition of ‘important’.
  6. Learn to say “No”: This may be the most effective way to maximize your personal utilization of time and is often the hardest word to use in business. Make sure that if you don’t say “No,” it is because the activity is important in your own role in the business.
  7. Make sure you set aside personal relaxation time during every workday. Don’t work during lunch. It is neither nutritional nor noble to skip important stress-relieving time or important energy input. Take vacations, particularly mini-vacations. The harder you work, the more you need to balance your leisure and exercise time.

As a business owner, the key to time management is to build your personal and business life around your individual needs and desired outcomes through planned and measured activities. Time management is, in fact, the ultimate in self-improvement because it is the foundation for achieving your goals in every aspect of your life.