There are two ways of looking at the world—through the lens of time and effort, and through the lens of results. Most people find security in the guaranteed income a job provides, and they don’t have the desire to take on the risk of owning a business.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve chosen to cross the risk line into what we call “The Results Economy.” In this economy, there is no guaranteed income—only the opportunities you create for yourself. For you, it’s all about maximizing results while minimizing the time and effort involved to produce them.
At Strategic Coach, we’ve noticed that as entrepreneurs strive to produce new opportunities and results, a problem of time supply emerges. They’re always thinking about work, money becomes the only reward for being productive, and they feel a continual sense of fatigue.
This is why this “Results Economy” requires a totally different way of looking at time.
The Entrepreneurial Time System.
The Time System is a powerful way to focus your time, energy, and creativity to produce your best results. It frees you up to spend time doing all the things that make being an entrepreneur worthwhile.
It’s too easy to get caught in the trap of doing countless different activities every day: calling a prospect, ordering office furniture, working on a client project, solving a technical glitch, answering a question for a team member, booking travel for an upcoming conference, all while trying to get set to give a client presentation.
It’s impossible to gain any traction or momentum to move your business ahead because everything’s pulling at you in different directions. Instead, The Entrepreneurial Time System breaks your activities into three distinct types of days: Free Days, Focus Days, and Buffer Days.
Rejuvenation generates creativity.
As Vince Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
When you’re tired, you stop creating, taking risks, communicating, and delegating. So how do you prevent fatigue?
In the Time System—designed specifically for high-achieving entrepreneurs—Free Days come first. On Free Days, your main purpose is to rejuvenate. This can come about in a variety of ways—relaxing; spending time with your family, friends, and community; and doing the things outside of business that you find fun and exciting. It’s a 24-hour period, from midnight to midnight, with no focused business-related thinking or reading, and no communication with the office.
Free Days hold this place of importance because they’re a prerequisite for periods of high achievement. Think of an investment model: You’re investing in your most important asset—you. Whatever you do, the key to having a true non-work Free Day is having it scheduled in advance, protecting it, and having a plan for the day.
Productivity at its best with Focus Days.
You can finally take time off without feeling guilty because you know you’ve got Focus Days devoted to your top three money-making activities. These are your “game days,” where you’re doing what you do best with your best opportunities and relationships. They’re all about results.
Imagine that we take every single activity away from you. Now, in terms of your three top money-making activities, what would be the first and most important activity you would take back in order to generate revenue? Then, take back a second, and then a third. That’s it, just three. These are what you should be doing on a productive Focus Day.
Whatever your Focus Day activities, it’s important that both you and your team know what they are. Then, plan and organize your time in order to spend 80 percent of your day doing them.
Having your team help you, staying rigorous about interruptions, and postponing non-money-making activities until your next Buffer Day will get you back on track and feeling on top of your work rather than feeling like your work is controlling you.
Buffer Days create the foundation.
Buffer Days set aside time to handle all the “stuff” required to run a business. The three specific uses of Buffer Days? Cleaning up messes, delegating stuff, and acquiring new capabilities.
These days are crucial to setting you up so your Free Days deliver the greatest rejuvenation and your Focus Days result in the highest productivity. Often overlooked and least appreciated, Buffer Days are crucial because they allow you to put structures in place to support your future success.
Without this buffer zone, it’s challenging to build a foundation that will lead to greater revenue and free time in the future.
At the start of implementing this system, you will most likely need to schedule more Buffer time to clean up past “messes.” This is normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. One by one, as you clean up each mess, you’ll feel a burst of energy and freedom.
Going against gravity.
Suddenly, all the complexity that can make running a business so draining disappears. You’re more energized, productive, and making more money than ever, all while taking more time off. You’re experiencing the freedom you’ve always dreamed of.
All progress in our lives requires that we go against some kind of “gravitational” system. Gravity in this sense means the forces that hold us in place. It means all those forces that prevent us from moving or changing our position.
To move against physical gravity requires muscles. The stronger we are, the more we can move about and do what we want. Nothing new, different, or better happens in this world that does not go against gravity.
The Entrepreneurial Time System represents a new, better, and different way for entrepreneurs to control their time—not only in business, but in all areas of their lives.
What comes next?
The Time System gives you a structure to organize your time for maximum productivity, preparation, and rejuvenation. It allows you to fully commit your attention to what you’re doing and the people you’re with.
Having this system in place will help relieve the feelings of guilt and stress that result from being pulled in too many directions at once. Those who organize their time this way experience a slowing down of time—a sense of having all the time they need to do everything properly and to enjoy everything they do.
Need a deeper dive into The Entrepreneurial Time System and how to effectively implement it? Download our Entrepreneur’s Guide To Time Management for the complete strategy.