At one of our recent Leadership Group meetings, several members were concerned at how busy they are and questioned their time management ability.

It might have been a throwaway line but our speaker gave a great response: “If you don’t have a time management problem you probably don’t have enough imagination.” It led me to realise that rather than seeing being too busy as the issue, instead recognise that actually you have too many options, ie it’s better decision making that’s required. This for many of us is easier said than done but I have three suggestions that might help.

1. Get really clear about who your clients are and who they aren’t.

I’ve just asked our Lettings Group today to grade their landlords by profile, (e.g. first time, one property, 2-5 properties, 6-20 properties and 20+) and rank them. Next to look at property types, (e.g. flats, 2-3 bed houses, 4 bed houses, 5+ bed houses etc) and again rank them. Thirdly to assess by the landlord’s approach to tenant/property management, (e.g. happy to leave it to the agent, some involvement, micromanagement, etc.). You can apply additional filters to conclude who your best prospects are and which ones you would do well to avoid – this will result in a huge time dividend.

2. Get really clear about your proposition.

I see a lot of businesses with great products and services fall into the trap of reinventing the wheel for each and every client. Customisation tends to be expensive and is almost always a significant time sucker. Learning to say “no” or to charge an appropriate fee for bespoke work, (by appropriate I mean huge), will allow you to run your business on systems, processes and checklists and drive great efficiencies including time.

3. Get really clear about your culture.

Probably the biggest thief of time is people/culture related issues. I’ve attended meetings where non-performing individuals have been discussed at length and worse for them to dominate the agenda again the following month and the month after that. If the culture is right and the right people are recruited and retained then management time is reduced considerably.

I don’t mind being very busy – so long as it’s on the right things.

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