Stop, Keep, Start… These 3 Words Will Change The Way You Use Your Time

It’s a vicious cycle, and one that we hear about WAY too often…

The cycle starts with a busy trade business owner. They’re overloaded with work, stressed out and so time poor that they hardly have a spare moment to scratch themselves.

These guys want to make improvements so that they can gain greater control of their business, rather than continuing on as the owners of a business that controls them…

However, in order to make these improvements immediate CHANGES need to be made in their business. Some of these changes may come easily, and others come with hard work and commitment.

The question we always get asked when discussing these changes with our new Lifestyle Tradie members is;

“How will I find the time to make these changes if I’m already so flat out as it is? There’s no time”

… It’s at this point that you may see the cycle we’re talking about – a lack of time prevents trade business owners from making necessary changes in their business that will gain back time. Yet, without these changes trade business owners will continue to struggle with the burden of not having enough time. And the cycle continues on…

If this is starting to sound all too familiar then read on.

It pains us to see trade business owners struggling with this cycle. Especially when we have evidence from the continued success of our members that there is definitely a way of breaking it!

In this article we want to talk about what you need to ‘stop’, ‘keep’ and ‘start’ in your business to gain back precious time. Being as passionate as we are about helping trade business owners save time so they can get back their lifestyle, we discuss this (plus more!) in greater detail at our full day live event The Future Tradie.

But for now, my question to you is, do you use your time wisely?

Even if you are seriously thinking “Yes I do”, I would still suggest that you do one thing this week. This one thing will help the most time poor trade business owners and could honestly help even the most time effective ones!

For a whole week document every task you do and how long it takes you to do it.

At the end of the week sort the tasks just as I am about to explain;

Firstly, pick three highlighters. With one colour (lets say yellow), highlight everything that you consider of no importance such as watching tv and scrolling facebook.

These are the tasks that aren’t moving your business forward. They waste your time and prevent you from doing more productive activities. The things of no importance are a ‘NIL’ if scaled from 0-10, so it makes sense to STOP doing them right away.

Don’t stop yet as we have just reached the important part of the process. This next step will quite literally give you back time!

Select a second colour (lets say pink) and highlight all the things you currently do that you really dislike such as data entry, invoicing and debt collection.

When you think about your hourly rate, say $150, what can you get done, and therefore you don’t need to do, that will cost less than $150 an hour?

The STOP is the most critical. You really need to consider the benefits from leveraging your time to outsource. Just because it may seem expensive to get someone else to do a certain task, doesn’t mean it actually is.

Let me give you an example…

The prospect of hiring a book keeper may seem like an expense that you can’t afford. However, when it comes to data entry, debt collection and invoicing, what may take you 4 hours a week as a novice to complete may take a professional 1 hour a week. In this 4 hours you could have booked in a job that would have earned you enough money that pay for the accountant PLUS given you a profit.

This is where leveraging your money is achieved, and most importantly buying you back time.

It is right to say that TIME is your most precious asset and you need to treat it like gold. Don’t give away time easily as it is the one thing you cannot get back!
Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever!

If this process works for your business, why stop there? Why not look at how you can do the same with your personal time? For example, perhaps hiring a cleaner or purchase your shopping on line and have it delivered is a great cost effective way to give you more personal time to do the things you really enjoy.

Next we want to move to the third colour.

Select another colour (lets say blue) and go through and pick out the tasks that YOU need to KEEP for yourself to complete. These are the tasks that you are an expert at. No one else is more efficient at completing them and it would be more expensive to get someone else to do them.

This is the exciting part…. NOW you have created SPACE in your week to consider what to START.
Sadly these most important profit producing tasks are often the ones that we simply do not have time to do. But, hopefully that is about to change…
The next step is to list the items you wish to START.

Develop a marketing plan, write or video content for your website, integrate your cloud accounting with your diary management system, conduct sales training with your team, review and understand your financial data. The list goes on and ALL are exceptionally high on the scale of 1-10, they would be a 10.

Stop. Keep. Start. Three little words that can have a HUGE positive impact on your business (and your life) if you only apply the theory of this to your daily activities.

Give it a try in your trade business this week…It can really go a long way to relieve the work overload that burdens so many trade business owners.

And, if you have done this exercise (congrats to you!), and are now thinking ‘what am I supposed to START?’ then perhaps you might be interested to come along to our live event ‘The Future Tradie’.

We will be covering what you need to START working on to relieve your workload, gain back time and focus on moving your trade business forward. For more details on the event and to view our discounted ticket offer CLICK HERE.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.