Time Costs Money
Time management is a continuous struggle. We try to spend more time with customers, and less with paperwork. We try to delegate portions of our “to do” list that can be done by someone else. We arrange our days to spend our time doing the most effective things.
We also understand that a large, one-time, up-front investment of time can save a disproportionately greater amount of time down the road. So, we invest in a new computer system and all the time it takes to set it up. We spend some serious time creating annual goals and strategic plans because we expect those exercises to help us be more effective in the coming year.
With this perspective in mind, get a return on your invested time by preparing a disaster plan. This is a plan for continuing your business with minimal downtime in the event of a disruption due to forces completely out of your control.
For example, during lunch at a seminar I was teaching at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando, Fla., someone stole my laptop, projector and briefcase, which contained my cell phone, PDA and other important information. My staff had to spend days working with the participants to adjust their fees. The repercussions took months to sort out. All of this time was spent in unproductive ways.
What personal disasters can attack you? What would you do if the phone lines went down for an extended period of time? How about the electrical power? What if a virus took down your computer system? To avoid these problems:
• Create a functional note-taking system.
• Travel less. Consider whether or not a task can be accomplished via fax or phone.
• Make a copy of essential items such as keys, a list of your credit card numbers and your personal directory.