Making Time for Results

Doing What Counts: How important is the work you’re doing? What you do and when you do it are important to the success of your business or career.

There are a number of business owners and executives who are not clear about what they are supposed to be doing. They are very technically competent but they have not answered some vital questions such as why are they on the payroll? What have they employed to produce? What results are they trying to achieve? Many of them have been running on the same track for years.

Although results take time, you need to ensure that the track you are on is taking you in the right direction. These guidelines will help:

1. Know your key outputs
These are the areas that produce the measurable results in your business day in and day out. What are you supposed to be doing? What have you been employed to produce? A good way to define an output is that upon completion it becomes an input for someone else. What are the key outputs that you should be working on each day? Your outputs should be measurable and time bounded. To define your key outputs examine the following areas:

  • Economic  – What financial results are your trying to achieve?
  • Customer – What milestones have you set for new client retention & acquisition
  • Quality – What level of product quality do you want to achieve?
  • People development – What level of output and development do you want from your team?
  • Productivity – What are your sales targets and budget levels?
  • Organizational – What is being done about planning and future growth of your organization?

These are the key output areas that will determine the success of your business.

2. Get out of the box and become future-oriented by becoming customer-focused.
You cannot be customer focused while in the box. Form the habit of thinking solely in your client’s best interest. This is a key to having goals other than money. One way to achieve this is by becoming future-oriented with your customers, people, organization and team. Get out the office and go and talk them about their future.

3. Set up your ideal day or week
Once you know your outputs and become future-oriented you can then consider how your ideal day, week, or month look if you were producing your key outputs. Know and understand your prime time and structure your day to produce the outputs required for your business.

Anyone can succeed by working for half a day, five days a week. You just have to decide which half: the first 12 hours or the second 12 hours
    – Ben Feldman

Every industry will have its prime time for conducting business. Once you determine what your prime time is you must schedule activities and daily task so that you are delivering your key outputs during this time.

A lot has been written about time management results but here is one secret: You make your own rules. Don’t wait for someone else – especially your competitors – to tell you how.

You are in the driver’s seat; define your outputs, create your own lead and just go for it.

Copyright 2004 Clifton Warren

Clifton Warren is the managing director of performance improvement international. He is speaker, coach and writer, with many published articles on productivity and performance in the workplace. You can contact him at and sign up for free how to articles.


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