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By: Patty DeDominic-Coach to Business Pros

No, this is not a new tax form!! Your 1440 has been around a long time. Managing your time is difficult enough while employed at someone else’s company; doing so while growing your own business is a completely different ballgame. On any given day, a combination of distractions can arise from technology, managing employees, and minor but time-consuming challenges. Adding the invaluable time it takes to strategize and implement your main projects and priorities, it’s rare to find a business owner with time to kill, let alone enough time to begin with.

As a business coach to leaders, we believe in the power of 1440. There are 1440 minutes in each day, regardless of if you’re a Fortune 500 CEO or an intern. Business owners who want to grow their companies can’t afford-figuratively and literally-to let any of these precious minutes go to waste. To better manage one’s time and keep your life balanced, I know you can find 5 to 10 more hours in each week.

  1. For one day, document every half hour of what you are doing (junk mail, an important phone call, refilling coffee, responding to a vendor inquiry, etc.).
  2. After the day ends, review your records and label each action as an A, B, C, or D-level activity.
  • A-level activities are what generate more than 50% of your total results; they take the highest priority and are imperative to your company’s success. Examples of A-level activities could be presenting to a large conference or finalizing a business partnership.
  • B-level activities are those that aren’t as urgent or monumental as A-level activities, but still generate a large percent of your company’s results and are essential to growth. Examples of B-level activities could be coaching your management team or reviewing your company’s quarterly progress.
  • C-level activities produce roughly 80% of your business’s results and are typically more everyday tasks, such as delegating to your assistant or sending out an email to your executive team with important information.
  • D-level activities are unleveraged, wasteful activities that only yield about 20% of your company’s total return, such as scanning documents or setting up phone meetings.

Keep in mind that one person’s A-level activities could be another person’s D-level activities, and that an activity can start out as an “A” and end up as a “D.”

  1. Once you’ve identified you’re A, B, C, and D-level activities, count how many hours of your time are spent completing D-level activities. There are probably more than you think! Some activities are unavoidable (i.e. sleeping), but most aren’t.
  2. Use what we call The Four D’s to identify and eliminate D-level activities from your daily life:
  • Delete it. Some activities don’t need to be done at all. Look at the item and ask yourself if the consequences for not doing it outweigh the time-saving benefits.
  • Designate it. Does the task need to be done, but not specifically by you? Hand it off to your assistant, another staff member or vendor. Delegating these tasks free up more time for you to focus on activities that require your specific expertise and leadership.
  • Defer it. Maybe the task needs to be done by you, but it doesn’t have to be completed right away. Delaying an action can be the optimum choice at times.
  • Design it out. If there is a recurring D-level activity that is unavoidable, consider revising the system to prevent it from happening again. Designing out a recurring activity enables and empowers others to complete it instead and decreases reliance on you.

You can find 5 hours of prime time you once allowed to be wasted on stuff that you don’t need or really want to do. Now it’s time to upgrade your work and shift your focus from D-level and B-level activities. Once you’ve determined how to erase D-level activities from you daily life, you can focus on the more important tasks at hand and enjoy more of your 1440.

DeDominic & Associates is an award-winning business coaching and management consulting firm dedicated to helping you achieve your definition of success by developing innovative solutions. Contact us Today for a FREE booklet on hiring!

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