Time – why is it so important to business?
This week in the support community we’ve been having really active discussions about time, the importance of time and how time can affect your business and your cash flow. So I thought I’d write a bit about time.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you will already have read my article on How to get paid in 30 days, 10 minutes a day is all you need to invoice your customers and my video When is the best time of day to call to get your invoices paid.
But what is time?
Time is a leveller, whether you are Richard Branson or the Granny no-one cares about any longer, they both have the same number of hours in a day, it’s the perception of how long those hours are that changes. Time isn’t just about hours, minutes or seconds, it’s about the feeling they generate, the understanding of when the right time to call, comment, act is.
Explanation by a story – I want to share with you what I mean.
I have a friend, let’s call him James, who is working on building a shed base by his own fair hand. His wife, let’s call her Elizabeth, is leaving him to get on with it as she would have done it completely differently so best to leave him to it as that’s his way.
Their friends, Philippa and Howard along with myself came over a few weeks ago and whilst we were there Philippa said within earshot of all of us, but only to Howard although in a volume we could all hear
“Why isn’t she helping him?”
Now I found that really rude – who is she? The cat’s mother? What has it got to do with her whether or not Elizabeth is helping James? Why didn’t she ask Elizabeth herself?
I know these types of comments upset Elizabeth, so I thought about making a comment back. Then I realised that if I did, the whole afternoon could potentially take on a sour atmosphere. Better to bid my time, wait til I was alone with Elizabeth and tell her to ignore the comment – move on and what Philippa think isn’t work worrying about.
So you time isn’t just about measurable hours, minutes and seconds. It’s about choosing the right time to comment, the right time to take action and thinking about the consequences of what might happen should you do that thing right now.
How you are feeling affects how you come across. The words you use affect how you across. You may not mean to but how you are feeling at the point in time that you decide to chase “that frustrating customer for payment” will affect how you to come across whether you use email or a phone call.
So my challenge to you is to STOP, consider how you are feeling at that moment in time. If you are agitated, angry, frustrated then don’t write that email, don’t pick up that phone – instead do something you like go for a walk, play the theremin, get yourself into a much better frame of mind. The impact of this is that you will have a much more pleasant experience on the phone, or much nicer more positive response to that email.
Sometimes, just taking a few minutes a day, an hour a month to gain guidance, seek advice and nurture your confidence is all you need to change getting paid from a negative emotion, to a positive one.
What you do to make time positive, to enjoy those 86,400 seconds in a day and not feel like they are emotionally dragging you down?