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Understanding your prime time for small business productivity

By Dr. Leslie Roberts | June 4, 2011

What’s your prime time?

No, I don’t mean your favourite TV show – I mean the time of day when you’re most productive and effective in your small business.

We all have a prime time. For some of us, it’s early morning. We can’t wait to get up and get started. By the time late afternoon rolls around, our brains have had enough and we don’t function nearly as well. Other people seem to kick in after lunch and make great strides by suppertime. And we all know at least one night owl – someone who thrives after dark and is alert and hard at it when the rest of us have turned out the lights.

It’s important to recognize when you’re the most productive and use that knowledge to your advantage as an entrepreneur. Are you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 5 am? Then get up and tackle the most pressing item on your to-do list then (one that doesn’t involve a phone call, of course). If you’re a slow riser, work at secondary tasks in the morning and save the big jobs for mid-afternoon. The same goes for scheduling appointments and making important decisions. Unless it’s life or death, whenever possible, postpone signing important deals or talking to decision-makers until your prime time. You’ll feel fully alert and more in charge.

This isn’t always possible, especially when other people are involved. If a client can’t meet you any later than 7 am – when you’re usually brewing your first coffee – so be it. Meet, do more listening than talking and say you need to consider the important points they’ve raised. Promise to be get in touch later that day.

When you do call your client back, use this simple trick to maximize your effectiveness: stand up when you talk to people by phone. Let’s say you’re responding to a request for a quote and have just dialed the customer (during your prime time, of course). Stand up – don’t sit at your desk. Your blood flows better, your breathing isn’t obstructed, your voice will project and you’ll feel much more in control. Try it and see.

When is your prime time? Do you notice when you’re more productive and efficient in your small business? What about your team members? Let us know!

 

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