As entrepreneurs we get up in the morning, plan out our day, and we have a list of things we want to do but before we know it, our day gets hijacked. So out of our list of 8 things to do, we only get 4 done and that repeats every day. The urgency of your client isn’t always your urgency.
When you get a phone call from an upset client figure out when you can respond; don’t respond out of panic or when you only have a few minutes. Their urgency should not automatically become your urgency; keep your cool. When the emergency comes up, consider how important the client and the issue is to your business. If it’s not really important to your business, put it off for a few hours and focus on the things that actually are urgent and important for your business right now.
Set up your day for success, just like I wrote about last week, by leaving half of your time available for things that are unstructured and available for emergencies. Do a timeline: Monday block your time by writing down each 15mins or hour, what you’ve done. At the end of the week, circle everything that was urgent that hijacked your day. How much of your time that week was spent on things that were urgent. That is how much time you should leave from there on out for emergencies. If for some reason 50-80% of your day is spent being hijacked, you don’t have a good system in place.
Set up your employee’s priorities by making sure they know what’s important in your business. Inform them of what your business’ mission statement is, the branding, and how they’re to handle what’s urgent and important. Have your employees also track their time and circle what is hijacking their day and have them set that amount of time aside to handle their hijacks.
Your Business Type
If you have a business type about customer service, being responsive to customer emergencies, being responsive is important to your business. If you run a business like BMW where your product comes with 4 or 5 years of service, preempt the hijacking, know that you will see your customers at the very least once per year and for the rest of the year, build in time for any other emergencies they may have. If however you have a job such as selling a book on Amazon, you don’t have a lot of interaction with the client. The percentage of your time set on customer service is less than 10%. Your business model directly effects how much time you set aside for your clients’ emergencies. The other business emergencies will happen, but those are separate from your client urgencies.