22.5 Minutes is all You Really Need to Make a Big Difference

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on March 09, 2010 in: Business - Plain & Simple, Tools & Resources


Paul Lemberg and I share a similar goal in the work that we each do. Ultimately, both of us strive to help business owners use productivity to increase business success.

Paul has developed something called the Formula 5 system in which he lists 5 aspects of a business that can be altered to grow the business. The first 3 parts of his Formula 5 are:

1) Increase your conversion rate.
2) Increase your value per customer.
3) Increase the number of leads.

You can read more about them here: Formula Five – Learn the Secrets to Growth.

Okay, all of that is just my introduction to this video — Time Management Secrets: Getting More Done — which is the first of a 4-part video series (each one is about 15 minutes long). In the first video, about 2 – 3 minutes into the video, Paul says that his research has found people only spend 2 1/2 productive hours of time each day. Yikes! It’s scary but probably true. When you add up the phone calls and the email and the coffee breaks, he’s probably not far off.

Now, here’s what makes Paul’s system so compelling to me and I think you’ll like it too. Paul says that asking us to make adjustments so that we double our conversion rate or triple our value to our customer or get 6 hours of productive time each day is really unrealistic. It’s difficult to make such a profound change all at once. It’s disruptive to the business. (Yes, we WANT to make big improvements but they’re not likely to be healthy and long lasting).

So Paul says what we really need to do to make actual, valuable change in our businesses is to just increase something by 15%.

That’s it!

So if you acquire 20 leads in one month, try to get 23 leads the next month. Although we may dream about getting 40 leads next month, it’s not likely going to happen. But 3 more leads is very possible. And if you earn $1,000 per customer per month, try to get $1,150 per customer the next month. 15% isn’t that hard to get, is it!?!

And the same goes for your time. Since we only get 2 1/2 productive hours of time each day, a 15% increase is 22.5 minutes. So, although it might be difficult to bump up an average productive time each day to 5 hours (doubling it from 2 1/2), it’s easy to get an extra 22.5 minutes with just a few small changes.

The strength of this system is not one 15% change and then a subsequent retirement on the beach because of the increased wealth. Rather, I find the strength of this system is that these 15% incremental improvements can take place again and again over a period of time and they are painless to implement and, when you add them up, they can really be quite profound.

Here’s my advice: As we approach April, choose 5 measurable aspects of your business and aim to improve just one aspect by 15% each week.

Heather Recommends:

If you are a coach, freelancer, or entrepreneur who wants to succeed like a pro, I can help.

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