Treat your time like gold

David Turnbull
October 20, 2023

Running a highly specialised, boutique professional services firm is hard work. Your list of to-do’s grows longer every day, and you don’t have teams of people to support you like you’d find in large companies. 

When resources are stretched, it’s easy to fall back on what you do have – your time. But that’s a mistake.

As the leader of your firm, your time is incredibly valuable. You need to treat it like a scarce resource, only “spending” it on high-impact activities that create value and take your firm closer to its goals.

Look back at last week’s calendar. Did you spend most of your time working on high-impact activities, or did valuable hours slip away on seemingly urgent, but ultimately unimportant, tasks?

If you have room for improvement, here are some strategies to help you use your time more effectively.

Apply a filter to your decisions 

You can use a variation of the “high-impact activity” question as a decision-making filter. 

Should you attend an upcoming meeting? Well, is this a high-impact activity that will take your firm closer to its goals? If the meeting is with an important potential client, the answer may be yes. But if that isn’t the case, perhaps your time would be better spent elsewhere.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

Projects and tasks may be important, but that doesn’t mean they are a good use of your time. Don’t try to do everything yourself – delegate tasks to other team members.

Buy back your time

You may not have the resources of the larger, more established firms, but remember that low resourcesno resources. If you can afford to “buy back” your time, hire a virtual assistant to take tasks off your plate or get outside help on areas of your business that are outside of your experience. You can then spend more time applying your expertise to work that creates value and lasting impact for your firm.

Use size to your advantage

And finally, take advantage of being a boutique. Large companies need layers of structure, formal processes and endless meetings to operate, but you don’t.

The lack of bureaucracy can be your advantage, allowing for speed and agility in execution that larger companies can only dream of. 

But only when you value your time, and treat it like gold.

David Turnbull
David is the Founder of Metamorphous, and a strategic growth advisor to boutique professional services firms.

Recent articles