Sep 14, 2021 | Planning & Focus

Too much to do and not enough time to do it?    

Simplify your business!

Everyone is looking to save time and money, and no one is more eager to increase productivity than those running their own businesses.                 

Today we have so much more to do and so little time to do it. Trying to get more done, more meetings, more relationships to manage, and volumes of emails to wade through.  How do we achieve our productivity?  This week, once again, I have been asked to help someone with their systems. They just can’t keep up with the phone calls, meetings, quotes, and paperwork, and then find the productive time of doing the job!!  On top of that, we all have information overload.

So, Create a productivity process:

  • Planning
  • Prioritising
  • Processing.

Planning – The Big Picture:

Many small business owners set out on their own, so they didn’t have to be confined to a 9-5 and someone else’s schedule. I personally love the freedom and flexibility of being a business owner. At the same time, if you’re not in charge of your calendar and your schedule, your clients and your business will be—and that’s never a productive way to run your business!

The fact is, the more time and effort you put into planning your projects before starting to act, the more quickly, effectively, and successfully you will execute your project. When you have a well thought out plan you don’t need to spend time questioning every decision as you take action. Instead, you can move forward confidently knowing that you thought out the entire big picture before you even began and the actions you take are the right ones

Start by revisiting your business plan. Seriously, when was the last time you looked at it? Maybe it’s time to dust it off and think through your goals. Set objectives for one year out and establish three-year goals for your business. Now you have a bigger context that your calendar fits into. This way, you can see every day on your calendar fitting into your long-range goals.

Decide on your work hours. Be honest: When do you want to start and when do you want to stop each day of the week? As a business owner, you must be the enforcer of your own hours, so declare your working hours (and stop-working hours!).

Write down any predetermined personal and business commitments.

  • Need to pick the kids up at three? Mark it down.
  • Meet up with friends for coffee on Tuesdays for an hour? Add it in.
  • Attend a networking event each Friday morning? Write it down.

Now you have a rough sketch of your weekly availability – test it out and leave room for changes.

ideally, you could have systems set up for everything in your business that’s repeated over and over. This ensures that all the steps are done exactly the same every single time; this is a huge time-saver! The other option, which I see far too often, is that business owners reinvent the steps every time they do that task; this is a huge time waster!

To have your business run like clockwork with systems, you must take the time to set them up and document them. Thankfully, it’s easier than you think!

Priority – What tasks are vital?

Start with Identifying all the things you do? what is vital, what are you good at and what can you delegate or – what will you delegate?

Understand the value of your time.  How much money could you make if you focused on the things you do best for your business and delegate the rest to those that are good at that? Outsource to free up your time.

Start by making lists of tasks you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. This can include small things like checking emails, to large things like doing your taxes. You might be surprised by exactly how much you do on a regular basis.

Next, for each of these lists, prioritize the tasks.

Organize them in order of the things your business couldn’t live without to the things that would be nice to get done, but usually don’t have time to do.

Finally, note next to each task how well you are able to complete them. Some notes, may include, quick and easy, must be done by me, not good at it, time consuming, and similar.

By identifying these tasks, it enables you to then categorise them and see immediately what you can delegate out and what is vital for you to do yourself.  

Processing – How to Perform.

Batch your day into productive chunks and include some walk-away times. We all have days of bouncing back and forth between tasks and it is trying.  Try to focus on one task at a time even if for 30 minutes to create some consistent rhythm. Sometimes that means chunking it down.

Therefore, you want to batch the tasks you do as much as possible.

Imagine you have a freight business, and you are trying to process your emails: emails from customers, packaging and shipping products, and marketing via your social media networks.

Instead of prepping an item to ship each time a sale comes in, answering emails each time the notification pops up on your desktop, and checking your social media networks in between, try batching.

  • Check and respond to emails at the beginning, middle, and end of the day.
  • Check social media network notifications and post a new update to your social media networks once a day.
  • Set aside an hour or two before you need to leave to drop off packages or before your carrier comes to pick up packages to do shipping and handling preparation.

By doing this, you’ll get into a rhythm with each task instead of having to start and stop throughout the day.

  • This allows you to be productive with the time you would normally spend shifting gears from one task to another

Now you know the three most effective and most overlooked areas of productivity and how to implement them in your business. All that’s left now is to plan it!

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