Too Much Time On Your Hands?
If you run a business, I seriously doubt it! There are pro-crastinators, but no amateur-crastinators? What’s up with that? Actually, they talk about pre-crastination in an article in Scientific American. “Pre-crastination is the inclination to complete tasks quickly just for the sake of getting things done sooner rather than later. People answer emails immediately rather than carefully contemplating their replies. People pay bills as soon as they arrive, thus failing to collect interest income.”
What I am talking about is preparing yourself to be as productive as possible. I am no time management expert, but after running businesses over 35 years I have learned a few things about getting things done and am continually learning.
I have DDA (which is ADD and dyslexia). People, that’s a joke and I mean no disrespect to those of you who have been diagnosed and are dealing with these issues. I have what I call “SQUIRREL” and can easily get distracted by a bing, beep, boop or bop! When Twitter, Facebook or email calls, I answer.
Are You Actively Challenged?
Do you have challenges while trying to get things done? I think we all do!
I was listening to a podcast by Daniel R. Morris and Rachael Martin where they were interviewing someone from New Zealand. She talked about the productivity quadrants, including two options on two axes – urgent and not urgent and important and not important.
- Urgent and Important – Emergency – These are life threatening or business threatening situations! You have no choice but to deal with these immediately!
- Important and Not Urgent – Foundation – This includes accounting, taxes and business building activities including marketing. These are things you HAVE TO DO to sustain your business.
- Urgent and Not Important – Interruption – This includes emails and messages that contain other peoples’ problems. You have to train your clients that you will deal with these eventually, just not on their terms alone!
- Not Urgent and Not Important – Distraction – Sorry bings, beeps, boops or bops. These include email, Facebook or other social media notifications. You have to ignore them until it’s time!
The first important thing to learn is that there is NO SUCH THING as time management! While we can’t manage time, we can manage ourselves with regards to how we use our time. Time management is a misnomer – it is actually self-management we seek.
I have been asked often “Do you sleep?” because I get so much done and continue to churn out books, programs, and content! It’s through project management, organization, to-do lists, and great coaching!
It takes a system to become as productive and organized as possible. I have two systems that have helped me and hopefully they can help you also.
- The Organized To-Do List
Create a to-do list every day. I choose to do make them the night before and write them on a small pad. Yes, this digitally connected geek uses a pen and paper. That way I can tear it out and recycle the paper after I transfer the un-done tasks to a new sheet. I use a system that I created to break down activities into three categories – Money Making Activities, Business Making Activities, and Client Maintenance Activities. See my past blog on this system. I tend to focus on MMA’s and start with the hardest ones first. I do have periods set aside for CMA’s or days set aside for BMA’s. This helps me organize my activities and avoid distractions from those Not Urgent and Not Important bings, beeps, boops and bops.
- The 5 Things
I heard this from Dr. Ben Adkins at a mastermind earlier this year. He uses a journal and lists the 5 things he HAS TO get done today. Then he prioritizes them and starts working down the list until they are complete. Now it helps if you have staff or virtual assistants who can help you complete some of the other tasks you want to get done. This system is key to not having to work 12 hours per day. When you finish your 5 tasks, you stop working. Some days that could be 1 hour, while others it could be 14, but it limits the amount you have to do each day!
I know that managing tasks isn’t sexy, but it’s essential to your marketing efforts. I have seen way too many people fall prey to being too busy to complete marketing tasks. Then they ride the income roller coaster of being too busy to market, and the panic marketing because they don’t have enough business. Slow and steady wins the race.
When you are at your busiest is the best time to market. This helps keep the flow of prospects, leads and new customers coming in. Again, sometimes it pays to ask for help. The reason people ask me if I sleep is because I have five virtual assistants that help me complete tasks like blog proofing and posting, booking guest interviews, preparing and sending my weekly email digests, transcribing my podcasts and more!
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