Once upon a time, there lived a girl, and her millions of things to do. No matter how much she tried it was always a race against the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. It was a vicious circle of working hard for ‘the money’, but finding that there were so many irrelevant tasks that were keeping her away from ‘the money’ and the life she so deserves!
Does this sound familiar?
Well, it definitely was a familiar place for me until things changed. Sometimes people say to me… Do you actually work? Of course I work, I reply, just ‘smartly’.
These days I work four days a week, a few hours first thing in the morning at home and then 11 to 4 in the office. And within theses hours I am more productive than when I used to work 24-7. So what changed?
Here are three factors that has helped me be more productive and time rich.
Emails ‘are’ the devil.
Don’t get me wrong, I love emails and email marketing. However, I believe they can be huge distractions. Seriously, how many times have you checked your emails today? Or perhaps refreshed your email page to see whether new ones have come in? And do you notice how they tend to lead us down the garden path?
You start with one email, the next thing you are looking for some other email you just remembered you had to respond to. But first you need to do a search in your inbox for the senders name.
However as you are doing the search, you come across that invitation to that training you were going to check out.
Well you might as well just sign up for that now… So you head over to ‘Eventbrite’. Over
at ‘Eventbrite’ you notice you can check which of your Facebook friends are attending and
before you know it… You are in Facebook, commenting on some wall post that was so hilarious.
Yes, emails ‘are’ the devil. Almost as bad as social media (but that is a topic for another day 🙂
I could not believe the amount of time one could gain back by just cutting out emails. My system is simple… I only read my emails three times a day. When I wake up using my mobile device, at midday and just before I leave the office.
And guess what, the world was still ticking by, no house was burning, and none of my clients were going mad with worry.
Being a Project Manager by background, forward planning has always been essential with the way I work. You could spend a few days scheduling three months of email distribution, webinar presentations, direct mail letters, blog posts (like this one you are reading) etc.
It’s only when you get say an ‘out of office’ response you say to yourself ‘Oh yes, an email went out to 1000 people today’ It always feels as good as those types of emails you get from PayPal when you check your email first thing in the morning to say you have sold some products. In order words, it’s like making money while you sleep.
I realised that one of the main time killers for me was procrastinating to avoid things I didn’t like to do. And one of them was following up calls/cold calling… Whichever way you want to frame it.
So I outsourced this function! Now, the funny thing is I get more leads weekly than when I did it myself. This has had a knock on effect in that, I am now more relaxed in lead generation as I have a system that works. I can concentrate on what I love doing best which is to continue to strategise, implement systems, monitor performance and manage my staff.
And I am loving business.
What works best for you in managing your time and being more productive in business? Share your story.
- Email Marketing for Small Businesses: Does Your Newsletter Deliver Value? (amsterdamprinting.com)