I heard a very smart man say recently that things don’t end wrong, they start wrong. What a powerful, thought-provoking statement.
In order to guarantee the outcome of something, we must understand the path that it took to get there. This week’s e-blast will focus on a few areas in your business that can make or break your cash flow. Enjoy the read, and please, give us your feedback!
YOUR SUCCESS IS IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
It’s 9 AM; you’ve had your 2 cups of coffee and now you sit down at your desk, ready to start prospecting for new clients. Then an “urgent” call comes in from an unhappy client who needs some artwork updated. After you peel him off the phone, you decide to check your email (for the 3rd time in the last 20 minutes) and you find that you have 15 new emails to go through, 10 of which are SPAM. As you’re going through the SPAM, your co-worker decides to update you on her date from hell the night before. Now it’s 10 AM- how many prospects have you captured?
Little events like this eat away at your most precious and irreplaceable resource; TIME. It is very easy as a business owner or entrepreneur to be extremely busy doing the wrong things. In a high-performing, high-impact workplace, it’s easy to feel that because you are busy doing things, you are making money, but many times that’s not the case. There is no doubt that there are a great many details that need to be tended to but how and when you take care of them can make a significant difference in your paycheck at the end of the month.
REVENUE GENERATING ACTIVITIES ARE FIRST:
In crude terms, there are really only 2 categories in your work: revenue generating activities and everything else. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule which says that 80% of your success comes from 20% of your activities. One of the characteristics that high earners have in common is that they consistently focus on the 20%- and virtually nothing else.
More often than not when we are trying to decide what to focus on during the day we are actually choosing between a wide variety of tasks that could all be classified as a “good” use of our time. Top performers have a finely tuned ability to gravitate toward the best activities while allowing many good, but less important, activities to go undone.
CREATE A SYSTEM:
Creating a systematized way of doing things will help to free up more time. Set an aggressive goal to only do no more than 2 hours of administrative work per week and see if you can find creative ways to achieve this. So if your goal is to do no more than 2 hours of administrative work per week you will start to make note of what items are wasting your time and then be able to consider a way to automate, delegate or trash that activity. If you are able to off load administrative items, research, and data entry to a support person, you will have a much better chance of staying focused on leveraged, money-oriented activities.
As an example, you may want to create a folder (or signature file) in your email software where you keep form emails for specific situations (marketing email, follow up email, prep email) that you can customize quickly, hit forward, and send out. Any message that you send out more than once per week ought to be saved and updated regularly. This way you write the message once, save it, and never have to write it again!
REMOVE DISTRACTIONS AND TIME BANDITS:
It’s important to understand how much of your time is spent on productive activities that contribute directly to the results that you want and how much of your time is spent unproductively. If you are the type of person who has no idea where the time goes then I’d suggest the following activity:
Track exactly how you spend your time in 15-minute increments for a 5-day period. If you do this you are almost certain to discover some things that will surprise you.
Categorize your results into blocks (marketing, sourcing, networking, personal calls etc.). Get specific about where the time is going.
Identify what % of your time you are spending on moneymaking activities.
Identify your “Time bandits”. Those little buggers who steal your prime hours and hold them hostage.
Make a plan to delegate, automate, minimize or eliminate your time bandits.
ACTION ITEM: IT’S IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE:
Objectively looking at your habits and deliberately choosing more productive habits enables you to create an ideal daily routine. The ideal daily routine is a template of how your perfect day would go. It’s a map that guides the way you your day will unfold. So it’s a guideline but not an inflexible template. It will assist you in focusing on the best activities and feeling more control of your schedule and productivity!