Recently I received a really nice Cutco knife in the mail that was engraved that said “Thank you for carving out time for me.” I thought to myself this was one of the most clever marketing lines I have heard in a while. And it was perfect for me because I am always saying to carve out time to “work on your business” “time block” and to “be productive doing the right things.” We are all busy, but are you busy doing the right things?
The most overwhelming part of being a leader when running a business is how to prioritize your day. It actually has nothing to do with the actual work but rather when will I do the work. There are constant distractions that creep in throughout the day, IF you allow it to happen. This does take some discipline but don't tease yourself and start by shutting your notifications OFF or put your phone on “do not disturb.”
When consulting business owners and their team members, I simply ask, what you are biggest productivity sucks and it's the same answers over and over: emails, text messages, social media, ads that pop up on when using the internet while trying to work.
It's time to get control of your time. You must set expectations with yourself, your team members and your clients. That is where the time blocking comes in. So I am going to share a few things that you already know you should be doing and give you a nudge to remind you:
How many email accounts do you have? I hope a few. I have one for clients, trade shows, consulting, personal and junk (which the junk is the most important). Don't give your business email out so quickly. Have a strategy on what info you are giving to whom.
Block time to check email. I personally don't like email, though it's essential, so having someone on my team to focus on it so I can focus on sales is a must. She sends me one recap email each day (if we don't talk). Here are my top three tips:
-Use Sane Later to train your emails
-Communicate expectations to clients and team members; do you want a “got it” “thank you”? I don't!
-If there is no question mark, no response is needed
Turn your notifications OFF! I promise your audience will still be there when you block time to check your platforms. Getting distracted and going down a rabbit hole while trying to work is nothing more than a distraction and a recipe for mistakes.
I did not know what FOMO was until I googled it one day when I was watching a documentary. I am so glad I have a mentor that coached me on how to NOT think like that. It kills productivity.
Set a time limit. Pour your energy into positive engagement only. Wasting your time arguing with someone publicly only shows immaturity. It's better to walk away.
How many times have you been searching on the internet for something and an ad pops up; and you go down a rabbit hole? You can STOP this by disabling these annoying pop ups! Don’t fall down the black hole of reading random blogs or articles that are not relevant to what you are currently focusing on.
You can always save that page and come back to it later. There is a free chrome app I love called Tab Suspender that keeps your tabs open for suspends it so you are not using data or battery life.
I am sure you have heard; do the hard things first when you start your day. Focus is hard as it is, but time blocking my day out has helped me anticipate where to use my time that is most impactful. Stop the repetitive tasks and outsource them or automate these tasks. If you free up your time from doing things you should not be doing, you will will be amazing at the ROI when outsourcing to the right people.
If you don't know where to start; start by saying NO to the commitments that are not in alignment with where you are going with your goals; personally and professionally. Your time is precious and priceless so use it wisely. Research says it takes 26 minutes to regain your focus after a distraction. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap; carve out time for you and your business. Get your time back!
If you have any APPs or favorite time savers, please share with me!