Archives For productivity

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Anytime I speak to someone about marketing, social media, etc., their response is always … “How do I find the time?”  Here is a fact – no matter how busy you are, you have to carve out time every day to market your business – or you will fail. It’s that simple. And just like your money, you have to tell your time where to go. It’s about setting priorities, understanding what’s important in your business for both the short term and the long term, and planning.

Here are a few recommendations for getting more out of your day.

1.  Keep a journal of how you are spending your time for 30 days. Review it at the end of each week to find areas for improvement.

2.  Get rid of any tasks or strategies that are not moving your business forward.

3.  Learn how to say NO! to anything or anyone who wants to waste your time.

4.  If it takes less than 2 minutes to do, do it now. DO NOT put it on your to do list.

5.  Use time blocking. For example, block 30 minutes to make follow-up phone calls, 1 hour to put together a direct mail piece, 10 minutes to post to your social media, etc.

6.  Develop better filters. (related to step 3) Get rid of bad clients and don’t waste time on “prospects” who will never buy from you. And if you care more about your client’s business than they do, let them go.

It really doesn’t take a lot of time to do what’s really important to grow your business. It just takes doing it. For example, if you are spending 15 minutes a day 3 times a week on social media, you are doing more than the majority of business owners. So by dedicating 3 hours a month to social media, you are leading the pack.

Not having the time is never a reason for not getting something done … it’s an excuse. All you have to do is tell your time where to go, be aware of how you are spending your time, and set boundaries. You will see a significant difference in what you accomplish over the next 30 days, if you follow these basic guidelines.

Is what I’m doing right now the best use of my time if I want to get more clients and make more money? If you don’t ask this question every minute of every day, it will be easy to get overwhelmed with long to-do lists (that never get done), which leads to frustration and stress. Then you end the week wondering where your time went.

Here is the solution. Each day, write down the three most important tasks you need to complete for that day. This doesn’t mean you only do those three things and quit for the day. It simply allows you to complete the three most important tasks in your business, for that day, before doing anything else. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and relieve some of your stress.

You could write down a task that takes 2 minutes or one that takes two hours. Just make sure whatever you write down is doable, and make sure you allot a certain number or a certain amount of time to each task. You can make 3 sales calls, spend one hour prospecting, 15 minutes updating your blog. Whatever you do, make sure it’s measurable. Then, once these tasks are completed, you can move on to something else. It can be something totally different or you may want to go back to one of your tasks, such as making 3 sales calls, and make a few more calls.

Here is an example of the three things I wrote down for Monday – 1) Make 20 sales calls, 2) Spend 1 hour working on a client project, 3) Create and schedule my newsletter. All three tasks are measurable and they were tasks that I could actually complete. After I completed the three tasks, I had time to write a direct mail piece that I will be sending to dentists this week. I also sent a few follow up postcards and emails.

As you know, this is the time of year when everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions. Don’t worry about making a resolution. Take a couple of hours to figure out what you want to accomplish for the coming year. Map out a plan of action. Then write down the three most important tasks you have to do today that will get you one step closer to achieving your goal.

Do not let 2013 end wondering where the time went. Just like everyone else, you have 24 hours in each day. The main difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is how they use their time. By implementing the strategy I laid out for you in this newsletter, you will be much more effective in how you use your time.

My challenge to you is to give this a try for 30 days. If you will do this, it will start to become a habit that will dramatically change your business (and your life).

There is a new tool (new to me at least) I have been using called Evernote.

Evernote allows you to capture anything, access it anywhere, and find it fast. It can be an image, text, photo, audio recording, or almost anything else you want to capture and share. Evernote will capture it and send it to all your devices.
Let’s say you want to capture a whiteboard image before it accidentally gets erased. You simply take a picture, using your smart phone, and Evernote stores it on all your devices and allows you to do a search on the image later on. The same thing applies if you want to take a picture of your notes on a sheet of paper. And you can easily share this image.

And, speaking of notes, you can also just type them in and store them. They are still shareable and searchable. So, I’m sure you can see the power in using this software to help manage a project with several people involved.

You can also record and store audio notes that are also searchable and shareable.

And there are several plugins available for different browsers, such as Evernote Clearly. It makes blog posts, articles and webpages clean and easy to read. Save them to Evernote and you can read them anywhere on any of your devices.

Another plugin is Web Clipper that allows you to save anything you see online – including text, links and images.

There is more you can do with Evernote than I have room to cover in this short article, so check it out for yourself … it’s FREE. Just go to evernote.com to download your copy. Let me know how you are using this tool in your business.