Every time I speak or I start to work with a new private client, I hear the same thing.
“I just don’t have time to do everything.”
We live in a time when all of us are seeking instant gratification and we are constantly inundated with notifications that take up little bits of time. Think about it:
Text messages, voice mail, email, Facebook mentions, Facebook emails, Twitter mentions, Twitter direct messages, friend requests…these are only a few. In fact, as I sit here writing this, my phone has dinged with three different messages.
All of that noise can cause stimulation overload and spinning. Spending a lot of time doing nothing but checking what people are saying about you does not equal money in the bank, nor does it equal improved productivity.
When this happens, you lose focus on your business, and all these notifications that are tied to your business start to take over your life. This my friends, is your ego checking in, not your business.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re not the only one. I am guilty of this myself. I know what it is like.
I have a habit that my hand has developed that no longer seems to be attached to my mind. I just press that little blue Facebook button on my phone WITHOUT even thinking about it.
But, I realize when all of that “stuff” is turned on and is easily accessible that I am not as productive as I am when I have a plan and I am focused.
Every year, I sit and think about my business with a big calendar and I map out what I want my life to be like. Then, I do my best to organize my business so that my life can be that way.
I started my business so I could have the LIFE I wanted, not so I couldn’t have a life!!
Here are some things that I do that I think could help if you feel this way.
Plan – seriously! Failing to plan is planning to fail.
1. Plan the time you will spend on a project and then do the work.
For example, I hold training webinars through the Social Business Academy a couple times a month. I plan the amount of time I have to do the work, and I turn everything off so I can get it done in that allocated time, otherwise I waste time and then the ROI on these webinars goes way down. Pay attention to the time it takes you to do something when you have no distractions and then budget that amount of time to get big blocks of work done.
2. Plan time to read email, and don’t check it until then.
Reality is you need to check your email daily and most of us have mobile devices that we check multiple times a day. You are way more efficient with your time if you manage email once. Read it, respond to it and file it or delete it. If you can block out an hour a day or a chunk of time twice a day you will feel much more in charge of your communication and much less likely to read an email and then forget to respond.
3. Plan time to check your social networks a couple times a day and avoid checking in between.
I could check my social networks hourly, maybe even more if I let myself, no joke! I use a system to plan certain content that I post ahead of time (scheduled updates) and then, much like email, I plan time to check in and respond to people in between. I probably check my social networks more often than I need to because the social interaction is fun for me. However, if you have a hard time staying focused on what you need to do, you may want to schedule specific times to do this and try to keep within these times. My suggestion is morning, mid-day and end of day.
4. Plan what activities you should be doing and those you should be delegating.
Let’s face it, when you start your business you are often the leader, producer, book keeper, marketer and customer service adviser. At some point however, you have to get clear on what your high pay-off activities are (hint: those that make your business the most money) and focus on those. Then, delegate the rest to someone else. There are lots of ways you can work with sub contractors if you are not ready to hire a full time employee, and there are some great co-op programs through local colleges that you might want to look into. You are the LEADER of your business and this is one of the skills that is often left out when entrepreneurs talk about marketing. Leadership is about your ability to inspire and successfully get things done through other people.
You cannot and will not ever scale your business without learning how to do this. Once you know how to effectively lead, delegate, follow up, and then let go, you will have an abundance of time for your life!
Tell me, how do you plan so that you run your business instead of it running you?