I’m guess you’re not too busy in this moment if you’ve grabbed a cuppa and are reading this, which I promise will not take more than three minutes of your time. Taking these three minutes now is an investment towards saving your time for activities which will get you closer to your productivity goals.
So here goes. If you’re finding yourself too busy to breathe, it’s time to take a deep breath.
I hope you’ve got your cup of tea, coffee, maybe a glass of wine – whatever the day requires (as Grace Lever, the automation queen would say) and let’s get started on some ideas to save you time in your business, which you can trial for free and without having to learn any additional skills.
We need to first start with your mindset. Let’s define PRODUCTIVITY for your business. Seth Godin defines this as: Productivity is the amount of useful output created for every hour of work we do.
Depending on your business WHY, this can be measured in terms of money, which makes the math easier, lives changed or knowledge/stories shared. The question to answer is:
“Did I spend my day producing enough benefit for all the time invested?”
My metric for productivity is behaviour change around how people spend their most valuable resource, TIME. I’d like to see more people using technology, money, connections, leverage, which are all tools, to give themselves back time to realise productivity in line with their innate gift and purpose.
Because I’m a writer, someone who delivers stories for impact, in the written form, I should be spending the majority of my time writing, and not chasing leads, trying to book appointments, making sales calls, generating quotes, invoices and chasing payment. All of these are a form of BUSYNESS that detract from the quality of my work and consequently, BUSINESS, which is my COPYWRITING PRACTICE.
So here are three ways you can save time and realise more productivity, once, of course you know what productivity is FOR YOU.
- Automate or delegate. You know those tredious tasks like doing social media posts, quoting, sending invoices, chasing payment, setting up appointments, responding to e-mails? They can sap a lot of time and energy from your business. You can use tools such as Xero (for quoting, invoicing, chasing payments and accounting), Buffer, Hootesuite and Sprout or a Virtual Assistant or a marketing junior for posting your content on social media, and you can use a scheduling tool such as Calendly or CoSchedule to share your diary and let people schedule meetings with you. Do you have some tech tools which have done wonders for your business, saving you time and sanity? COMMENT BELOW.
- SAY NO. This is one that my 20 month old daughter has mastered perfectly. Of course, you don’t want to sound like an impetuous toddler when dealing with prospects or clients who are demanding extras or work that’s definitely not aligned with your level of professionalism or true to the best you know. Simply say “No” and give them a reason for it. They will thank you for your professional advice and have more respect for you or they will go elsewhere. Either way, you save yourself time. A great story which highlights the value of the “professional no” is when Steve Jobs approached Paul Rand to design the logo for his venture, Next. Jobs asked Rand to give him a couple of options but Rand pushed back saying that he will solve his business problem and Jobs will pay him $100,000. This was a risk but Steve Jobs accepted it and spoke highly of Rand’s professionalism with a new-gained respect for a man not afraid to say “no”.
- Have the though conversations. Never forget that the people in your life, whoever they may be, clients, referral partners, prospects, collaborators, competitors, they are there to serve you. If you feel that someone through good intentions or bad is wasting your time, be up front with them. I joined a business referral network and one of the eager members has passed me loose connections in an effort to help me. It’s taken my time and bandwidth to chase these connections when they were not expecting any messages from me, as they were not given a heads up and were probably wondering who the heck is this crazy Eda person. I had a chat with the referrer to let her know that I’m focussing on finishing my book and she can save herself time (and me too) by going easy with making connections, which in all cases have been cold leads.
There you have it. In three minutes or less, some tisp to save you significant time so your business can grow.
What did you find most helpful and why? Comment below and don’t forget to add to the tips if you’ve got a few of your own tricks up your sleeve.