Welcome to our first monthly Q&A!! The problem I heard the most in the past month was: NO TIME.
– a single mum is struggling to kick off her dream business;
– a city worker, overwhelmed with day job, cannot commit to his painting classes;
– a senior manager in a retail business with many passions has a family to feed, and he is not sure how or where to start to feel alive again;
If you also find yourself out of breath from your busy schedule, then this Q&A is for you.
So how can you turn it around?
1. Track your time
Just like people who want to lose weight need to track the calorie intake, you need to know where your time goes each day. Ask yourself a few questions:
- which activities are not 100% necessary? ————-> then eliminate them, be ruthless here, otherwise they can eat up your life!
- which activities can you delegate to others? —————–> then delegate them
- which part(s) of your business can be outsourced? ———–> then outsource them, a small fee can sometimes bring you peace of mind.
- which activities can you batch and deal with together? —–> then get organised and do them far less frequently.
For example, many people spend a lot of time on social media or answering emails constantly. I used to operate like this back in my 9-5 days. I felt so busy but clueless. However I did a simple switch after reading 4 Hour Work Week:
I only check emails 3-4 times per day, which forces me to communicate as clearly as possible, to avoid any unecessary follow ups.
One small change, but the result was amazing! I immediately felt more productive but less pressured, and more importantly in control. It also helped me NOT to miss any emails.
Simliarily, if you want to use social media to promote your biz, you should reduce the frequency you are on social media (probably in the afternoon/evening, after you have dealt with more important tasks in the morning). However when you are on social media, make the most of it each time.
Or any parents who have to cook 2 meals each day: how about preparing lunch and dinner together, instead of doing the “production line” twice a day?
2. “Success is to do the next obvious thing” – Sonia Choquette
There is no need to think too far ahead. Just do the next step. And create your daily schedule to fit everything else in (not another way round).
If you want to write a book, then get your first page out.
If you want to double your revenue, then find 3 more clients first, or enhace the package to your existing clients, instead of wondering where the next 1,000 clients are?
If you want to quit your day job and start your biz, then think about which skills you’ll need for your biz down the line, and see if you can learn them through your day job for the time being?
Once clarity is achieved, things will become less hectic. Therefore you can bring sharper results.
So what is the next obvious thing that you must focus on?
3. No multi-tasking, no multi-goals.
If you have clarity and priority, you won’t need to multi-task. Actually multi-tasking is very likely to slow you down and suck your energy.
Too many choices or aims will pull you away from your core activities. Concentration is critical to bring you desired results.
Put it this way, there are probably 100 ways to improve your productivity, but if I summarise them all, the chances are you will be over-whelmed hence take no actions. However if I show you the most relevant ones, you will probably adopt one or two actions to trigger positive changes.
I’d recommend setting no more than 3 goals each day. Personally I only have one per day. However I get it done first thing in the morning. If you want to take one thing away from this post, I highly recommend this: just do the most important task first, before the chaos kicks in.
What about single mums? I totally hear you, I appreciate the difficulty of raising children single-handed while wanting to have a fulfilling life at the same time. If you are not able to set aside time in the morning, then make sure you grab time during the day, 10 mins, 20 mins per day will make a huge difference over time. Don’t under-estimate those small intervals.
What if I am multi-passionate? It’s a tough call. This is how I usually get around: to meditate and find out my main focus for the present. I don’t ignore my other passions, but keep them in the background. So that once I finish my goal for the day, I take up other interests and use them as a treat for my dedication earlier.
4. Set your intention strong; set your deadline SHORT.
Let me twist Henry Ford’s quote here:
if you think you can finish it within 1 hour, you will finish it within 1 hour; if you think you can finish it in 10 hours, you will finish it in 10 hours. Either way you are right.
The idea behind setting a short deadline is not to stress yourself out. This is for your internal use only, so in case you miss it due to some emergency, no big deal. And please don’t punish yourself either.
The purpose is to invite you to experiment. Say for example, if you think you’ll need 2 weeks to finish your web design, try 3 days instead. In particular if you are a perfectionist, shorterning your deadline will save you a lot of time. Why? Because perfectionists usually spend 10% of the time getting the concept right, then 90% on the trivial details, which perhaps doesn’t make a huge difference to lead generation in the biz case.
So set a VERY short deadline and stick to it. Chances are you’ll use the short period of time to implement the absolute critical factors.
Initially I told myself to start up my biz “some time in the future maybe” – I did some stuff here and there but nothing quite happened. Until later on I decided that “in 1 month I’ll set up my biz”. I had some fears and doubt but my intention was so strong that I was taking actions whenever I could. Then I did it within a month!
When you set a clear and strong intention, and take appropriate actions, you are signalling to the Universe that you are damn serious about it. But if you are sitting on the fence, then the Universe can only respond with ambiguity.
I know that some of you want to take the leap and transfer your biz to full-time, you need to set yourself a timeframe. And if you want to achieve it within say 6 months, chances are you can do it within 3 months! I know that you can do it! Deep down you know that you can do it too!
Here are the 4 ways I want to share with you. Pick the one or two that resonate with you the most and implement NOW! If you can do all 4: superb!
If you have any more tips, please leave a comment and share with us. If you like this post, please share it on.
Sending love as always,
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