Productivity and efficiency are the popular buzz words lately as more and more business owners try to make the most of their time during a busy day. And my life and business are no different than yours when it comes to this. So much to do so little time...like only 24 hours in a day.
One of things I'm often asked is how am I able to create so many courses for others while also creating my own courses and running a busy business?
The answer is simple.
I have three essential must dos to best manage my time whether I’m creating an online course, consulting with clients, or working on a new creative project. Without these three fail proof methods I would not have been able to create over 200 online courses in the last several years.
But I wasn't as nearly productive as I am today compared to five years ago. I had challenges with keeping focused on my big goals and having so many things on my plate. Once I was able to get a good handle on these three essentials things shifted and my world and calendar opened up.
You'll see why this has made a huge impact on the productivity of myself and my team in getting things done. If you need to improve your productivity, and feel like you just never have enough time start with these three.
No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot do everything yourself when it comes to running your business. Investing in your business not only decreases stress but it makes your business run more smoothly, therefore increasing profits.
Rather than being saddled with recurring tasks and expensive software you may have to learn, many smart business owners are accepting they can't do it all nor should they. Instead they opt to find expert service providers to take over these tasks. What takes one expert an hour to do can easily take you 5 hours to complete.
Is that really a good use of your time?
Savvy business owners know that it's extremely important to focus on your zone of genius and the tasks that drive revenue in your business: meeting with clients, developing new products and services, etc. If you’re a coach spending time on sales conversations with potential new clients or if you're an accountant networking with potential clients is where you want to invest the time because these activities can drive revenue.
Ask yourself, what can I delegate?
What tasks do you need to complete that doesn’t necessarily have to be done by you. Things like video editing, social media posting, website updates, uploading course videos are all things that take up your precious time and can be easily delegated.
If you're newer to business, you can always start small with a part-time VA. Start by asking colleagues for referrals and conduct interviews as though you were hiring an employee. Just because they are a virtual service provider doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have the same high standards you would expect from an employee. Be clear on the work you would like for them to do in your business. You can even do a trial run with a test project to see their skills up close and how well the two of you work together.
Kick the Bad Habits
Are you stuck in the dark ages, doing things just because you’ve always done it that way?
There’s a saying that I love...
If you always do what you always did, then you’ll always get what you always got.
Analyze your business during the last year. I like to take a serious inventory of my business each quarter.
Did you launch any programs? Were the results better or worse than you expected?
Are there any new software programs or apps that will make your work more efficient?
Are you still keeping your books in a checkbook register or are you ready to convert to a computer software program?
Delegate tasks; find a new software; plan out new programs or updates; these are all things you can start doing today, not to spend money unnecessarily but to breathe some exciting changes into your business that may be long overdue.
This quarterly inventory is why I decided to move our email, landing pages, and websites to Kajabi. I realized that I was spending more money and more time operating all these separate platforms - one for landings pages, another for emails, another for the website, then another to make them all work together. When I started adding up the cost it made more sense to move everything to Kajabi. My goal was efficiency and simplicity while still doing the essentials of what I needed for my business. Kajabi provided all of that and I wanted in. It not only reduced my costs but it allowed me to be more efficient with my time.
Each quarter I access which social media platform is bringing the best results then double down on that or which launch strategy gave me the best results. Be open to discovery about your business and be fearless letting go anything that’s not working.
Create an Actual Plan
Use a project management program or an old-fashioned paper planner but put your projects onto a calendar and work towards achieving those goals.
Without a plan, your actions are meaningless.
You might decide to work on something unrelated to your goals or you might delay your own deadlines in order to put other projects ahead of your own work. An action plan is your blueprint to reaching your goals, no matter how lofty they may seem. Seeing this plan daily will give you something to focus on, therefore increasing your daily productivity.
I've gotten into the practice of weekly planning sessions that book end my week. On Sunday night, I determine my two to three top priorities for the week. I map out the milestones, due dates, tasks, and who's responsible for each of those priorities in my project management app, Nifty, which I absolutely love. Throughout the week, I get a snapshot of the progress we're making. I also use it to manage client projects with milestones for each phase of their course creation.
I've used Asana as well as Basecamp, and they both work well. Nifty is my favorite which is a matter of personal preference. The point is not so much which one but the fact that you need to have some type of planning system so that you won't get distracted by those shiny objects. Distractions are what takes on us wandering detours and we end the week feeling busy but not accomplished.
Have you been there?
These three productivity essentials will have a tremendous impact on the success of your business and achieving your goal. First, don't be afraid to outsource those tasks that would better handled by someone else. You need to make the best use of your time and energy and this allows you to work a lot smarter. You can start small to test the waters even if you just get a virtual assistant for 5 hours a week. That is a step in the right direction.
Second, kick the bad habits by taking a deep dive into your business each quarter.
What’s working for you?
What’s not working for you?
Then double on what's working and eliminate, or change what doesn’t.
And third, create an actual plan to follow. I manage both internal and client projects using a project management system to keep me and everyone involved on track. One thing I know without a doubt is that planning and knowing the next step to take each time will be a big boost to your productivity.
You got this my friend!
If you want some help getting your course done, click here to download my free guide, 7 Steps To Turn Your Expertise Into An Online Course.