Why One Thing At A Time Is A Great Strategy For Business Owners
These days being a business owner means juggling a lot of balls at any given time. We all want to be successful. However, the reward for being successful in business is, well, more work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but if you list out everything you do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis – it can all feel a little overwhelming. And the ‘always on’ culture that exists means business owners are burning-out at ever increasing rates. Maybe you felt so under the pump at the end of 2016, you didn’t quite get the break you really needed to return refreshed and bursting to go in 2017.
You might want to read about how to start planning yourself a real break.
Multitasking is Hurting You
Yes, your to-do list is bursting at the seams, but research done by the University of London has shown that multitasking decreases your effectiveness significantly, and even lower your IQ to the average range of an 8 year old child – yes really!!
So how do we get that feeling of overwhelm under better control and maintain your IQ in 2017? The answer is to do one thing at a time.
Let’s call the word for 2017 – focus. That way if you set yourself one primary goal for each day and you achieve nothing else, you will have done that one big critical thing every day. And over 365 days (230ish working days) that’s a LOT of big things to get done.
What Does That Look Like in Practice?
If you’re writing a report, focus wholly and solely on that report for 60-90 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how much you get done when you limit your distractions for chunks of time.
Then take a break. Go for a walk, meditate, get a coffee and/or best of all chat to a co-worker (see the intriguing benefits of doing this).
Only answer emails and phone calls in batches. Set aside two blocks each day where that’s what you do – nothing else. Again, focus on just that task.
Then return to another batch of 45-90 minute dedicated time slot/break and repeat.
If you want to take part on social media, schedule yourself a pre-assigned time slot to do it. Of course, you can spend as much time as you like out of hours on this, but just remember how easy it is to lose a whole evening to your phone screen. And then you feel like you’re never away from ‘work’ and over time that can build to something akin to resentment.
You might be wondering how you batch phone calls if you’re simultaneously running and doing the business and you don’t have admin staff. You have two options;
- Set your phone to do not disturb during your ‘sprint’ blocks. Even though it might feel like it, no-one actually expects you to be available every second of every the day.
- Get yourself a virtual receptionist. They will professionally answer every phone call, take a message if you’re not available and can even book appointments for you if that’s what you need.
As for the other things on your 2017 list? No doubt you have some wider goals on your list to achieve for 2017. One new something per week or month over a year adds up to a lot of achievements and things done.
Start Scheduling These Too
One sales activity per day/week (depending on your need) – consider this a critical activity for business survival and make sure it gets done.
One new contact a week – if you’re so busy working in your business that you feel like your world is getting smaller and smaller, make the effort to expand your circle. There are plenty of networking events to go to or you could join a hobby group that gets your favourite hobby indulged in and creating new relationships ticked off.
One marketing activity per month – keeping your marketing up to date is critical too. So schedule a slot to write/tweak your strategy, update your website, write a blog, put analytics tools in place, create a database, do a mailout, etc – whatever works for you to stay in touch with your customers and potential customers.
One new lesson a month – there are plenty of online courses to choose from if you’re after a new skill. Then schedule a couple of times in the next month to bed down/practice that new skill.
In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about how a virtual receptionist might work for your business, so you can power through and get more done in 2017, we’d love to talk to you. You can call Roland on 1300 318 680 or drop us a note.