3 Simple Ways to Accelerate Your Business (and your life)
Every IT service task takes time and expertise. We can gain expertise. We cannot make more time, so let’s make the most of the time we have. This short article will give you 3 simple ways to increase your productivity and accelerate your business.
1. Know Where Your Time is Spent – Business coach Tony Jeary likes to have his clients make a list of MOLOs – “More of Less of”. What do you want to do more of and what do you want to do less of? We all have tasks in our lives that start to get out of hand over time. When you make a commitment to do something you aren’t a fortune teller (at least most of us aren’t) so you don’t know what new thing is going to come up in the future that will keep you from being able to juggle all of your commitments. Create boundaries, limit commitments and manage your time well. If eating out everyday, twice a day, is a problem, then limit yourself to eating out 4 times a week. If you find yourself going to meetings or social gatherings that are impacting your productivity, then limit your meetings or schedule them in blocks. Sure, there are some meetings that are mandatory, but sometimes they are only mandatory because we committed to them. Stop committing to more than you can handle and learn how to set boundaries.
One summer when I worked at Kanakuk Kamp in Missouri, I was amazed at how much we got accomplished in a single day. Every minute was scheduled, including time for FOB – Which meant Flat on Back. From sun up to sun down we managed to squeeze in multiple sports, tubing on the lake, fishing, 3 meals, 2 mandatory showers, an hour of personal time for each counselor and even time for Bible study after dinner at night. After the first week there I felt more productive than I had ever felt in my entire life. Managing time is like managing a budget, spend your time wisely and know where you are spending it. You can only manage what you can measure.
2. Create Great Processes – Templates are an excellent way to create and simplify complex processes. If you find yourself typing the same things over and over, find ways to replace these redundancies with shortcuts. For some tasks you can hire a virtual assistant. A client of ours was recently lamenting how she is spending too much time creating estimates and responding to client emails. She didn’t have enough work to hire someone full time, nor did she have the space for an extra employee. We recommended hiring a virtual assistant to help ten hours a week. Those 10 hours she can use to work on projects, go to the gym and spend time with her family and the cost was extremely minimal. If you use Zirtual.com the cost starts as low as $398 a month. If you need templates for anything from t-shirts to brochures, then check out graphicriver.net. Creating great processes creates structure and most human beings flourish in structure.
3. Organize, Organize, Organize – How many times have you wasted time looking for something? It’s amazing how we can be organized in some areas of our lives, but there always seems to be that one area that could use improvement. I personally hate putting away laundry or deleting old emails. I like to leave them until they pile up and then the task is so insurmountable that it takes me hours to deal with it. Tedious tasks are best done in small chunks so if you know that something can pile up then stay on top of them. As a business owner I find that sometimes I have 15 minutes to kill between meetings. It’s not enough time to do any real design work or content writing, but it is enough time to go through my inbox and delete those unwanted emails and to organize the others that I want to circle back to. I also love to cook and when I’m making a big meal I start the process usually days in advance. By planning ahead I can actually enjoy my time with friends instead of being exhausted when I serve dinner. French Chef’s when cooking create a “mis en place” which I believe translates to “putting in place” or “everything in it’s place”. When you set out to do a task if you have everything you need before you get started how much easier is it to get something done. For me I like to organize my workspace, get my coffee, a glass of ice water and anything else I need all at the ready before I sit down to work. I know that once I am in “flow” that if I stop I will not be as productive later. Sometimes I can lose a day of productivity because of poor organization.
At TekConcierge we are always looking for ways to help our clients improve their business. Our managed services and information technology services are designed to help you do more of what you want/need to do.