Spring is in the air – and you know what that means. The freshness of the season is your cue to dust off the cobwebs, scrub away the dirt, and sweep out the old. When it comes to spring cleaning, your business is no exception.
I hope you’re up for a challenge – because this post is packed with all the powerful tools and strategies you need to get a running start: a quick exercise, easy tips you can implement right away, a FREE download… and even a special offer to help you work smarter!
Time Affluence… What’s That?!
Let’s start with the concept of “Time Affluence.” Yep, it’s a thing. Rare and coveted, especially for a business owner.
An article we recently came across describes this concept perfectly, referencing a quote from the book Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar: “Time affluence is the feeling that one has sufficient time to pursue activities that are personally meaningful, to reflect, to engage in leisure. Time poverty is the feeling that one is constantly stressed, rushed, overworked, and behind. All we have to do is look around us – and often within ourselves – to realize the pervasiveness of time poverty in our culture.”
Ok, I know what you’re thinking. Being time affluent – especially for an entrepreneur – is about as realistic as a unicorn. Or is it?
Where Can You Create Time Affluence?
Find out with this easy exercise! You’ll review each of the following four areas to reveal the areas in your business (and maybe your life) that could use improvement.
- Repetition. Look over the tasks you’ve completed in the last week, month, quarter, or year. How often are you repeating the same tasks or projects?
- Procrastination. Review your to-do-list for the past week or month and make a list of the items that just aren’t getting done.
- Negativity. Write down your basic duties for a week. Which ones would you choose never to do again? How about the ones that you just don’t like or don’t want to do?
- Inability. When you think about your accomplishments over the past 90 days, were there times when a lack of knowledge and expertise decreased efficiency and possibly results as well? Be honest!
Now you have a basic idea of the areas that need attention. These are the areas where you need to start working smarter, not harder…
“We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.”
― Roald Dahl
4 Steps to Work Smarter
Ready to start? Great! Now…where do you begin?
Working smarter (not harder) is entirely possible. Many tasks can be streamlined with four “work smarter” actions. Best of all, you can implement these immediately:
- Reduce Redundancy. This is first, fastest, and easiest. If you find yourself repeating the same task at least once a month, it’s a sign that you could probably be doing something differently. Are there repetitive tasks that could be eliminated, automated, or delegated? Common examples include: scheduling reminders, managing your own social media posts, handling your own email blasts, invoicing, etc…
- Eliminate Waste – Do you go to the store a few times per week to pick up various products that you need to conduct business? Or find yourself placing numerous orders online for items you forgot? Keep a list of items that are running low. Anticipate what you will need; most items don’t just run out at once. When they get low, put them on the list. Then, designate one day per week when you do your supplies run or online ordering to grab everything at once, potentially saving hours of time.
Perry Marshall points out just how costly an extra, mundane task can be. “Small-business owners waste their time on what I call $10 an hour work, like running to get office supplies. Meanwhile, they forgo the activities that earn $1,000 an hour, such as sending the right email to the right person, or negotiating a lucrative contract, or convincing a client to do more business with you.”
“Lost time is never found again.”
― Benjamin Franklin
- Automate – Start small. As trust builds and comfort levels rise, you can expand on what you automate. Using the simple supplies example, you know that you need new printer ink once every 2 weeks. Many companies like Amazon offer automatic refills – sometimes at a discount – that are preprogrammed to be ordered and delivered right to your door. Of course, automation can do so much more than refilling your ink order. The possibilities are truly endless.
A conservative estimate is that 20% of daily business duties can be effortlessly automated. Tom Heine presents the benefits of embracing automation in both terms of time and financial savings. “If automation of these repeated office functions can increase efficiency by 20%, that’s the equivalent of an added day each week. Or, looking at it another way: You can save 20% of your employee’s annual salary.”
Click here for your FREE download – we’ve curated the very BEST productivity tools so you don’t have to waste your time searching to find the ones that work for you! These programs will do everything from automating your schedule, helping you keep track of your ‘to-do’ lists, pre-scheduling your marketing efforts, and systemizing your repetitive tasks (generally the biggest time thieves).
- Delegate – Partner with experts who will treat your business like their own. Imagine having someone else manage the tasks that you don’t want to or don’t have time to focus on. Someone who will find the best prices for you, suggest and help you implement the latest tools and software once purchased…Above all, someone who understands your business to help tailor customized solutions unique to your needs.
For instance, think about the time and energy you would need to invest to create your own website (if you’re not a web designer). Consider the relief and improved results if you let experts manage your hosting, CMS installation, design, security, back-ups, updates, SEO, etc…
Our Experts Are Here to Help You!
We have an entire online team of professionals who are experts in technology, automation, systems design and process implementation. We can handle just about anything. We can teach you, collaborate with you – or just do it for you.
“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity.”
― Jean de La Bruyère
And we get it – it’s not easy to let go. A study in Gallup by Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal and Bryant Ott confirmed that CEOs who were naturally effective delegators generated 33% greater revenues than those who were not. Their findings were clear: “The ability to delegate effectively is a fundamental managerial trait of successful entrepreneurs.”
A Quick Check-In
For some, this section may not even be warranted. But, if you’re sitting here thinking ‘my process is fine the way it is’, then let’s do a little check in shall we?
- Are you setting 90-Day Goals?
- Are you accomplishing your 90-Day goals?
- Are you seeing an increase in revenue month over month?
- Are you building a team?
- Do you love what you’re doing everyday?
- Are you procrastinating?
- Do you find yourself getting bored?
- Are you getting consistent referrals?
- Do you have time to work on building new products and services?
- Do you have time for sales each week?
- Is your quality up to par?
- Do you have any residual income streams?
Each one of these areas can be improved through automation, systemization, and delegation. So, what are you waiting for? You deserve a break!
Ready for some help? You’re in luck! Our Operations Clean-Up Package is perfect for business owners like you who are ready to let a little go to get a lot back. And, we’re offering a New Client Spring Cleaning Special! Valid through May 31st.
Imagine this: With the help of our experts, you may actually be able to enjoy some much-needed R&R this summer. Sound good? Just download our cheat sheet and get this once a year offer!