Time. It’s the most precious asset we have as entrepreneurs and the one thing we can’t get enough of. Many service professionals struggle with using their time effectively and find it hard to consistently market the way they should. While we can’t literally add hours to our day, we can use the time we have much more efficiently so that on a daily/weekly/monthly basis we are connecting with ideal prospects that want and need what we have to offer.
If you want to change the results you are seeing in your business, you have to change your actions. The truth is, you DO have the time to market consistently. You just need to “buy it out” from other activities and use it to work towards your goals. Follow these five steps to eliminate the time wasting activities that are holding you back from success:
- Be honest with yourself. You won’t be able to overcome this challenge until you acknowledge how you’re wasting time. Take stock of your work day. Are you chatting with family and friends? Watching television? Surfing the web aimlessly? Running errands? These are all time wasters that can eat up your productivity, which is cutting into your profitability. Once you identify how you’re currently using your time, you’ll be able to see which activities are eating up your work day.
- Identify the cause. What are the real reasons you’re wasting time? Are you getting distracted by having your email inbox open and responding to each message as it arrives? Do you have a social media tool that pings each time there is a new update? Are you wasting time looking for things because your office isn’t organized? Identifying the underlying causes of your distractions will help you find solutions to eliminate them.
- Makeover your mindset. Nothing in your business is going to change unless you change your mind. Starting today, make a decision to do things differently. Own the fact that you’ve been wasting time – don’t make excuses about it. Take charge and break out of your comfort zone – push yourself to make changes so that you can see the results and revenue that you want. Set your mind on making these positive changes and choosing to use your time wisely.
- Redefine how you spend your time. You can’t run your business efficiently if your day is haphazard and unscheduled. Get strict about how you spend your time. Use your calendar and set (at least) weekly appointments with yourself to market your services. If you can manage some time at the beginning of each day, that’s even better. Block out that time on your schedule and spell out exactly what you’ll be accomplishing during that time.
- Set up systems and accountability. Be clear with friends and family members that you’re not available during working hours. Set specific times when you’ll check your email – and keep it closed until then. Consider working with a marketing coach so that you can break down your projects into manageable tasks. Implementing these steps will help you progress toward your business goals day by day and week by week and have a mentor to be accountable to.
As you start to put these steps into effect, you’ll realize that you DO have enough time each week to market your business consistently! By evaluating your current schedule, eliminating time wasters and changing your mindset you’ll be in prime position to make the important changes you need to make in order to support your business goals and create a more profitable enterprise.
What time wasters can you implement to increase your productivity and profitability? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts!
Your Action Plan For The Week:
- Take note of where you’re wasting time during the day. If you need to, keep a time log so you can see just where your time is going for one week.
- Identify exactly which activities are taking you off task. Eliminate instant alerts and other distractions so you can stay focused on the task at hand.
- Make a decision to change your ways! Don’t make excuses for yourself – accept your past mistakes and decide to embrace better habits going forward.
- Schedule time each week to implement the next piece of your marketing plan. Set aside blocks of time each week, or each day, and spell out exactly what you’ll be doing to grow your business during that time.
- Set up systems and accountability. Let friends and family know you’re unavailable during business time. Only check your email at three specific times during the day. Get setup with a marketing coach to keep you accountable.
You are right… taking these steps are sure to free up at least an hour per week, which may seem quite small, but it is a start. Sometimes when we give ourselves permission to “prune” our lives, we get a little addicted to it and prune a whole lot! Then we’ll find we have a lot more time to accomplish things than we thought. Great article!
Sydni Craig-Hart says
You’re absolutely right Jeanne! As much as we’d like to overhaul our routine overnight, it’s not likely to be that easy. Instead, focusing on making simple, steadily increasing changes is they key to success! I’d love to know how you plan to apply this information to you’re business personally. What can you do to free up an additional hour for marketing each day or each week?
Right off the bat I can tell you that I spend too much time on “web research.” I have plenty of materials I can work with now, I don’t need to look for more. It is just soooo addicting to do it. It gives me inspiration a lot of times. But also, I have the email up all the time and yes I look at it often and reply immediately most times. Also facebook is a timewaster too. I need to apply your tactics, and designate specific times for working/creating and leave the socializing for later. So I guess in a nutshell, I procrastinate. I need to pry myself away from the computer! 🙂
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Kudos to you Jeanne for being so honest about your challenges! Most people struggle to do that, but admitting what our problems are is half the battle. I’m glad you’re clear on what changes you need to make and look forward to hearing about your progress as you move forward with this. Please keep me posted!