We’ve been talking about obstacles to business growth and yesterday we covered Time Stealers. Now let’s recover some of that time!
How Do You Stretch Time?
- If you’re almost out of milk…you add a little water in it to stretch it.
- You scoop a little less coffee into the filter to make the coffee go a bit further until you get to the store.
- And we’re all familiar with making cash go a little further by shopping with coupons, sharing an entrée, cutting back on our cable plans, etc.
Now we’re going to figure out how to add time to your day & therefore, time to your business business building!
It’s not complicated…but as a business owner, it’s VITAL that you master certain time stretchers or you will be frazzled, stressed and always moaning about ‘needing more time!’
Here are 5 of my fave 10 Time Stretchers…
1) Timer ~ The most important piece of technology ever is a Timer. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a kitchen timer. You will use it extensively during Power Hour (to be covered in a future post) but I also like to just use it for social media time, blog writing, phone calls (oops, gotta go!) and break time.
2) Blocking & Chunking ~ sounds painful but is super effective! When I shoot videos I don’t shoot one video. I sit down and make out a list of topics I want to shoot video about and I shoot lots of it. I do my hair, make-up and clothes once. I edit and choose graphics or music once. I get in a flow and focus on nothing else but video. (My record is 25 videos in one hour.)
Maybe you’re going to write 5 blog posts. Maybe you have 2 hours of email time or 2 hours of blog reading & commenting time.
Save your social media commenting and posting for a certain time. Create content during a focused block. Chunk your time. I do all my coaching and consulting on Tuesdays and Thursday via phone. I do all of my email coaching before noon each day. I write during certain chunks and I do videos in chunks. This is smart and makes YOU in charge of your time. Get in a flow. Multi-tasking can be a myth.
3) An Automated Phone Service ~ I’ve used eVoice for 9 years. It’s affordable and it’s practical. The message goes to an email which means wherever on the planet I check my email, there it is. OR to my assistant. It works for me. There are a lot of options like Ring Central and Google Voice. If you really prefer your phone answered by a ‘live’ person you can use something like Call Ruby which is a service that is more costly than virtual numbers, but cheaper than an employee.
(Before you get snippy about your phone and how connected you need to be, breathe — I will cover ‘filters & qualifications’ on who gets ‘you’ time in the next post)
4) Turn Notifications Off ~ This is especially important during your Power Hour. I’ll explain that in a future blog post, stay tuned. For instance during my workday I turn off email notifications, incoming text, phone noise, etc.. As a matter of fact, I typically log out of email altogether (except during my email time chunk.) I never have Skype, gchat or IM open unless I have a preset appointment. I am not available to just ‘be there’ for if you have a whim to chat. (again, we’ll cover filters & qualifications tomorrow). Like another reader said ‘I’m not selling hearts or lungs, no one will die if I don’t answer right away.’
5) An Alarm ~ on your desktop, phone or watch. I set the alarm clock on my cell to notify me to take a break and walk around or hydrate. I set alarms to remind me about calls. Alarms let me focus without me having to continually check the clock or my google calendar! My alarm reminds me during the school year ‘GET THE KIDS’ and reminds me ‘You have a deadline’ and all sorts of handy things. The more you can let something or someone else remind you, the less stress you have in worrying that you will forget. Aren’t you breathing better already?
Well – that’s 5 for today! What are your thoughts on those? I’ll post another 5 in the next post and then we’ll talk about the ‘silver bullet’ I call – “POWER HOUR”
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(gotta go – my timer just went off…)