1. Systematize tasks you are doing over and over
Most of our time is wasted doing the same tasks over and over. Take a week and keep a notepad close by, listing everything you do daily. Any task you see repeated more than several times, create a system of how to do complete the task so you can make it simpler and then delegate it to someone else on your staff or when you’re ready to hire.
2. Closest to the money
When you have your list of tasks made, one way to prioritize is to focus first on tasks that are “closest to the money.” This keeps you focused on doing the tasks that will grow your business. For example, calling a potential new client should take priority over organizing email.
You have to first and foremost put a value on your time. If you’re spending more of your time doing $10/hour tasks, than the higher-value tasks that are worth your value, those $10/hour tasks need to be delegated as soon as possible.
4. Simplify your offerings
Simplification is key for efficiency. If you’re offering multiple packages, services and price-points chances are it’s as hard for you to sell and keep track of as it is confusing for your potential clients. Do a few things and do them really well.
5. Create and remain accountable to calendars and schedules
Success loves preparation. Create calendars and schedules for everything you do. Marketing, cleaning, training, client communication, etc. Keeping accountable to these calendars will keep you from veering-off to other, less impactful tasks and you’ll feel a greater sense of control and motivation.
6. Chunk your time
As your schedule evolves, chunk your time for similar tasks to optimize your focus and productivity. For example, be available for meetings or appointments on one or two specific days and timeframes, work on your marketing on the same day at the same time every week.
7. Declutter your space
External chaos creates internal chaos. Make sure your space, whether where you’re training or where you’re running your business, are clutter-free and conducive for inspiring productivity.
8. Organize your emails: have to, need to, nice to
Email can be a major time-suck. Learn to prioritize the immediacy of your response to emails in to have to respond, need to respond and nice to respond. The “have to’s” are those that are probably closest to the money (as mentioned earlier) – your clients, potential clients, very important business partners, etc. Otherwise, you should give yourself some more leeway with how urgently you respond to the others.
9. Be decisive
Mental clutter often comes from decisions that we’re hemming and hawing over. Often times, our initial gut response is what we ultimately end up going with, but with more valuable time wasted before making a firm decision than necessary. Making decisions and moving on is empowering and leads to more productivity.
10. Streamline information
We can get overwhelmed by information-overload. Learn to streamline information by putting parameters around the time spent taking in information – especially from social media.