How Many Hats Are You Wearing?
It’s inevitable. As a small business owner, you will wear many, many hats.
Technical support staff.
But while this type of task juggling is to be expected, you have to be aware that not all of your hats are created equal. Marketing outweighs bookkeeping, for example, because without marketing, there will be no cash to manage.
Not only that, but you have to consider how much time you’re spending in each area as well. If you spend all day tweaking the design on your website and put off sending an email to your list, what have you gained?
Sure, you might have a prettier website, but you lost an opportunity to drive traffic to your offer.
In an ideal world, you’d simply put on your CEO hat and delegate the rest, but here in the real world, we don’t always have that option. Instead, we have to work smarter, and take care how we’re spending our time.
In his book The eMyth Revisited, Michael Gerber stresses the importance of not servicing two masters, so to speak; that you cant do it all and your business will not grow. He discusses being ‘technician,’ who does the work, and the ‘manager’ who has to market and grow the business.
Having efficient processes and systems will help you to manage tasks, along with getting help, so you can focus on the tasks that are needed, aka, the 80/20 rule. Here are some steps you can take to help you to be more efficient and focused:
Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
We all have different skills and sweet spots when it comes to the tasks we want and need to do. You might love customer support and hate bookkeeping, while someone else enjoys the numbers game and doesn’t like dealing with the help desk. But regardless of your personal preferences, one thing is certain: money-making tasks should be at the very top of your to-do list.
That might mean product creation, email marketing, client outreach, webinar development, or something entirely different. Identify those money-making tasks in your business and be sure to prioritize them every single day.
Know the Difference Between Important and Urgent
In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey recommends prioritizing tasks based on a time-management grid. Every task is assigned to a quadrant of the grid, based on whether it is urgent, important, both, or neither.
Once you know where a task falls on the grid, you’ll immediately know what you should be working on. For example, marketing and planning are important but not urgent. A ringing phone is urgent, but not important. The sales page for your new program, which is launching tomorrow, is both urgent AND important.
So before you prioritize your daily to-do list, think about where each of your tasks falls in the quadrant, and schedule them accordingly.
Work in ‘Spurts”
We all have times when we are more productive than others; for some, that may be early in the morning, while for others it can be late afternoon. Knowing your most productive times will lead to attending to the harder or more challenging tasks to get them done.
Using the Pomodoro Method, work for 20 minutes then take a break, then 20 more minutes and take a break, and so on. This helps with concentration and focus so you get more done, without it seeming like a never-ending task. Set an alarm to track your time; I like using a simple kitchen clock as I like the ticking noise, while the bell is loud to signal stopping. It’s a brain-training tool for productivity.
Will you always be working on the best task for right now? Probably not. Nor will you always use your time as wisely as you could. But by making a conscious effort to organize and prioritize your days, you’ll find it’s a lot less stressful and overwhelming to manage your business. Plus, you will feel more focused and confident to continue on. It’s a win-win situation.
If you’re struggling with productivity and managing time in your business, reach out to get help. Stop the struggle and get started – out coaching services will help you to be more productive so you can grow your business with confidence and ease.