7 Steps to Skyrocket Your Productivity (and Profits)!
Hands up if you’re feeling overwhelmed while frantically spinning your wheels, accomplishing little and missing your financial goals?
There’s SO much that demands your attention in business — so it’s no surprise you feel like things aren’t moving forward enough, even though you’re ‘busy’.
And quite often, we can use ‘busy-ness’ to put off those big hairy scary tasks we know we should be doing in our business…. Leading to more stress and overwhelm.
Clearly, being busy doesn’t necessarily bring in the money.
Creating Lucrative Productivity — where you take productive, focused action that delivers lucrative results — does.
Below is my Lucrative Productivity Formula that’ll help you ditch procrastination and overwhelm and swing in to action so you can create a consistently profitable business.
1. Know and prioritise your FINANCE FEEDERS
As entrepreneurs we have so many tasks to do — we can easily lose focus on what’s most important to run a successful business.
Without doubt, we must prioritise the tasks that bring in the money if we want our business to thrive!
So the first step is to get crystal clear on your Finance Feeders: the daily money making activities you do to bring in clients.
Examples of these are: engaging with people on social media to create awareness of your product or service; inviting prospects to sales calls; having sales calls; following up prospects or past clients; booking talks or seminars.
Schedule your finance feeders as the first task for the day and get them done before anything else, so you’ll already have done the most important thing for the growth of your business before the day really starts.
2. How do you want your days to FEEL?
How often have you put something off because you simply didn’t feel like doing it?
This proves that energy management trumps time management, as our emotions drive behaviour.
Forming a strategy for how you want your days to feel will skyrocket your productivity, as you’ll feel more positive and therefore more inclined to do the tasks you committed to — with more energy to do so!
- What top 2–3 emotions do you want to feel each day?
Is it peaceful, inspired, happy, playful, creative, confident or energetic?
- What primers make you feel these emotions?
Primers get us into desired emotional states to keep energy and motivation high.
They stimulate our senses or change our physiology to evoke the desired emotion, such as music, smells, power poses, affirmations and imagery.
Using one or more primers throughout your day will help create your desired states.
Some of mine are the Superwoman Pose (Google it!), lemon essential oil, a playlist full of my fave happy songs and walks in nature!
- How can you incorporate these primers into your days?
Place primers in your work space and use them in your breaks!
3. Know your energy FLOW
We all have high and low energy times during the day — our natural energy flow.
Understanding your energy flow allows you to allocate your energy intensive tasks to your ‘power hours’, and allocating less intensive tasks to your low energy times.
Keep a log of your energy peaks and falls for 3 days. Note when you feel high or low e.g. 9–11am.
Then, work out an average and schedule your tasks to match!
4. FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success
Entrepreneurs often take on too many projects at once, leading to stress, overwhelm, procrastination and being unable to accomplish much effectively.
Got several unfinished projects that have been lingering for a while? Consider the FOCUS approach:
1. Be realistic with your time.
Prioritise the projects, marketing campaigns and social media platforms you feel will have the biggest return on investment.
It’s easy to get ‘shiny new object’ syndrome — so check in and ask yourself:
- Will this really move my business forward?
- What project will I have to give up to do this? Is that worth it?
You’ll ALWAYS come up with new exciting project ideas. Choose wisely and execute the most important ones. Leave the rest for now!
2. Block out time to focus on ONE project at a time.
This could be a whole day, week, or a set time each day. E.g. write your Facebook content for a month in one day. Take 1 week to write the next 3 month’s blogs or create a new campaign.
3. Break each project down into clearly defined steps.
Set a timeframe to complete each task effectively (e.g. 20 minutes per task), without distraction.
Set a timer if that works for you. So if you were writing a month’s worth of blogs, the first task would be to brainstorm 4 article topics.
The next step could be to write a bulletpointed outline of the first article.
Tick each step off as you go and celebrate that beautiful feeling of progress and say ‘buh-bye’ to procrastination!
4. Take the learnings from each project, adjust, automate or outsource
After the project is complete, reflect and take note of any adjustments you need to make to your process more streamlined and efficient.
Then, automate or outsource your project (if that’s what’s needed) so you’re free to take on another new project.
With the FOCUS approach, you’ll more easily get into the flow state where you accomplish tasks and projects much quicker — and to a higher standard.
And you’ll banish stress and overwhelm.. Happy days!
5. Embrace FEAR
We all experience fear — especially along the entrepreneurial journey, as it takes vulnerability and courage to build a successful business.
By facing and embracing your fear, by reassuring that fearful part of you that you‘ll be OK, armed with a big dose of faith, you’ll be able to move past any fear holding you back from taking action.
The steps to moving past fear are:
- See fear as the overly concerned child-like part of you that wants to keep you safe. Befriend her. Give her a name.
- When fear comes up, welcome her in and talk to her. Listen to her concerns (the ‘what if this and this and THIS happens!’ etc.). Acknowledge her concerns. By embracing our fear, by bringing it closer to us, we disarm the power fear has over us. Fear just wants to be heard!
- Reassure her that you’ll be OK. Tell her something like: ‘It’s all going to be okay. I’m going to take each step bravely. I’ll adjust the course as I need to, but I’ve GOT this.’. Give her all the reasons why it would be good to take action rather than stay playing small.
- Genuinely thank her for coming and let her know she needn’t worry anymore.
- Then, armed with faith that you have what it takes to conquer the challenge you’re facing, take the first step forward… then the next… and the next…
6. FITNESS — move for your brain + energy!
No doubt you’ve noticed we’re sitting more than ever. It’s an obvious one, yet how often are you moving throughout the day?
Optimal fitness comes not by just ‘working out’ once per day, but by frequent movement throughout each day.
Regular movement helps deliver more nutrients and oxygen to your brain and throughout your body that help to boost your brain function and energy, among numerous health benefits.
So to break up the sitting fest, set an hourly alarm on your phone to take 5 or so minutes to stretch and bounce up and down on your feet on the spot (sometimes I do star jumps — or break out into a dance — if I’m not in a cafe!).
Whenever you feel a bit tired and your brain feels like it’s shutting down, remember that movement will help boost your brain and your energy. So get moving!
- getting a standing computer desk so you’re sitting less
- switch up working locations during the day so you can walk more
- have walking or standing meetings whether you’re on or offline!
- nutrition! Replace sugar and fried fatty foods with protein sources like oily fish, nuts, seeds, chicken with vegetables and berries to help memory, concentration and focus. And of course, stay hydrated!
7. Accountability FRIEND
It’s so easy to let deadlines slip if you’re the one holding yourself accountable.
Goals declared and measured to others are more likely to be achieved (This is why we tend to always meet deadlines for other people!).
This is where an accountability friend is gold! An accountability friend is an entrepreneur who you share and commit to goals with. You hold each other accountable to getting things done in your business by declaring your business goals with each other.
The idea is to meet weekly to discuss your goals. You can also check in midweek to get updates and motivation to keep you on track.
Another wonderful benefit of having an accountability friend is that you can share the struggles and fears you have in your business.
This helps hugely with realising that we all share fears and struggles. It makes the journey that much easier!
So over to you — what’s your biggest take-away from this formula? What step will you put to practice today?
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Melissa runs the Limitless Fempreneurs Facebook community, where she helps female entrepreneurs optimise their health and performance so they can get more done in less time, increase their wealth and have more time and energy to enjoy their life, rather than be a slave to their business. Join here.
Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on October 10, 2016.