I’m sure by now we all know that being busy + being productive are two different things. Sure we may feel like we’re getting things done as we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but what are we really accomplishing? Is there a way to simplify our days and actually get more done? When is the last time you took a step back from your business (or even your life!) and really analyzed what you were doing and why you were doing it? Today I’m sharing 3 tips to help you with this analysis. To help you analyze whether you are working effectively.
1) Is what you are doing helping you to reach a goal?
That task you’re doing. Is it helping you to reach either one of your monthly or yearly goals? (Stop right here if you don’t know what your monthly or yearly goals are. Having clearly outlined goals is the first step. Need some help identifying goals? Check out Lara Casey’s series on goal setting. Seriously, I could share all about goal setting, but Lara outlines it so nicely, just check out her posts here.)
You know how I’ve been talking about tracking your time here + here. Use that data and write down which goals pair with each task. Maybe those three client phone calls lead to signing two clients and you have a goal to increase your client load by 5. Perfect. Your action was paired with a goal. Maybe you’re spending a few hours on Twitter over the course of a week, but have never gotten a lead or client through this platform. So this time may not be well spent because it’s not helping you to reach your goal of increasing your client load by 5.
2) Is there a better way to reach your goal?
I’m sure there are multiple ways to reach your goal. Normally, there is not just one way to go about it. Try creating a list of different ways you can reach your goal. Or different strategies you could try. If you’ve been working at it for a little while, you might have a good idea of which ways work better than others. But if not, it’s ok to try a few and see if they work. If they don’t give you the outcome you desire, try another way. Don’t get stuck in patterns just because you’ve always done something one way OR because other entrepreneurs have found success that way.
I’ve seen plenty of people say you need to be on every social media platform so that you can reach more clients. And I’m sure plenty of entrepreneurs have used this strategy and had a lot of success. But I also know many entrepreneurs and small business owners, that have chosen to focus on just a couple of social media platforms (and not had others) and have also had a lot of success! (In case you wanted to know more of my thoughts on this topic, you can check out this post. I gave a talk at the Vend Raleigh conference on this exact topic!)
3) Identify tasks that take a long time + prevent you from doing something else more productive.
Sure, you may find a small benefit from doing something. But are you spending more time on a task with a minimal return, when you could be doing something else that would take the same amount of time (or even less) and give you a bigger + better result? As you’re analyzing your tasks, think about how long they take you. And if you’re doing something that is taking away time from another task that might be more important or productive, you’ll need to make the decision to either drop that task all together or delegate it to someone else.
These are just 3 ideas to start analyzing whether you are working effectively or are just spinning your wheels!