Are you in business to do ‘busywork’? Or, to do what you do best while serving your clients? I thought so.
The harsh reality, however, is that businesses need oiling, processes need completing, admin needs seeing to and business distractions abound.
Distractions will also be a part of your day, what matters is how you overcome them and get back to being client-centric. As old mate Christopher Columbus knew:
“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”
What are we to do?
Become schedule oriented
This one comes more easily to some than others. You know who you are.
Perhaps you have a good daily schedule already? I bet you can improve it, though. This is the key to time organisation and time organisation is the key to spending more time on your business and clients.
This isn’t just about a calendar of appointments and tasks (which certainly form a part), but also a methodology for organising time.
“Reserve regular blocks of time for work that requires concentration,”- Phyllis Mufson.
For example, try:
- Smashing your most loathed task straight away in the morning
- Understand your low ebb periods and schedule business admin accordingly
- Share your calendar so colleagues know you’re in concentration mode
Create efficient customer centric workflows
There is, undoubtedly, a better and more efficient way to perform a variety of tasks in your business to increase efficiency and free up time. Many of these optimisations will involve harnessing modern technology.
See if you can free up space to concentrate on clients by looking into:
- Cloud accounting apps to remove all paperwork and manual processes from your business compliance
- Online booking software to automate scheduling and client reminder notifications
- Automating software for marketing activities like email campaigns and social posts so you can ‘set and forget’
- A well-managed CRM (customer relationship management) system to create a single source of truth and manage your clients in one place
Ditch the notifications!
*Ding* there goes your phone. *Ding* there it goes again.
How can you focus on clients and creating value for your business if Instagram is invading your concentration every ten minutes?
Did you know that the average Australian checks 40 websites a day, switching activities 37 times an hour, changing tasks every two minutes?
Do yourself a favour and give your a digital detox.
The enemy of your productivity is distraction. The most available distraction is usually digital and almost always within your control.
We know removing all digital distractions is unreasonable, so be sure to simply schedule this in. Insert a half hour slot or two into your day where you’re allowed to indulge in your social media or distraction of choice.
When you have scheduled deep work time you should:
- Remove the phone from sight
- Silence your phone
- Close all tabs in your browser
- Snooze email and slack
One thing at a time
Easily said, yet a bit harder to achieve. Having said that, everyone has the capacity to become a singular-minded worker. The idea is to focus on a single task through to completion so you can focus on your small business clients and earn more money.
Monotasking or single tasking, as the name suggests, is the art of tackling one thing at a time – all the way to completion. The idea is simple enough: minimise interruptions, eliminate competing tasks, get focused and achieve greater productivity and success. Some strategies to help you monotask include:
- Properly schedule and maintain a calendar or task list
- Sort tasks by size, importance or priority
- Set aside 2-4 hours a day for deep focused work
- Locate peak performance time so you’re in the zone when you work
- Eliminate distractions (as above)
- Choose two major tasks a day with meaningful outcomes