It's the million dollar question, right?
Do you find that you get to the end of every week and realise that you’ve done nothing to actually move the needle in your own business? And that in between client work and school runs you’ll be lucky if there’s a solid half hour where you can focus on creating and implementing a strategy for your own business growth?
Moving your business forward is all about bitesize activities that you can stack: individually they’re small actions, but together they create a force of momentum which starts creating the shifts towards your overall business and life vision.
People often think that the earliest stage of business is the hardest, but I believe it’s the established and ready to scale phase that can be the most challenging. Being in demand with clients means that many business owners realise that they’re on the cusp of a business that could be really special, but they just have no team, time or headspace to focus on strategic business development.
So, next time you’ve got a To Do List that seems never ending, but you know that you need to spend some time focusing on your own business, take two minutes to run through this checklist:
Which balls can you drop?
Take a look at everything you need to do.
Is there anything on your To Do List that can get dropped, even if it's for the short term?
Think about it the ROTI you get from that task (Return On Time Investment):
Think strategically, and use my Must, Might, Maybe rule: what MUST you do, what
MIGHT be nice to do and what will you MAYBE do if you get time.
This is going to be your saviour when you’re in a season of your business with fractured concentration periods and less focused work hours.
Look at your day and block out where you need to. Capture the tasks that have got to be done today. During these focus blocks of time, make sure you commit to those and don't get distracted by emails or other tasks. Close your inbox, put your phone face down and put on a Baroque playlist on Spotify (sounds random I know, but Baroque music promotes high focus because its 60 beats rhythm favours a state of calmness which improves attention).
Urgent? Important? Neither? Both?
Write down three tasks for the day that MUST be done.
And let's take this even further. Have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People? It suggests categorising your To Do List like this:
Urgent and important: Do these first!
Important but not urgent: These are the next on the list.
Urgent but unimportant: Can you delegate these?
Neither urgent or important: Ditch!!
Create robust boundaries:
Protect your time and energy fiercely by respecting the boundaries you set yourself. If you promise yourself some time to do something you love or work on your own business this week, don't allow that commitment to be trumped by client work. ⠀⠀⠀
You’d be surprised how implementing just these small tweaks to how you work will make a world of difference within your business and be the piece in your puzzle of scaling your business with clarity and intention.
If you’re looking for even more tips on how to get more productive and strategic with your time, check out my 5 Days To Thrive Free Bootcamp here.
Laura Parker is an OBM and Productivity Strategist who helps thriving business owners scale by creating systems that shower their clients with love, help them step out of the doing and create the business foundations to support their growth.