Tackle It “Tool” Tuesday – Email is something that everyone has – even the junior high schools and up here in Santa Clarita create email accounts for the students so they can communicate with the teachers and each other about school items.   Email a tool that you cannot run your business without!  Email can be “rabbit hole” you down during the day and suck a lot of your time, email can be your “saving grace’ when you need something right away, email can help you get noticed and email can get you banned from connecting with your people!

Email

It is reported, 2010 report from The Radicati Group in 2010, that the number of email accounts worldwide in 2010 is 2.9 billion and planned to increase by 2014 to 3.8 billion.  (It is noted that there is an average number of email accounts per user of 1.6 email accounts per user and they do not see that rising of this time frame)


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Monetize Monday – Business Commitments, How They Can Hurt You?

Monetize Monday – In the weekly Productivity Weekly Program Mondays are days where we focus on generating revenue for the week – starting your week with intended cash flow coming in brings motivation to the week.

Business Commitments

We all make business commitments and I am safe to say from time to time we have all not kept one or two business commitments we have made.  Over your business lifetime one or two missed business commitments might be a lot but if this is a pattern and happens regularly you really need to evaluate the reasons why you are not keeping the business commitments you make.  Not keeping business commitments can hurt not only your reputation but your business success as well.  Once you start to lose a good business reputation, people start to find other people to work with and you never want your customers/clients/team members to move and work with someone else… and trying to come back from a BAD reputation can really hamper your growth and success.


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Losing Focus on Your Business? Don’t Be Discouraged, It Happens To Us All

Sitting at my desk staring at a piece of paper where I wrote down some notes, then looking up at the computer screen blankly not really reading what is on it and not knowing why I was even on that “website” – suddenly the phone rings and snaps me out of this “foggy” work state. I pick up the phone and jump into action talking to the person on the other end but I am not feeling the conversation – I hang up and I am back to not really knowing what I was doing before the phone call happened… sound familiar?

Is something wrong with me? Am I the only person this happens to? NO and NO

Focus…

I am the type of person that is up EARLY, between 4 and 5 am.  I work on my blog, do a short exercise like 30 mins, take kids to school, do my personal reading, check email/voicemail for a couple clients, make bed, straighten last minute stuff in the kitchen shower then by 8am I am ready to WORK.  Most people tell me I put in a full day before I even turn on the “open” sign.

Some days and even some weeks I lose my “mojo”!  I lose my focus.  I find myself not knowing what I need to do next but most I have lost my focus and seem to be wondering in my office.  My productivity level plummets and I am off track!  I then find myself upset that nothing is getting done and any of my little bit of productivity is then GONE!

Losing Focus Happens To The Best Of Us!

When things like that happen I have to stop and look at how long I have been working without taking a day for myself.  How long was I burning the candle at both ends?  How many people was I supporting (clients, kids, husband, family, pets) emotionally and task wise and not looking at what I needed?  No wonder my focus on my business had disappeared for a bit!

Keeping a steady stream of focus on your business is doable as long as you are remembering to keep a balance in your life.  Keeping a steady stream of focus on your business as long as you have structure to your days and a working process with productive procedures!  Most importantly keeping a steady stream of focus on your business is doable when you enlist “help” when you need it!

Stay Focused With Some Help!

When I talk about help – it means a couple of things…

Keeping Focus with support staff – this can be actual “staff” or “Virtual Assistants staff”.  Use some assistance to get tasks completed – they can focus on individual tasks that need to be done allowing you to stay focused on the bigger picture.  As the little tasks get completed you are moving closer to building your empire and it frees you up to continue the focus on your structure and where to build on it next!

Keeping Focus with the support of an Accountability Group or Mastermind Group “FOCUS GROUPS” – Have a group of people that are “your trusted advisers” is awesome!  This is something I love being a part of.  My businesses would not be where they are today without the support of my Accountability Group/Mastermind Group.  Being part of a group like this is not only inspiring but the focus is intense!  We all have a little ADD in us, being part of a group like this gives us the OK to focus on something else, someone else and help but keep our productive creative juices flowing!  NO BUSINESS IS TOO SMALL TO BE IN A GROUP LIKE THIS.  Granted there are some “focus” groups that are for bigger business but you can find one to fit your business.  If you cannot create one of your own with the people you are always asking advice from and giving advice too!  That is what you re doing already just not in a formal setting.

Staying Focused Is A Team Effort!

Even solo-preneurs should have a team.  Find people to work with, talk with, share ideas with so you are not always doing it alone.  Focus is a hard thing to hold onto all by yourself and just because you own your own business does not mean you have to carry it  by yourself!


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Throw It Out Thursday ~ We seemed to get so bogged down and overwhelmed by the amount of things we have to do each day.  As solo-preneurs or owners of the brick and mortar business we have a lot more on our “get’er done” lists than most.  We are responsible for not only every day tasks/projects but we are responsible for the team below us completing theirs, securing revenue, client/customer relations, growing the business, along with all of the household and family stuff too – all of them “todos”!

There was a time when being our own boss was appealing – no one telling us what to do, when to do it, and even how to do it but when all of the weight is on our shoulders we tend to look back and go boy it was easier back then!

We have talked all week about todo lists – getting organized.  Trust me as you move into a structure with a plan and organization, you will find what you were looking for when you went into business for yourself.

ToDo Lists should not weigh you down – they should be your structure – your path –

your rungs on the ladder!

You should look at your ToDo list as your blueprint for the day.  If you manage your business in a manner that you are not spending your days putting out fires but schedule things you have the control over your life and business world you always wanted.  The trick is to have a structure, to follow that structure, and to know that every great business man/business woman had structure to building their success – to what level you need is up to you.

Organize those ToDos!

We have talked a lot this week about your todo list and creating a system is a must in business today.  We recommend the Tickler File.  Once you have your system together, no matter what it is, review your todos.  Do you have them prioritized?  The key is that you NEVER over commit on your list of todos for the day – you want to schedule out projects and todos in a way that your list can be completed.  As you get comfortable in a pattern of working and completing your committed todos you can add onto it slowly to build up completing more and more. BUT remember built into your todo system is a reward time where you acknowledge the great job you are doing and you take time to do something for you as a reward.  In our Weekly Productivity Program, we have that on Finish It Friday. We encourage you to set your weekly reward and actually ENJOY it when the time comes!

What to Throw Away on your ToDo List…

Are there items on there that have been on your todo list (on paper or on your mind) since the “beginning of time” and you are still carrying them around?  Where did they fall in the prioritizing you did from above?  Are they high on the list or lowest on the totem-pole?  For those that are lowest, evaluate them…  Why have you not done them yet? Do they really matter?  Will it make a big difference if you do it or not? If it will make a big difference then I suppose it should not be lowest on your totem-pole, right?

Take that todo and scratch it off – get rid of it – throw it out.  You carry a lot of weight keeping things that do not really matter to your business success or growth around.  A lot of times todos you have carried for awhile are no longer the “current” thing to do or are really no longer relevant.

By crossing that todo off your list you will find weight lifted from you.  A sense of relief!  You can always “schedule” to reassess the need for that todo when you have time to focus on it.

Keep your daily/weekly todo lists simple and doable!

Keeping your todo lists “doable” and not over committing allows you to reap the rewards of a day well done.  We tend, as business owners, to think we have to do it all TODAY and everything is on our todo list all of the time. This leads to a feeling of failure and overwhelm. Do not make the mistake on taking on too much everyday – being a success is having control over the growth and what you HAVE to complete.  Do not let the fact you want it ALL NOW guide you to feelings of frustration.  Manage your todo list in a way where you are making progress everyday!

Make your todo list your friend not the dreaded enemy and work with it not against it.  Structure does not have to be a bad thing!


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Finish It Friday ~ Reflect on the Week, Did You Meet Your Goals?

Finish it Friday is a day we consider an immediate reward day – when you have completed all of the scheduled/planned tasks that were set as the goal that week you are done working for the day!  You are free to relax and have time to spend on yourself.

Being clear on scheduled goals in your tracking system is a MUST!

Do you have a tracking system?  Are you scheduling in an appropriate amount of work? Are you taking on too much? Do you have a plan each week?  Do you set personal rewards?

Creating goals each week of things that need to get completed is a must – it is your framework, your path, your structure for the week – without setting them and having plan you are working without structure and not being as productive as you can be.

As solo-preneurs we tend to be flying by the seat of our pants more than not.  We feel like our business is running US instead of the other way around.  We tend to feel defeated more often.  All of this comes from lack of a plan or structure.

Get clear on what your “doable” work load is – plan your goal accordingly.

You need to take time to evaluate how things are going – what is working and what is not and make adjustments.  Be realistic when you set out to accomplish tasks and in setting your goals for the week.  Create a plan set your goals and see how that works – if there is something that did not work out so well – evaluate and adjust.  Don’t lower your goals of how much work you want to complete in a week but grow into them.  Know how much you want to be completing by a certain time and take steps to create the habits to achieve those goals by learning new habits and making new routines.

Goals in regards to your accomplishments should not be killers…

As we grow as business owners naturally our goals will grow as well.  You will take on more and more tasks, even if you are delegating them you will be project managing them.  Do not set yourself up with s many tasks and projects and having to do it all NOW that you kill yourself and you do not enjoy what you are doing.

Remember GOALS are not “finish lines” they are mile markers.

You should set three kinds of goals for yourself –

  • amount of work planned for the week to be completed (always changing and being reset for new tasks)
  • where you want your business to be (I call it, what do you want to be when you grow up) (to be evaluated annually to be sure your goals have not changed)
  • what you want revenue wise from this business (this goal is your guideline NOT your stopping point)

Write your goals down – it gives them more POWER in your way of working and a foundation in your WHY!

All of the experts AND successful individuals out there will tell you to write your goals out – this is why for the weekly tasks and projects I suggest you haved a great tracking system – it forces you to even write those down – giving you more control and power over your time and your business.


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Work It Wednesday – Divide and Conquer – Working Through Your Task List

Work It Wednesday ~ today is the day in our weekly productivity program we focus on the busy tasks. You know the ones that are quick to complete so we tend to put them off thinking “oh that will only take me a minute, I will do XX first” and those little easy ones stack up on your plate into a HUGE pile.  Then you look at it and you are now

thinking “oh man look at all those {blank} tasks” and you are overwhelmed.  Today we clear out the overwhelm and we focus on the tasks one at a time!

You are served a beautiful cake at desert, you want it ALL – but no matter how you try you cannot eat that entire cake in one bite – you have to take several bites/slices to get

 

it all down.  See the divide and conquer idea is not only for bad, yuckie, un-fun things to do like tasks but even fun ones!

Tasks – divide and conquer – one at a time!

If you are a person that does not organize your tasks or keep a task list on a sheet of paper but rather keep stickies everywhere, different notes on different sheets of paper or in your head – you are helping to create a task overwhelm situation.  The constant stress of where is that note?  Did I remember everything? Are questions that interrupt your daily progress and keep a sense of doubt you got everything and unrest in your day.  It also allows for “fires” to pop up and attract your attention and move you from what tasks you should be working on at the time to what was placed in front of you. (barring a tragic emergency, you should stay focused to the tasks you are working on – trust me that “fire” will be there in a few hours)

Tasks, take one and just DO IT!

The best plan of action to completing “pesky dreaded” tasks is to choose one and DO IT – if your task like phone calls do not depend on who is called first, pick up the phone and return a call and cross it off your list as soon as you hang up – then move to the next one.  Stop procrastinating to get these kinds of tasks done and be realistic knowing you will have another pile of them next week – that is OK these tasks are the maintenance items that will always be there to maintain your business.

Organize your tasks for not only efficiency but for sanity!!!

What is the best way to track your tasks, to-do’s, projects?  We suggest using a tickler file – not something online but something that can be held, written in and the best part – CROSS OFF on it!  We show you how to set up and use one on a past post – here TICKLER.  If you are a person that struggles with structure and fight being plotted in what to do when I can offer you the assurance this is more of a way of YOU taking and being in control not something that is meant to be a “chain and ball”. Really!  If you are a person that is running around putting out fires and do what ever tasks you can find the stickie for you are not in control of your business day or business life.  I would urge you to put together a Tickler File for your tasks and projects and see organization come into play.

Here at Wealth And Abundance Today – we are here for YOU the business owners. Using everything I have learned running a successful Virtual Assistant company, VA-A-GoGo, about where business owners have the most stumbling blocks, slow down in getting things done and working with programs we want to offer our help to you.  If you would like us to review your “process” or “lack of one” and make a couple suggestions we welcome you to contact us for an hour consultation on gratis :o)  Contact us we are here for you.


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