Last week I gave you a system to follow-up with potential clients in your business. Since sales is one of the most important part of your business, and perhaps the part you cringe at and skip (I’m watching!), the tracking system will help you follow-up in a non-intimidating way. I hope you’ve tested it by now, because reading about it isn’t enough.
This week, let’s talk productivity. You want to get things done (not just think or stress about getting things done), so here’s how you can reduce what’s on your plate to get producing.
It’s the #1 way to skyrocket your productivity by nixing what sucks your energy; unmet obligations, perfectionism and useless social events. It adds to your to-do list and makes it totally unfinishable. You’ll never get it all done (truly) so reduce your stress by removing as much of it as you can. That should give you relief – there will never be a time when ALL of it is done, so stop trying to get it all done. People tell me, “But I can’t. This is important. I need to finish it all.” No. You don’t need to. You make a CHOICE to focus on useless tasks instead of the things that move your needle forward.
Case in point. Last week, instead of writing to you, I answered emails and edited pictures of my speaking gigs. Why? I don’t know. But by Friday, I felt terrible because I didn’t do much to move forward in my business, aside from talking to my clients. Today, I haven’t touched email and in just 3 hours, I’ve pumped out 3 newsletters. Now I don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the month! I feel amazing and it’s only 12pm. Even if I do nothing else the rest of this week, I know I’ve already completed an important task: I’ve connected with you, shared solutions for your business/life, practiced writing & crushed my time management.
Don’t add things to your plate that you’re not 100% sure make a difference. If you’re not sure, say “No” and then decide what’s important. Start with “No” to everything that doesn’t DIRECTLY contribute to your HIGH IMPACT goals. My friend James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher’s book, “The Power of No” is a GREAT resource to help you learn how to say “No.” I’m reading it now and it’s partly what inspired me to write about this today.
The most successful people I know – real leaders in their field – say No 98% of the time. It’s their first answer. Almost every time I pitch Seth on something, he looks at me like “No. What the heck. What’s the long line goal of this?” If it doesn’t make the impact he wants, doesn’t feel generous, or isn’t fun to be a part of, the anwer is “No.” That way when we do do things together, we know they are definitely impactful and fun. Good strategy.
Lesson number two: Only Work on 1-2 High Impact Projects Per Week.
Ultimately you’ll graduate to 1-2 high impact projects per month, then year. But new entrepreneurs (even seasoned ones) need this reminder:
Take everything off of your plate except 1-2 high value projects per week to actually get them done. What are the two tasks that if completed this week, would make a difference to your business? Write your two goals in black Sharpie on an index card and then work only on those two projects for the entire week. Until they’re 100% complete. Write smaller tasks you want to get done on the back of the index card in pencil.
For instance, I have a live event coming up in November 2014. It’s my first event this year and the only thing I need to do this week is hire an event planner. That’s it. Hire the planner. Not finalize the venue, not think about catering, not pick the entertainment, not shop for a blazer. Some of these things may happen, but the ONE thing that MUST happen is to hire a planner. Once I do that, the planner will help me get all the rest of it done! It’s also the one thing that will relieve my mind. This week, interview three candidates, pick one. Fin.
Bring your team on board to complete your two projects and make it a priority. To the exclusion of all else if you have to. That sound intense? Success is about laser-like focus. The more you remove stuff that doesn’t matter to you and ONLY focus on what does, that’s when your results compound. That’s when people show up to your event. That’s when clients ask for you. That’s when people jump up to support you. When you’re all over the place, people don’t know how to show up in your life or business. When you focus only on what matters to you the most, that’s when you’ll bring the right revenue, people, and magic into your business.
So what are the TWO goals you need to accomplish this week? What will you remove off your plate so you can laser-in and complete those two goals like a champ? Let me know how you’ll make the impact you want this week – in a comment below.
No, no, no, no no. Remember it.