It’s something I’ve heard time and time again from business owners.
“I don’t have time to market my business”
This always perplexes me because what it really means is “I don’t have time to make money and build a profitable business”. There is always time for income-generating activities like marketing, it’s just a matter of what you choose to spend your time on. Many people are busy for the sake of being busy but aren’t actually getting anything done. Do you really know what you’re doing all day? It’s so easy to go into autopilot mode and ignore how we are spending our time, but I promise if you write down how you spend your time for just a week you’ll find that you’re actually wasting a lot of it.
Time is the great equaliser in life. It doesn’t matter if you’re Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey or Barack Obama, we all get the same 24 hours. Time is our most precious and important asset because we can’t get more of it. The 3 people I just mentioned all manage to be incredibly productive, and still make time for themselves, their friends and their family. Successful people are strategic about how they spend their time and there are some easy things that you can do to be more aware about how you spend your time and stop spending it on things that don’t matter.
Batching is simply grouping similar tasks together so that you can use momentum to get through all of them. I do this with writing and it makes it a lot easier. If I had to come up with an article the day before it was supposed to be posted, I would struggle. Instead, I set aside a few hours to write and schedule all of my posts for the month and then I don’t have to worry about it for an entire month. Often times the hardest part of a task is getting started and batching allows you to avoid that hurdle. Batching can also be applied to things like client meetings, phone calls, accounting, etc.
Plan your day
Every weekend I put my batching sessions into Google Calendar along with other specific things I want to get done during the next week. Making an appointment with yourself makes it much more likely that you will actually do the task and Google Calendar reminds me which is very helpful for staying focused.
Embrace Free Tools
Most things that are done manually can be improved by using tools. I recently wrote a post about free online tools that I use in my business that make my life easier. I post to Twitter 2-3 times per day but I don’t actually go into Twitter and do that manually, that would be a distraction 2-3 times everyday. Instead, I use Buffer and I’ve made it a habit to set up my tweets at least 24 hours in advance. Of course you can’t automate interaction and I spend time everyday interacting with people on Twitter, but by reducing the amount of times I have to physically go to Twitter everyday, I reduce my chances of being distracted from what I’m doing. Another tool I use to automate small tasks is IFTTT (If This, Then That).
Outsource the things you hate and put off
If you hate doing your bookkeeping and put it off until it becomes a massive burden, just delegate it to someone who enjoys it. Instead of wasting your time doing this task, you can delegate it to a bookkeeper for a very reasonable cost. This frees up your time to generate more business which is what really matters. People look at the most successful people in the world and see that they don’t spend their time doing tasks they hate but they assume this is a perk of being successful. In actuality, this is how you become successful. By building a team and training them properly you can essentially clone yourself. There are some things that only you can do, but most things can be done by someone who is particularly good at that specific task. You don’t need to and can’t do everything yourself. Take some time and look through sites like Odesk and Hire My Mom to find out what sorts of tasks other people are delegating.
Finding your best time of day
Are you working a standard 8 hour work day just for the sake of working? I get most of my work done with a few hours of focused productivity everyday and I do this by working at times that suit my body. If you’re a night person and think best in the evening, why are you forcing yourself to struggle through things at 9am? I had a rough idea of when I work best, but I spent a week heatmapping my productivity and found that there was a definite pattern. I can accomplish more between 4pm-7pm than I can between 9am-3pm. It takes me a lot longer to do things if I do them outside of my most productive times so I structure my day around those times. Most of us aren’t working on an hourly rate, but many of us work as if we do.
Laziness can be your friend
Being efficient is really just the same a being lazy and it’s a very sensible thing to do. If you can find a faster and easier way to do something, why wouldn’t you?
Whether something is lazy or efficient/convenient is all in perspective. You could argue that many of the conveniences we have today were born out of laziness. I know people in the UK who think that drive thru banks in America are lazy, but they provide a much faster way to get the task done. Take the time to ask yourself if there is an easier way to do something. If you don’t know the answer, spend 10 minutes searching for a more productive and efficient way to do the task.
“I don’t have time to market my business” really means I don’t want to or I don’t know how to make the time. I’ve just shared with you how to make the time so that’s one excuse you can’t use anymore. I certainly hope you want to market your business because that’s how you get customers but of course this can be tough when you don’t know how to do it well. I will be solving that for you soon in the form of a very awesome interactive course that will get you out of feast of famine mode for good. This course will give you everything you need to market consistently and effectively which means more clients and money for you. Get on the VIP list to be the first to learn more about this course and get a recording of my recent webinar by clicking here.