We’re rapidly approaching the halfway point of the year and if you’re anything like me, you can’t help but reflect on where the time has gone. Well, this June marks a very momentous occasion as Hannah and I are soon to be celebrating the 1st birthday of our beautiful daughter, Maple.
Whilst personally, I try to focus on the ‘now’ in life, nothing makes you more aware of passing time than seeing a little girl blossom and grow right in front of your very eyes. It’s incredible how quickly they pick up new skills, new ways of moving, new facial expressions, new words and sounds and all sorts of wonderful things along the way.
Whilst I’ve been incredibly fortunate to witness so many of her ‘milestone’ achievements, it’s not until I flick back through the thousands (I know, I’m not even exaggerating) of photos on my phone that I can truly appreciate just how far she’s come in her first year.
The same is true in business. I can’t remember where the quote came from, but “most people dramatically overestimate what they can get done in a day, but massively underestimate what they can achieve in a year”.
Think about that for a moment. What have you completed in your business over the last year? Do you have a plan which you are strategically chipping away at to develop and strengthen your business? Or have you just been buried in the day-to-day grind of operating your business? Are you happy with how things have gone?
I have a sign in my office at Go Websites which says ‘Speed Kills’. Whilst this was originally intended as a stark warning for motorists, I feel it’s extremely relevant to the mindset of successful business owners too. Start to think about instances when time or speed could have an impact on your performance.
For example, how quickly you answer the phone, how quickly you get a quote back to your prospect, how quickly you deliver your service, how quickly it takes the customer to get results, how fast you can launch your new marketing campaign, how fast your website loads on all devices, how quickly you can get your to-do list done, how quickly you can enter into a new market, the list goes on.
There are obviously many ways in which you can maximise what you are able to achieve in your business, but here are five things that I’ve found to be very helpful over the years.
1. Make sure you have a plan
Nothing sums up success like Earl Nightingale’s quote “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal”. This means you know exactly where you are going and are actively walking along that path each and every day. Whatever your reason for wanting a successful business, if the reason is strong enough, the plan is clear enough and you’re disciplined enough to review the plan regularly, you’ll soon find yourself well on the way.
2. Create a productive environment
If you’re right at the heart of every single operation in your business, then your days are no doubt filled with general day-to-day tasks or worse, firefighting duties. Creating a productive environment could include anything from developing systems to allow tasks to be confidently delegated or at least distancing yourself from all distractions for an allocated amount of time each day or week.
3. Good enough is good enough
One of the biggest prohibitors of success is perfectionism. Not having the confidence to know when things are good enough to launch. Whether it’s a new product range, pricing structure, referral system, website, an event, video, blog, etc, one of the biggest things that holds people back is knowing when ‘good enough’ will do. It’s way more effective to release something you are 95% happy with quickly, rather than holding out until it’s ‘perfect’ and never get around to finishing it or missing the boat altogether. You can always improve it later, and who knows, it might just be ‘good enough’ as it is.
4. Deadlines get stuff done
This one’s a simple one, but don’t underestimate how effective it is. If you’ve promised a customer that something will be completed by an agreed time, you’ll no doubt appreciate, you do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. However, when it comes to the important ‘business growing’ stuff that will allow you to achieve your goals, there’s nobody holding you to account. Nobody except yourself. If you really can’t stick to your own deadlines, try making them public to your family, friends, staff or customers and see if that helps.
5. You choose how you spend your time
We’re all busy. Nobody seems to have a spare minute in the day. Whilst this might well be true, it’s also true that you are in complete control of where you spend each minute of your working day. Think about what you’ve done in the last week, is it possible that some of those tasks could have been delegated, freeing up more of your time? Whilst you might not have much control over what you are doing today, tomorrow or even next week, if you are committed, then I’m sure you can take control over the coming weeks, months and years.
The most important thing to remember is that time passes, regardless of whether you are actively working on your goals or not, so why not take a few minutes to review your ‘why’ and check to make sure you’re still on track.
What can you get done in a year if you put your mind to it? Contact us for a discussion on how we can help increase your productivity. It could make all the difference!