I’ve been listening to the Nancy Gaines Show podcast. In fact I was recently interviewed on her show, and I have to say, I’m hooked! And now I am honored to turn over this week’s blog to Nancy for her awesome productivity tips:
Hey there SAO Community!
My name is Nancy Gaines, CEO and Founder of Gain Advantages Inc. Ross has handed over the reins to me this week so I can share my favorite productivity tips for small business owners — and to give Ross a little writing break.
My passion is compressing the time it takes for entrepreneurs to get profitable because ‘slow and inefficient’ drives me nuts! As small business owners, entrepreneurs and new investors, I know you have plenty on your plate and it can feel like a juggling act.
Before I get into my favorite productivity tips, here’s a bit about me:
I have been advising small businesses and Fortune 100 companies on how to increase revenues through proven systems for almost two decades. I am a best-selling author, international keynote speaker, and have been quoted in Forbes and Fast Company. I have been named in the Top 100 Productivity Experts to follow on Twitter and have a global podcast downloaded in over 85 countries.
More about me can be found on my website: www.NancyGaines.com
I know you’re going to like these productivity tips because they are what worked for me and what continues to work for my clients. Enjoy!
1. Create A Priority List
A priority list should not be confused with a to-do list. A to-do list can go on for centuries and can include things like picking up your dry cleaning or taking the dog to the vet.
A Priority List is anything that makes you money, saves you money, or systemizes your processes so you can save time.
What are the most important tasks that need to be accomplished in order to achieve ‘X’?
What do you need to prioritize so that someone else can do their part?
Which task or tasks are most important to your bottom line?
Those are the things that go on your Priority List.
2. Limit Your Priority List
As a small business owner, you probably have at least 30 items on your to-do list. Maybe more! And it never seems to get shorter, does it?
Your priority list should be much, much shorter. Think of 9 items to add to your list and then Delegate 3, Do 3 and Delete 3. Why delete? Those are the least important items that can wait until another day, or perhaps don’t even have to be done at all.
Keeping your list to 3 priorities allows you to stay laser focused – and actually get them done.
3. Theme Your Day
Also known as chunking, this means you group and complete ‘like tasks’ together.
For example, Mondays are for writing, Tuesdays and Thursdays are for networking and clients, Wednesdays are for marketing, and so on.
By doing similar activities in chunks of time, you eliminate ‘switching loss’. This is the time your brain takes to readjust to a new task – and it’s non-productive time. Switching loss due to multitasking (and commuting drive time) can add up to hours in the course of a week.
Choose a pattern and schedule that works for you. Try theming one day at a time, test it out for a week or two, and then try adding another themed day. Don’t make an overly ambitious schedule if you know you won’t be able to commit. You might consider half day themes if that’s more feasible with your schedule.
4. Work In 50/10 Minute Sprints
This can be one of the hardest things for people to do: work for 50 minutes, then take a mandatory break even if you are in the zone.
I know it can seem counterintuitive to take a break when you’re getting so much done. But I promise it will recharge your battery and keep you going even longer than a marathon sprint. Slow and steady wins the race!
5. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Delegating is the biggest productivity tip I give to small business owners. It frees up your time to let you focus on impactful activities that move your company forward — the things only you can do. It requires you to let go of some control and put your trust in others, but that’s why you hire a team. So, use them!
If you’re not sure what to delegate, think of it like this: everything below your hourly rate should be delegated. And of course, things you just don’t like to do.
I hope these short, but effective tips will help you all work more efficiently, get more done, and gain the success you’re looking for! If you loved this article and want more, download my free guide, Top 5 Systems that Create Massive Productivity in Your Business.
Ross and the rest of the SAO team, thanks for letting me take over this week!
Thanks again, Nancy! We know these tips will benefit anyone, in addition to small business owners!
Congratulations! You will now free up some time to think about your own future! You can learn about gaining wealth through education and the path to financial freedom. Contact us to find out more.