How To Have Your Most Productive Day
Have you ever asked yourself, “How am I possibly going to get everything done today?” Or maybe
you’ve said to yourself, “Man, I was running around all day, but what did I really accomplish?” As an
entrepreneur you will often find yourself asking how will I get everything done? Here’s a secret…You
won’t. But what if you could get all of your most important items done every day?
As an entrepreneur and leader, you will frequently find that you have more things to do than you could possibly get done in one day… So, stop thinking about how much you can get done and start focusing on getting all of the most important things done. We have all heard of the 80/20 rule and, therefore, we all know that 80% of our business comes from 20% of our activities; let’s stop focusing on having a super busy day and start focusing on having a super productive day.
Okay, so, you may be thinking, “Sounds great… how do I do that?” First of all, you have to make your key activities or key business drivers the focus of your day. Ask yourself what tasks can I complete today that are going to produce results such as leads or sales? This must be done at the very beginning of your day. Why is doing this at the beginning of your day so important? Because we both know that as you go throughout your day, you will get busy! You will have employees and customers pulling at your attention so that you can help them with the tasks they need help with in that moment. Do they deserve your attention? Absolutely. But keep in mind that if you don’t focus on your key business drivers, then you won’t have the best business, or any business at all, to serve your employees and customers.
At the beginning of each day, before you call any clients, before you unlock the door, and even before you check your email, take a few minutes to list out the top 5 things that you can action on that day, that will have to biggest impact on your business. Anyone can get 5 things done in a day, but the people who consistently get the 5 most important things done in a day will find themselves and their business moving forward at the fastest pace. What these specific things are can vary wildly from one business to another, but try asking yourself things like:
In my business, where do I get the greatest return on investment for my time?
What specific things are the biggest roadblocks to the growth of my business?
What tasks can only I accomplish that are holding up my employees from doing their jobs?
As you reflect on these things, try to focus on the few things that you can action on that day that will have the greatest impact on the prosperity of your business. Have you ever caught yourself working for hours on a marketing piece to make it perfect, when you know that what your business really needs is funding from a private lender? Have you ever been pulled in so many directions in a day that you feel exhausted, but you also feel like you didn’t really accomplish anything? Don’t feel bad, its happened to all of us. To avoid this, I would encourage you to ask yourself: Is what I’m doing right now the best thing I could be doing to serve my employees, my customers, and my business?
Before you get distracted or pulled in a different direction ask yourself: What are the 5 most important things that I can do today for my business? Once you have clearly identified these action items, block out time each day to get those things done. This will allow you to stay on track throughout the day even as the day unfolds and pushes and pulls on your schedule. Unless there is an emergency, like the building catches on fire, commit to getting those things done in front of everything else. You will find that if you commit and begin accomplishing your most important tasks, your true productivity will increase, and you will realize that maybe those other 27 things aren’t quite as important as you thought. If you are thinking, “But my employees need me to be there to help them and offer guidance,” then great, and of course you want to be there as a resource for them. After all, they are working hard to help your grow your business! But, trust me, 9 times out of 10 if an employee reaches out to you and asks, “Hey, can you help me with this?” If you respond with, “Sure, but can we do it at 1pm?” They will say “Sure, no problem!” and you will be able to complete the key activity that you are working on and then help them with their issue.
You want to help everyone and be the best resource you can for your customers and employees, but you have to remember that you cannot help your customers or employees if your business is not successful. You are the leader of your company and you have to set the example of trying to make the biggest impact each day by taking action on the most important issues.
So, make it a point to start everyday with finding the things that will be most impactful for your business and committing to yourself to getting those things done. Those activities will make you extremely productive and propel your business forward. This will also set the example for your employees to focus on their key production drivers as well. Judge each day by impact and not by action and you will consistently have your most productive day.
This is a Guest Post by Nick Disney, Owner of Sell My San Antonio House