Replace One Bad Habit With a Good One
Becoming highly productive requires the elimination of habits which are not highly productive. The installation of good habits is required to fill the void.
Bad habits are like weeds. They grow strong and they grow fast. You barely notice them and before you know it, they’re causing trouble in your lawn or garden. They have really strong roots too. Think of a dandelion. You try to pull it out of the ground but to get the entire root out requires a lot more effort the just tugging the top.
Energy? Yes. Will power is driven by energy. Willpower is necessary for focused attention and especially to create new habits. It’s a very interesting subject. The subject of books, not short articles (though I hope this article helps), and the study of it is powerfully enlightening.
Will power comes in limited supply. We only get a little bit every day. It gets used up in short bursts and after that, the vacuum left in its place is fertile ground for weeds. Touch a button and you’re checking email. Touch a button and you’re checking Facebook. Open the fridge, reach for a smoke…it’s hard to break this habit cycle!
As business owners (and this is true for high-level executives), it’s uncommon to get in more than a couple of hours of truly productive work. What is “productive work?” Productive work is the focused attention and action which produces the highest-value. What is “highest value”? Highest value is determined by the results your work will produce now and in the future. To be truly productive requires focused attention on your highest-value tasks for a concentrated period of time and then a period of recovery.
Studies have shown, most people are limited to about one hour of focused attention at a time before their ability to remain focused begins to fade. A break of about 20 minutes, including water and a healthy snack, delivers the necessary recovery for the next hour. 2 of these sessions in the morning and 2 in the afternoon will give you 4 highly productive hours in the day. Do this, and you will still have a couple of good hours to spend in “reactive mode” such as responding to emails, returning phone calls and attending to the minutia on your to-do list.
One thing can make all the difference. What is it? Here’s a list of ideas:
When you invest time into your day in this manner, you’ll know you’re being productive. You’ll know the new you is more productive than 90% of other people. You’ll feel less worked, less stressed and you’ll be invested in your business or career at a much deeper level.
Tip #1: Set a timer to for your 1-hour segments. Your cell phone probably has a built-in timer. If you don’t, the hour will spill into longer periods. Even though it may feel easy for you to blow right through the first hour and keep going, it’s vital to stop and take a the renewal break. This serves more than just the renewal. It also trains your brain to execute at a higher level so your 1-hour’s worth of work gets finished faster and better.
Tip #2: Start your day early. Get the blood and body moving. Get some oxygen flowing through your lungs and brain. Drink water. If you must eat, keep it light. Get 2 sessions in before noon.
Tip #3: Keep the momentum going by having a nutritious lunch. Keep it as light as possible. You want to avoid afternoon-crash syndrome which is generally attributable to a heavy lunch. Don’t even open your email until this time of the day. Be vigilant with your time here and make sure you have your next planned hour of focused productivity scheduled for a specific time and stick with it.
Studies have shown most people accomplish less than 2 hours of productive work per 8 hour day. Imagine the difference focusing on 4 hours on highly productive work for you. Do it for yourself and then help your employees implement this strategy for themselves. Imagine the difference it could make in your business and your life.
A website and a couple social media accounts make up only a fraction of your online presence. One of the most important online marketing strategies, especially for small businesses which serve a specific geographical area is spreading your business information everywhere possible. I call it:
This video explains more.
Think of having your business or professional profile and advertisements in dozens print publications. What would an ad all the most important and relevant magazines, newspapers and trade publications mean to you and your business? What if there were billboards with a photo of you or your company logo and phone number on the major roadways around town?
Thanks to the power of the web, you and your business can show up on dozens of highly visited websites, search engines and directories, pretty much for free. Doing so may not be quite as powerful has having ads in dozens of magazines, newspapers and on roadside billboards, however, it’s still very effective.
The Magic of a Good Online Presence Happens When People Find You Who Don’t Already Know You Exist
Google, Yahoo, Bing, all the social media platforms and dozens of other directories give us places where we can describe our business with words, pictures and details which all matter to people when they’re looking for a business like yours. Just about all the details about your business which exist on these sites is aggregated and delivered to people when they’re looking for a business or services like ours.
If you have been in business for more than a year, it’s probable you have already made it onto a number of online directories. However, it’s really important to be proactive and modify the information, enter your website address, check all details for accuracy, add images, and descriptive detail and generally take advantage of all the resources each of these directories allows.
There could be dozens more places you COULD be listed online with rich descriptive information about your business but you’re not. Use this FREE tool to find out where you could benefit by having a stronger online presence http://www.mazermarketing.com/local-business-search/
This Works for All Kinds of Businesses, Home Based, Services Businesses, Coaches, Advisers, Consultants, Realtors, Everyone
I have been using this method as the cornerstone of my efforts in improving the visibility to my business and my clients’ businesses for many years. It’s fundamental to marketing a local business (one which serves a specific region as opposed to a national company).
This is a core concept shared in The Business Owner’s Guide to Marketing Online book and seminar. Learn more, click here.
For help on this subject, contact Andrew Mazer by sending an email directly to [email protected]
Running the Business with Your Fingertips
The most successful business executives and owners understand that even the best athletes, as an
example, recognize the need for “outside” objective coaching and mentoring. You can remain at the top of your game without growing.
Your response is “OK maybe I do but it’s not because I want to. You don’t really think I’d be doing this if I didn’t have to, do you?” The quick answer is “Yes I do, because you don’t have to!”
I’m betting you believe you’re already doing everything you’re supposed to do and you’re still fighting the daily fight to keep revenue and profits up, deal with disgruntled employees and a laundry list of other problems. Being at the top isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Most of us get caught up in the “Tribulations of Operations”.
When you’re driving, you continually make small adjustments to your steering while looking ahead down the road. How far do you think you’d get before hitting something if you were focused on only the first ten feet in front of the car? Yet that’s the trap we fall into. We focus on the wrong, and I’ll use a technical term here, “stuff”!
How many times have you heard “Learn to work ON your business and not just IN your business?” You’re response is, “Yeah, sure I’d like to do that but I don’t have the time. You don’t understand how much I have to do and how tough times are right now.”
Have you enough guts to take the step of putting aside your ego along with the list of reasons why you can’t, and admit that maybe you’re not doing things as well as you should or are not as effective a leader as you could be? AND, get this, THERE’S NO FAULT HERE!. It’s not about blame. IT IS, however, about accepting responsibility.
Listen, ain’t nobody that does it right all the time. No one’s perfect and I’m pretty sure there’s never been an exec, that’s never made a mistake. So own it and deal with it. When you do, you’ll gain a sense of renewal and energy and be ready to accept objective input. That’s when you begin to grow again and to view the future with renewed excitement. When that occurs, care to venture a guess on what happens to the organization.
An important tip is to be sharp enough to be aware of the signs of complacency or mediocrity in ourselves and businesses. Unfortunately, that isn’t something any of us are any good at, but that’s where a professional consultant can provide perspective. When we master that we keep incidents from maturing into problems.
Another trick is learning to understand what the real problem is. Suffice it to say that the “problem” is rarely the problem. It’s a symptom of the problem. Digging down to expose the real culprit is the only way to develop an actual solution that will work.
Real success isn’t reaching the top, it’s continuing to learn, plan and execute. If you think you’ve reached the top, you’d better keep an eye out for those about to pass you on the ladder.
There are many business tips, tricks and techniques a truly experienced business consultant can assist you with to adjust and realign the ‘Spine” of your business or organization.
This is how to begin the process of making small adjustments to stay on course, stop wrestling with our business and “Run the Business with Our Finger Tips”.
An unknown sage wrote: “There is no elevator to success, you have to take the steps.”
Are you ready to take the steps?
This post contributed by Dan Ceglia of Strategic Business Management Group. Dan’s bio and resume are far too interesting to abbreviate. I encourage anyone to read it. It’s truly remarkable. Click here to read it. Dan is a regular attendee at Small Business University events. Join us sometime!