Archives for December 2012

7 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

You know the feeling. You’re sitting at your computer watching the cursor blink. You haven’t gotten a single thing done. You’ve worried about an important client project, all of the phone calls you need to return and made are making mental notes about the errands you need to run. You just can’t seem to stay focused long enough to complete any of the critical tasks in front of you.

Take a break and try these counterintuitive ways to get back on track and knock tasks off your to do list.

 

 

 

 

Read more about 7 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

Startling Statistics on How Multitasking is REALLY Hurting Your Business

Your scheduling system is open. Instant message programs are pinging. Your unread email count is rising. Your Internet browser has 8 tabs open. There are 5 documents open on your desktop. Your calendar alerts are popping up and you stop to send a quick text message to a friedn. Sound familiar? You probably think you’re being efficient, but you’re not. Multitasking is a big mistake and it’s hurting your productivity. Which in turn is hurting your profits.

Consider these startling statistics that highlight the negative effects of multitasking:

  • Multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity.  (Bergman, P. (2010, May 20). How (and why) to stop multitasking. Harvard Business Review.)
  • The estimated cost of interruptions to the American economy is nearly $650 billion a year. (Jonathan B. Spira, chief analyst at Basex, a business-research firm)
  • Multitasking causes a 10% drop in IQ. (Bergman, P. 2010, May 20. How (and why) to stop multitasking. Harvard Business Review.)

The scientific evidence against multitasking is overwhelming. Consider the evidence:

  • Studies show that the human brain can’t handle more than one task at a time. Even though we think we’re multitasking, our brains are actually switching rapidly between tasks. (The Myth of Multitasking. Scientific America. 2009, July.)
  • Only 2.5% of the population actually process tasks simultaneously. (James Watson of the University of Utah)
  • In a study of Microsoft employees, workers took, on average, 15 minutes to get back to intense mental tasks, like writing reports or computer code, after responding to e-mail or instant messages. (New York Times)
  • It actually takes more time to get things done when you try to multitask. People who are interrupted – and therefore have to switch their attention back and forth – take 50% longer to accomplish a task. (John Medina, Brain Rules)
  • Multitaskers make up to 50% more errors. (John Medina, Brain Rules)

Ready to give up on the myth of multitasking? Use these tips to overcome the urge to do two things at once and become truly efficient and productive.

Batch your tasks.

Try grouping like work together so you’re working within the same mode for blocks of time. Have specific times of day when you read and answer emails. Train your contacts not to expect instant answers to email. Let them know you check email at 10 am and 3 pm, for example. Stop answering the phone every time it rings. Instead, schedule phone calls so you aren’t interrupted.

Prioritize your to do list.

Track your energy throughout the day to find the times when you have the most energy. Schedule the tasks that require “heavy lifting” at the times when you are at your peak. Try alternating tasks that take a lot of focus with tasks that are less intense.

Delegate

You don’t have to do it all on your own. Delegate tasks to specific staff members. Encourage them to document the steps they take so you have a written process in place that anyone can follow. Be proactive about looking for  where time and effort is being wasted. Tackle one issue at a time and assign your Receptionist the job of developing an operations manual that outlines company policies for all team members.

There was a period of time when job descriptions claimed that multitasking was a must. Current research proves that thinking wrong. Multitasking hurts your productivity, causes you to be inefficient and make more mistakes. Do yourself a favor and focus on one project at a time. Batch tasks to help you stay focused. Prioritize and delegate to streamline your to-do list. Become the productive and efficient business owner you want to be. You’ll be more confident, more focused, more profitable and more successful in your business.

Get the Facts: How Multitasking Is Hurting Your Business

Skype is open. Instant message programs are pinging. Your unread email count is rising. Your browser has 8 tabs open. There are 5 documents open on your desktop. Your calendar alerts are popping up and you stop to send a quick text. Sound familiar? You probably think you’re being efficient, but you’re not. Multitasking is a big mistake and it’s hurting your productivity. Which in turn is hurting your profits.

Consider these startling statistics that highlight the negative effects of multitasking:

  • Multitasking leads to as much as a 40% drop in productivity.  (Bergman, P. (2010, May 20). How (and why) to stop multitasking. Harvard Business Review.)
  • The estimated cost of interruptions to the American economy is nearly $650 billion a year. (Jonathan B. Spira, chief analyst at Basex, a business-research firm)
  • Multitasking causes a 10% drop in IQ. (Bergman, P. 2010, May 20. How (and why) to stop multitasking. Harvard Business Review.)

The scientific evidence against multitasking is overwhelming. Consider the evidence: Read more about Get the Facts: How Multitasking Is Hurting Your Business

5 Easy Steps to Ending Your Procrastinating Habits for Good

Procrastination and distraction instantly derail your efforts to grow your spa or salon business and achieve your goals. Follow these five steps to banish distraction and work more efficiently:

Step 1 – Get honest with yourself.

This step is hard for most busy entrepreneurs. It can be difficult to admit that you’re not focused – but it’s essential to get real about the situation. This isn’t about judging yourself or beating yourself up. Your goal is to be more efficient and more productive, so take a deep breath and ask, “Where am I procrastinating or getting distracted?”

Make a list of the projects you seem to avoid. Pause and notice when you feel the urge to goof off on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other diversions. Notice what you are working on when you get distracted. In contrast, think about what you are working on when you get in the flow. When does time seem to fly by? You can use this evaluation to become more aware of your work habits.       [Read more…]

13 Small Business Tools to Help Eliminate Procrastination and Distraction

get to work!Researching tools can be a form of procrastination, so I’ve pulled together a list of the top tools to help you banish distraction. Whether you’re working on your business, working for clients or just want some uninterrupted time, you can use these online and desktop tools to eliminate time wasters and help you stay focused.

1. Tools to improve your focus.

FREE Tool – A simple way to develop your marketing checklist for 2013

To help you prepare for our upcoming training on how to reconfigure what you already have going on in your business to create what you really want, I put together a simple tool for you.

This worksheet will help you do a simple analysis of your business activity for the last 12 months so you can clarify your goals for the upcoming year.

Get your copy

Take a few moments to jot down your thoughts before your day gets too busy.

Also, keep in mind that Early bird pricing ends MONDAY, December 10th for “reCalibrate Your Business”

I know you’ve been meaning to register so don’t miss this chance to save $50.

www.reCalibrateYourBusiness.com

Enjoy your Saturday!

Your partner in success,
Sydni

5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procrastination

Procrastination and distraction instantly derail your efforts to grow your business and achieve your goals. Follow these five steps to banish distraction and work more efficiently:

Step 1 – Get honest with yourself.

distracted while workingThis step is hard for most people. It can be difficult to admit that you’re not focused – but it’s essential to get real about the situation. This isn’t about judging yourself or beating yourself up. Your goal is to be more efficient and more productive, so take a deep breath and ask, “Where am I procrastinating or getting distracted?”

Make a list of the projects you seem to avoid. Pause and notice when you feel the urge to goof off on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other diversions. Notice what you are working on when you get distracted. In contrast, think about what you are working on when you get in the flow. When does time seem to fly by? You can use this evaluation to become more aware of your work habits.      Read more about 5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procastination

How to Know EXACTLY What to Do to Grow Your Business

Go to www.reCalibrateYourBusiness.com for access to my “paint by numbers” system for creating a simple checklist to achieve your goals.

How to Set Specific Marketing Goals for Your Business

Want to see increase the revenue at your spa or salon? You’ve got to set goals and take consistent action in working towards them!

This may sound simplistic, but setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is key to making progress no matter what type of success you want to see. (S.M.A.R.T.  stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely). If you skip this step, you don’t have a way to organize your efforts, get your staff on board or track your success. Use these tips to set specific, measurable goals for marketing your spa or salon business.

You don’t have to do everything at once.

Obviously there are a LOT of different ways you can go about marketing your business. The options online and offline are limitless. For example, using social media alone presents dozens of opportunities for marketing your products and services. It’s easy to get pulled in multiple directions and not accomplish anything. When you look over all of your options, remind yourself that you don’t have to do it all right now. (Pinterest and Instagram will still be there next month. 🙂

Pick one or two marketing activities and create your plan.

In order to get focused with your spa or salon marketing efforts, narrow down your options to one or two strategies and focus on those. You’ll get better, faster results if consistently execute these instead of spreading yourself too thin.  If you decide you have the resources to pursue only two marketing activities, choose one online and one offline activity.

Plan to work on those activities exclusively for the next 60-90 days. You’ve got to give the strategy time to work for you. At the beginning of the month plan out which actions you will take each day to market your business. (No, that’s not a typo.) For example, if your focus for the quarter is on a social media activity, print out a calendar and decide which tweets or updates you will post. Plan out the actions you will take to add to your followers or your fan base. Choose the offers you will make to your followers and fans.

When you create your calendar, keep in mind that you can use online tools like Hootsuite, Gremln or Buffer to schedule your updates. Plan your calendar with your sales goals top of mind, not how much time you have. Use the tool of your choice to schedule updates in advance.

Do some research before you decide on an offline goal. Many offline marketing activities will require you (or a staff member) to be present. Make sure you are able to be show up consistently and that the activities make sense for the time of year. For example, if you want to increase the number of bridal parties you serve in the Summer; plan to go to bridal shows in the winter months.

Narrow your focus to the marketing activities in your plan.

Do the activities you decided on full out! Give them your all and really work to make them a success. Dedicate specific blocks of time on your calendar to work the next step of your marketing plan. Don’t get distracted by the latest social media site or new idea. It will be there when you outline your next 30-90 day plan. If you stay focused, you’ll be more likely to follow through and see results.

Create a measurable outcome.

Your outcome should be tied directly into your business goals. A goal of attending six bridal shows doesn’t go far enough. What do you expect to happen from those shows? Perhaps your goal might be to book one wedding party from each of the shows you attend. Or  maybe you have a goal to generate $10,000 in new business from attending bridal shows. At the end of your 30-90 day plan, look back over your results. What worked? What didn’t? Use that information to draft your next 30-90 day plan based on what you’ve learned.

Marketing success doesn’t have to be elusive. Once you set a goal and make a plan, it is in your grasp! Don’t spread yourself thin by trying to do everything at once. Focused effort will always succeed over scattered energies.