Have You Done Nothing For Your Business Today Like Me?

Today I had high hopes of accomplishing several things that were going to make a difference in my business.  I created my list of 3 things to do and was ready to roll.  I’d been away from my business for a few days due to a trip to the Emergency Room for my mother-in-law and a sporting event for one of my daughters.

I sat down at my computer and immediately started going through my email.  I checked out a couple of email offers, looked at a couple of blog posts…WHAT THE HECK WAS I DOING!  It was 1 1/2 hours later and I hadn’t touched my list of what I needed to get done for my business.  Now, I did have a lot of email, but come on….  And now I only had a half hour before a conference call started that I wanted to be on.  I had done it again…wasted a huge chunk of time moving myself no where closer to building my business.  

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve turned my good intentions of accomplishing business building activities into an email or facebook session.  Now, I tell myself that I was looking for business “opportunities” in my email or facebook.  Let’s call that what it is…Total And Complete CRAP!

Keep calmFeeling a lot discouraged and frustrated I logged in to my webinar with Kim Roach.   Kim is a very successful internet marketing and I’ve read her blog buzzblogger.com for awhile now.  I really enjoy her down to earth approach.   Kim’s topic for today’s webinar was Becoming an 80/20 Entrepreneur.  And one of the first things she says is “80% of your results come from 20% of your activities”.

Well I guarantee you that 20% of the activities does NOT include email and facebook.  Kim then goes on to say that most people never make it on the internet because the activities they spend their time on does not impact the bottom line.  Has Kim been watching over my shoulder all morning.  Those activities she just mentioned is exactly what I spent a chunk of my morning doing.

Kim goes on to say that focusing on the activities that impact your bottom line will require you to create different habits. 

So, I gave that some thought and here’s what my plan is now.  I’ll still write my list of things I want to accomplish each day but I will then look at those activities and ask myself “Which of these activities will impact my bottom line?”  And those are the activities I will do first.  At the end of the day when I’m a little tired and less focused is when I can check email and facebook.

Now if you say, “well Leslie, what happens if I am waiting for something in my email like an answer from a question I sent to support?”.  What I’d tell you to do is other bottom line impacting activities.  Then at the end of the day look for the answer on email or look through emails on your phone when you are out and about, away from your computer.  It is far too easy to say, I’ll just check email for this one thing and get sucked in for 30 minutes or longer.

Let me know how you are going to focus on accomplishing bottom line impacting activities for your business in the comments below.

If you want to get a cheat sheet from Kim Roach on Outsourcing for the Overworked Entrepreneur, check her out at Google +.

7 thoughts on “Have You Done Nothing For Your Business Today Like Me?

  1. Hi Leslie,

    I think your experience here is so true of many people, myself included. How often we sit down to do some work and, after a couple of hours of ‘working’ we find that we’ve actually done pretty much nothing!

    What Kim teaches about focusing on what directly impacts your bottom line is precisely what I’ve learned from Lee McIntyre and Alex Jeffreys. What I learned from Alex is to create a ‘to do’ list the night before, with only the most important of tasks listed at the top and then anything else listed at the bottom for when/if there’s time later in the day. By each task I assign myself a set time, so when it comes to working next day I actually start a timer and work ONLY on that given task until the timer beeps.

    For example, let’s say I want to do some work on a new product. I will assign, say, an hour to that task and set my timer for an hour. Once the hour is up I will take a break for a few minutes and reward myself, even if it’s something little like a glass of water or a walk around the garden. Then, I move on the the next task and again, stick to the timer.

    The other important thing I find is to ensure there are no distractions! So if the phone rings, hard luck. If someone knocks at my door, hard luck. I am WORKING! People wouldn’t just call you or turn up out of the blue and expect you to drop everything if you were out working elsewhere in a 9-5 job. So you should be expected to behave any differently just because you’re working from home. Of course there are exceptions, like if you’re expecting an important call or if there’s an emergency. But generally, your work time needs to be your own and uninterrupted. That includes switching off e-mail notifications, social media notifications, instant messaging, etc.

    Alex Jeffreys suggests you also complete a ‘daily did sheet’ each day that you use to chronicle what you actually did for that day. The idea is that at the end of each day you compare that with what was on your ‘to do’ sheet and see how productive you actually were.

    What I do is have one sheet with a section for ‘to do’ and a section for end of the day analysis. This helps me to see in which areas I could improve and then I make notes as to what I aim to do the following day based on my analysis.

    The biggest thing I need to work on right now is actually remembering to follow this process routinely! lol! But when I do it I notice a huge improvement in my productivity and, in turn, I feel much happier at the end of the day because I feel that I have accomplished what I set out to do.

    »Glenn«

    1. Thanks Glenn for sharing. It is enlightening to know that we all struggle with the same things no matter how much success we achieve.

      And I’m with you on remembering to follow the process 😉

  2. Hi Leslie,

    Good to be over at your blog, and that too to read such a lovely topic 🙂

    Yes, your post is a little similar to my recent one about time management and how we tend to waste so much of time doing things that are not on our priority list and let go of the ones we need to focus on.

    I agree, the social media networks are HUGE time wasters, and what Kim mentioned about the 80/20 rules is what really works, provided you really remain focused and get down to doing things the right way. I guess we all need a little push sometimes to get started.

    Thanks for sharing, and have a productive week ahead 🙂

    1. Social Media is a double edged sword. You can easily waste hours on them accomplishing nothing, but they can also be a huge influence on helping you build your audience. It is definitely a balancing act.

      Thanks Harleena for stopping by!

  3. Hi Leslie,

    Who hasn’t done this?

    I think we’re just hit with so much stuff that we’re suppose to be doing that eventually tie into the bottom line that we get lost in some of that and totally lose track of time.

    Now I’m by no means perfect so let me share that with you first. But, for the past four years or so I’ve been writing everything down that I need to do for the day and I check it off as I go through my day.

    I love social media and I love building relationships because that does definitely help my bottom line but I have to limit myself to those types of activities because you can find yourself lost in conversation without having accomplished your important tasks.

    Kim is right about doing what will bring in the income first and then as you have time do the rest. At the same time though, there are some tasks that shouldn’t be ignored. The good thing though is it doesn’t have to be that time consuming. Not if you stay focused on the end result.

    You’ll do fine, sounds like you have a plan and you’re learning from one of the best. Good luck with that Leslie and you’ll do awesome.

    ~Adrienne

    1. Adrienne,
      Thank you for your vote of confidence! When I create my list of to-dos for the day, things seem to take longer than I expect. Then my to-do list has a tendency to carry over a day or two.

      That used to bother me, but now I try to keep plugging away on my list until it is done.

      Social media does add a layer of complication. Not only taking up time, but trying to figure how to use it best to grow your business and your business relationships.

      Like everything…there’s the positive and the negative. It seems difficult to manage until you gain an understanding of how to use it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      LeslieZ

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