How To Work Less To Get More…
…How does that work? Well, I’m going to explain all in just a moment. Basically this episode introduces you to the first step in my think big approach, which is all about creating a balance in your life.
So anybody who wants to have more of a balance with their life and their business and get to a healthy position – this is for you. Since going all-in working for myself, I’ve been balancing family and business. It’s the motivation for how all this started. I wanted to be around for my kids, but obviously, as you can appreciate, there is a constant struggle.
The guilt, the constant prioritizing I haven’t gotten a position of balance or thereabouts, it’s taken a lot of mistakes & adjustments in all areas to get closer to what I’m aiming at. And am I there yet at this moment in time? I am just about there.
Is it likely to stay there? Definitely not.
Businesses evolve, everything is always changing.
I don’t sit still. I’m always pushing for more and so things always need tweaking and adjusting to support that. That’s not necessarily everybody. I’ve worked with so many people who want to create a balance in their lives between their work and their other commitments, their other passions, they want freedom.
And so in a recent poll I did on LinkedIn, the vast majority of people starting their own business did it for freedom. For the freedom that it provides or they hoped it would provide. And when I contacted these same people, very few of them had actually managed to experience the freedom they were looking for.
You wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there were consistent reasons why they didn’t achieve freedom
But these things can be different. I know this because I have helped people achieve their version of freedom in their business, and I want to help set you off on that road too, so today I’m going to introduce you to my first step in creating a business that works for you. Be that one that where you work for only five days a week, or maybe one where you work for three days, the key thing is it’s a business on your terms. So, what are we going to do?
Well, that first step is around assessing where you are and where your time goes now.
And the thing here is to be totally honest with yourself, because what I want you to do for the next week is I want you to keep a record of what you do and where your time was invested.
Now, if you aren’t accurate with this, if you don’t admit to yourself the times when you’re slinking off early to go and do something that isn’t work orientated. If you’re not honest with yourself about that, then it won’t be a clear indication. And what we’re after here is a clear indication of what is going on with the business, how much time you are spending on your business.
And therefore that way we can start to determine where we can pull back and get that time back. If you are only spending half the time you think in your business, then that is absolutely fine. It’s just being aware of it. We’re knowing where we’re starting off, so we know what we’ve got to build on.
You’ve got two options for tracking that time.
For understanding where your time and investment is going, you can do that by the hour. This is my preference. You will set an alarm jot down when that alarm goes off. What you’ve done since the last alarm, and then you’d crack straight back on with what you’re doing.
There of course isn’t interference here. Yes it’s going to get in the way it’s going to uh Your train of thought, but the idea is it’s doing it briefly and it’s having minimal impact as much as you can. And if you are doing something, which is really, really focused, then obviously you could turn off that and just record the time.
You could use something like recording software. We use everhour, there are other ones available to do this. However you want to do it, but I would like to be able to determine with accuracy, what have you been doing hour by hour. If that just seems too much, and that won’t be sustainable for a whole week for you, it’s not an option, then by thirds of a day.
So basically splitting your day into three: morning, afternoon, and evening and recording what you’re doing at each of those sections.
Now, if there’s a period of time, if you’re already super disciplined and you never work into the evenings, then there’s no need to track it. You know that you’re doing extracurricular stuff of an evening, which is away from work.
However, if it all starts to get mingled, if you’re checking social media, checking your emails, before you go to bed, then be honest with yourself and just do the whole tracking. Okay. So you can understand of an evening, I actually spend two-thirds of it doing what I want and a third of it doing work.
Why are we doing this? Well, if you’re anything like me, I always want to know what the point is in this. Especially if I’ve got to invest time and effort. Well, it’s about determining the time that you are spending working and when you are working, what are you working on? The consistent theme of activities that take up your time, and there will be themes.
Until we know what we’re dealing with and how we going to get more structured and start saving time, we have to be able to identify areas where we can make that saving. If we’re not able to, to know what we’re dealing with, then how are we going to be able to identify those areas? How are we going to be able to make that saving? We’re going to be stabbing around in the dark and potentially taking time off you that you don’t have or allocating in areas that aren’t.
What do you do once you’ve planned your time?
So then what? Once you’ve got that information, when you’ve got that data, what do you do? Well, I would like ideally a week less if you have to or less, if you just want to get cracking and, but it gives you a really good indication – a week because everyone’s like,
“well that wasn’t a normal day. This wasn’t a normal day”.
And then it turns out that actually, you don’t have any normal days. But then what? Well, we go through, we look at those themes. Okay. You’re likely to have admin, client delivery, accounting, social media, and organic marketing, sales, emails, et cetera, that you are doing. You’re creating, you’re responding to.
Identifying the themes in your work day
So we are going to look at what those themes are. So one way of doing that is to go through and highlight with different colors the different activities based on, so have a little bit of a key you know, or social media, organic marketing is one, emails is another, delivery is another, and you just go through and you just highlight that activity so you know which one is fitting into.
What are you doing that you have to do? Basically what you have to do in your business is the bit that you add value to the bit that your customers care about, the bit that nobody else can do. This might be a task because you currently don’t don’t have anybody else to do it.
Or nobody else knows how to do it, but actually, is it adding value? Something that’s adding value and something that is something you have to do because nobody else knows how to do it are two different things. Okay. You are the only person who knows how to use a certain system, but you using it, doesn’t actually add any value.
Your end customers don’t know that you’re the only person is in that system.
The best thing to do is to not use it. Look at how best you could structure your day. Okay. The idea is, is that once you’ve got this information, you can look at how best to structure your day.
Now taking into account when do you work best? When are you most productive? When you’re most creative, when you needed to be at your best, you can start then to stretch your day so that you were doing those activities when you are at your best. Now I’m quite an afternoon/ evening person. But Martin is very much a morning person. And so he will quite happily get up at five o’clock in the morning to to do work and get it out of the way.
And then, you know, he will clock off early and to have some time to himself. I’d rather lie in bed till the last moment that I have to get up, but I’m quite happy to work into the evening way into the evening put kids to bed and then go back to work.
But it’s about being more organized and being more disciplined. This will help us to reduce those wasted downtimes when you aren’t so productive, you aren’t sure what to do and help you maximize your time. So you’re not losing hours of your time doing tasks that you don’t need to do that. Aren’t going to bring any benefits. That are things that were like, yeah, like bit like social media. We feel like it’s getting us somewhere, but actually we’re not approaching it necessarily in the most effective, productive of ways. If you follow this, it will make a difference. I have seen it time and time again. Okay.
If you want more help to free up your time whilst generating a sustainable income,
then from Tuesday’s podcast, you can join my online workshop next Wednesday, the 9th of March at 7:30pm GMT, where I’m going to go through the exact steps I’ve taken with clients to help them create that version of freedom. Which is a three day work week that generates six figures a year. Okay. That link is in the show notes and you can get involved and get on that.
So in the meantime, guys, go away, do this work. If you would like more help, if you’d like to meet your vision of your business and what you’re wanting to get out of your business, a reality, if it’s not already then do come along and get involved with that workshop. More information, as I say, are in the show notes. So that’s it for me this week, guys, next week, I’m going to be talking to you around balancing your career and commitments and the three things you need to focus on in order to enable you to get more freedom in your business.
That’s it for now. Take care. Happy selling.