Last month we worked a bit on mindset so that we were ready to tackle 2021, and this month, we're focusing on habits you can start now that will help you grow your business. The biggest game-changer for you might be the most simple idea you’ve heard in ages. When you’re trying to figure out what to do first each day or week, focus on the items that will bring in the most money and do them at the time you like to work the most. That’s it. It’s that simple.
Start by determining your “power hours.” When are you the most productive? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Do you love working from 5-7 am or 8-10 pm? If you could set your schedule, when would you work? You can set your schedule. There’s nothing that says it has to be 8-5 when you’re self-employed. I work 9-3 right now because our school isn’t offering extended care this year due to covid. Rather than be upset about my reduced work hours, I’m embracing them and thankful for the flexibility I have to make it work this year. I’d love to work even earlier; my ideal start time is closer to 6:30-7:00 am, but right now, I need to be in Mama mode during the early morning hours. As he grows up and becomes more independent, that will change, and I’ll probably go back to working early morning hours again.
It’s a simple process that’s very similar to goal setting and helps you stay on track. You set three big tasks for the week. Getting these done will help move your business forward. Even if you get nothing else done during the week, these three will make a difference for you. You want to use your Big Three to help you achieve your monthly, quarterly, or annual goals. Review your goals and determine the next best step to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Those items become your Big Three for the week.
Now, take a look at the items within your Big Three and determine which ones will help you make money. Then review the other priorities on your to-do list. Are there any that will drive revenue that you haven’t assigned as part of a Big Three priority? Note them as well.
Your final step is to prioritize the items that will make money. Which ones will be quick, which will take more time. Are there things that have a long lead time, etc.? Use this information to determine your overall priority list and focus on those items during your productive power hours each week.
When you work strategically, you can get a lot more done in less time and ultimately make more money.
It could be something long-term that brings in leads you nurture and turn into customers, such as a blog post, podcast episode, or new opt-in for your business. It can be something more immediate, like a Facebook Ad, to support a webinar or product. It could be working on developing a new product or program.
Revenue can come from multiple streams. If you sell products, you may want to devote more time to creating new products or preparing for the next season or special event. The point here is not to let yourself drown in the busywork. While getting your email inbox to 0 is probably a good thing to do, it’s not likely going to help you make more money today.
Balancing your bank account or paying bills is very important, but it shouldn’t be done in place of work that brings money into your business. You need to do both. Sometimes we use busy work or admin work to avoid working on something we don’t want to do (or are afraid of doing). If you prioritize the work that will lead to revenue, your business will grow.
Choose your power hours for yourself – when do you get the most done? When are you at your most creative? I’m a morning person. When I was in the corporate world, I went into the office very early, ahead of my team, to get my work done before they got in and needed help during the day. I’m not a fan of staying late. My motivation is gone by about 2 pm. I want to check out by the late afternoon. So, I choose to use the mornings as my power hours. I’ll set aside a block of time that’s 2-3 hours to work uninterrupted and focus on my most important tasks then. Those tasks that will help me build the business and earn more money.
Then, after lunch, I work on other tasks. I’ll pay bills, respond to emails, update schedules, etc.
You need to do all of it, but to make the most significant impact in the least amount of time, you want to choose your best, most productive work hours and fill those in with the tasks that are the most likely to drive revenue for your business. If you do that alone, you should start to see your productivity and revenue both increase. It is possible to work less and earn more.
Each day ask yourself, what can I do today that will help me make money? Start there and keep going. Work smarter, not harder, and you’ll find more balance for yourself and your family.