Productivity Academy Live Q&A January 31, 2018

 

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Hello everybody, and welcome to the live Q&A for … Today is the 31st of January. We’ve got some really good questions lined up. Real quick, if you’re checking this out and you’re not in the Facebook group and you want to ask questions live, you can click on the link and come join us. Please do that. Anything about productivity, time management, process, all sorts of stuff. Today we’ve got a lot of really good questions. We’re going to be talking about, “How do you keep yourself disciplined?” This is a great question. I actually really like this. “Do you make your bed every day? Why or why not?” Then we’ve got one too that’s really more of an in depth question and it’s about how somebody as a business owner wears multiple hats. I can certainly identify with that, and as a result, struggling to stay on task. What can be done with that?

Alright. Let’s get right into it. First question, “How do you keep yourself disciplined?” This is a good one. I think this falls again into the life long learning. Nobody is disciplined from the beginning, and nobody maintains it all the way without doing it. It’s a good question, that sense of, “How do you keep yourself disciplined?” For myself, it’s an important topic of, “How do I make myself do these things that I know maybe aren’t the thing that I really want to do the most, but I know it’s going to make me grow?” Maybe it’s a day where I’m feeling not like going for a run, but I want to exercise. Maybe it’s a task that I’m not looking forward to.

What can I do to get that done? I don’t need to be like a Spartan warrior sleeping out in the cold or anything like that, but there’s certain things you can do, such as having a loud cat in the room with you, but there’s certain things you can do. It’s setting these reminders. Part of it might be to review your goals. I know this sounds a little bit off topic, but keeping your self disciplined can also have to do with your goals.

Let’s say I … We’ll refer back to the tasks I mentioned, or maybe it’s not your favorite task in the world, or you’ve got this thing, you’re feeling like you don’t want to go for that run, you don’t want to go to the gym, but what’s the goal? Why are you doing these things? I find that that helps me stay focused. I know that building my business depends on doing some of these tasks. I understand that maintain a level of fitness requires me to exercise and eat healthy and make these decisions from time to time that, “Hey, maybe I don’t want that candy bar right now. Grab an apple. Maybe this weekend I’ll have a slice of pizza or something.” Those are fairly simplistic ways, but I think that’s a really good way to approach it.

Then you can certainly work on your willpower and how you do that. I firmly believe that everyone’s got a certain set amount of willpower. I don’t think it’s a numerical value or anything, but eventually, you have a hard time maintaining that willpower and saying no. It’s finding out what your goals are, how do what your daily tasks are fit into that, and then your discipline will come out of that. Good question.

Let’s see. The next question for today … That’s right. “Do you make your bed every day? Why or why not?” This is very good. If my wife is watching this, she may comment on this later, so we’ll see. I would say that I do. When I lived alone, years and years ago before we met, I definitely made my bed every day. I found that it was part of a morning routine. Although, at that time, I hadn’t really formalized it as being part of that, but I liked that I could do it. It was very quick. I didn’t do like the military tuck and bounce a quarter off it or anything, but it helped. Then at night, it was nice to come in and things are organized instead of coming in maybe after work or at the end of the day and just feeling like things were disheveled or disorganized.

Yes, I do. Now it’s simple. Again, like I said, I’m not one of those people who’s making the square corners or anything like that, but pulling up the sheet, pulling up the comforter, putting the pillows back, and it takes me literally maybe 10 seconds and then it’s just ready to go. It’s nice to get into a bed that’s made. That’s how I feel. Then like I said too, it’s the routine. It just provides what I want, the goal of having an organized house. That’s one part of it. It takes just a couple seconds. Yes, I make my bed in the morning.

Okay. The last question we’re going to spend some time on today is about being a business owner and wearing multiple hats and really struggling to stay on task. I think that this one is really interesting, and especially as an online entrepreneur, business owner, whatever you are. You don’t have to obviously be online. A lot of small business owners and anyone who works in a business understands this. You have to wear multiple hats. Maybe you’re an engineer, but sometimes you have to deal with sales or you have to deal with some sort of accounting or anything like that. It really does tend to come up.

I think that this falls back to having your priorities laid out. I use that word on purpose. I think that sitting down and having that daily review where you look at your tasks, gather all your data in, you get your sticky notes, you get your journal, you get whatever you have, and you get all that together. Then you batch it up together. If you’re a business owner, you have sales things that need to be done. Do you have content production that needs to be done? You kind of clunk these things together. Then you go ahead and you start to prioritize. What’s most important? Is your sales pipeline going? Do you have any prospects or leads? If you haven’t done that, because you’re so busy fulfilling current clients or current customers, then you need to work on that because you need to keep your pipeline full. Are you fulfilling what your clients expect? Things like that.

You prioritize. From that, you’ll start to see patterns of what you need to work on and what needs to be done. Within that, you can then look at maybe delegating and outsourcing. This is really important. As you grow and your business grows, then obviously you need to take yourself out a little bit so you can work on the business and you are not the business. The one thing I really want to say on this is you have to make time for this. It could be 30 minutes once a week. Hopefully, I would say at least maybe start with an hour. Do it during normal hours. Force it. Make some time. Everybody can make a little time. During that hour, what you’re going to go through is say, “What were my big wins this week? In terms of the business, what’s providing the most value or return for my time?” Is it writing the content? Is it making sales calls? Is it working with employees to further their education and understanding about the business? Whatever it is.

Then start looking at, “What can I do with this? Can I delegate this to somebody else? Can I outsource this, or can I spend more time on it?” It’s kind of two things there. “Where am I getting the most returns?”, and then also, “Can I delegate and outsource some of this?” Especially you might also then want to look at the stuff that isn’t giving you the biggest returns but still needs to be done. Can you outsource, delegate, delete, whatever it is? Scheduling that time, like I said, very, very important. If you don’t schedule it, you’re going to come into that time crunch and then look at your to-do list and say, “Well, I just got a client phone call. I can’t do this.” No way. Make time.

This stuff pays off and it’s like compound interest. You start putting in 30 minutes or an hour, and maybe you discover that one thing that’s making you just 10% more, it’s adding to the bottom line, and you find a way to get more of that, whether it’s spending more time on it, whether it’s having someone help you with it. You keep doing that and it’s going to grow. Then how about outsourcing? You’ve got to spend time. You don’t just have a process. You don’t just say, “Man, I need content written. I’m just going to hire someone and it’s done.” That’s not the way it works. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to approach it that way as, “I’ve got this task. I’m just going to throw it at someone else and it’s done.” If you do that, it’s probably not going to end well, so make sure that you have a process for it, that the other person understands it, and that you understand that process. Then you can move forward and start outsourcing.

No matter where you’re at, maybe you’re a freelancer, maybe you own a business, whatever stage you’re in, but if you’re not taking advantage of delegation and outsourcing, then now is the time. Maybe you could hire somebody for $5, $10, $15, $20, $30 an hour and just give them one or two hours worth of work, and then see obviously how they perform and start to do more and more of that. Give them a very specialized task, explain it to them, make sure you understand it, there’s a specific goal, and then keep moving on that.

This topic is obviously a very big one, feeling frustrated as an owner of a business or somebody running a business and how you’re able to maintain all of these areas, but I think it all starts, again, with that daily review and starting to prioritize, batch your tasks, and move forward from that. Then incorporating a weekly [inaudible 08:49] time to look at what are your big wins, how can you delegate, how you can outsource. Then from there, you can grow. Obviously, you need to do a weekly review. You need to do a monthly review. What does your month look like? Is it sales? Is it content production? Is it promotional material? Things like that. Just to keep this as a foundation, starting daily and going from there.

Great question. I think we can dive into each of those topics separately at some point. If you have questions about that, feel free to let me know. Obviously, I talk about the daily review process a lot, but then going into automation, delegation, and deleting, kind of the ADD. I guess maybe that’s the acronym. I’ll let you guys … Using that time, what I would call a “strategic time”, to take care of these things where you can start offloading and start maximizing your big wins.

Hopefully that’s helpful to you. I’m going to check real quick to see if we have any other questions and grab some water. Alright. That looks like it for now. Hopefully this is helpful to you. Again, if you have any questions and you wanted to ask them live, you can join us in the Facebook group. Just click on the link and come join us there. You just got to answer a couple quick questions. I want to make sure that you’re actually interested in being there, find out a little bit about what you’re looking for so I can help create some content and be helpful to you. Then come join us, ask questions, and be part of the group.

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