Join us live each week at www.productivity.academy/live and get your questions answered by submitting them at anytime right here: www.productivity.academy/questions. You can watch the video for the past episode recorded on May 24th, 2018 above, or you can review the transcript below.
In this episode we talked about:
- How can I increase my sales and productivity?
- If you have more spare time, how would you spend it?
- What is the best time management app?
- What are you supposed to do in pomodoro breaks?
To find recommended tools and other great resources, check out the Productivity Academy Resource Toolkit: https://productivity.academy/resources
Hey everybody, and welcome to this week’s Productivity Academy Weekly Q&A. I’m Adam Moody, and we’re going to get started here with a bunch of questions in just a second. Real quick, if you’re watching this on YouTube, first of all, thanks for watching. If you want to stay up-to-date and get notifications for videos, app reviews, all that good stuff, you can just click on the subscribe button below and you will be the first to know.
Let’s get into it. We are going to be monitoring questions. I’ve got two monitors in front of me, and I’m trying to focus on one. I’ll have questions, and so if you’re watching live, feel free to pop in questions and I’ll be checking that out while we go through the questions that people have already asked. Let’s start today with, “How can I increase my sales and productivity?”
Okay, so good question. I’m not going to dive super far into the sales part of it as far as … I know nothing about your business. I don’t know what market you’re in, but I have it brought up because this is always a good reminder for those of us who have our own companies or helping run a business. You can increase the number of customers you have, the average transaction size, the frequency of transactions, how often somebody buys, or raise your prices. I should note, I have these like tattooed on the back of my eyelids, but I had them all over here in case I forgot what I was saying while I’m talking on camera. Anyways, those are the basics.
Of course, there’s all of the details that go into that, but a lot of times we get sucked into these spaces in our head where we’re over-analyzing things. This, to me, has so much to do with productivity, and time management, and focus in general but it applies to sales, or building a business, or whatever it is you’re doing that you’re thinking, “Gosh, I’ve got to get my sales up. I’ve got to do something complicated, and do a product launch, and do all this.” Well, it all goes to those four things. Can you increase your customers? Is your lead generation pipeline full? Is that your problem? Can you identify where your pain points are? Maybe your lead generation isn’t where it’s supposed to be. You can close sales, you can do whatever, but you just don’t have enough people coming in. Okay, you need to fix that.
The average transaction size. So, just about anything you’re offering, can you offer more? Can you offer additional, the fundamental upsell? Somebody’s buying face cream, can you sell them twice as much face cream for 25% discount? Things like that. So, you’re increasing that average value while offering them value.
The frequency of transactions per customers. This is frequently done via email. Do you have a good email follow-up system? Are you offering stuff people want? Then, of course, there’s much more than this. You could do retargeting, and we’ll go into that, but you’re increasing that frequency, those types of points. Then raising your prices. If the market bears it, this is up to you. Obviously you need to test this, but maybe you raise your prices and that gives you an immediate boost to your bottom line. Again, one of those things that you don’t want to overthink sometimes, and you need to go back to the basics.
That’s your sales. Then increasing your productivity. If you can increase your sales, then depending on how you have it set up, if your business is set up correctly, that means you should be making more of a profit of some type. So, what you can do with that is to buy yourself time. How that’s going to make you more productive is allow you to spend more time on yourself or working on your business instead of being inside of your business worrying about the sales, worried about how you’re going to do X, Y or Z.
When you make that extra money, can you get yourself an assistant who can take care of administrative duties? Can you get somebody to do the graphics? Can you get someone to do this, do that? Can you hire a project manager who can take your ideas and make them into that who can deal with the graphics person, who can deal with the content writer, and understanding, one, eventually you need to move yourself out of your role. A lot of business owners, we tend to stay in the project manager role if not actually just doing the work. But moving yourself back a few steps as your revenue or your profits allow you to do that. Looking at things from that point-of-view is going to help you be more productive in the sense that you understand, “Okay, I need to eventually back myself out to the point where I’m helping run and manage this business. I am not doing the day-to-day administrative tasks.” Good question.
I like this one. Okay, “If you had more time, how would you spend it?” This is a really good question. Before I get into the details, the reason I like this is just because it forces you to think about what’s more important. I’ve been doing a lot of that lately with the move I just had, having some free time, some vacation time, being frustrated, of course, with the move. It’s always a stressful period, and thinking to myself, “What would I do? What is it that I really want? Since I’m kind of starting over, as far as moving time zones and all that, or restructuring my schedule, what am I optimizing for?” If I had to answer this, how would I spend it, I would spend more time doing the things that I really enjoy and that give back to me.
So, that’s being outside, trying to run more, hit the trails more, and just enjoying it. Going for walks, and just checking in either with myself or just literally walking around and enjoying the fact that I can be outside somewhere nice, and it’s pleasant, it’s warm and I get to do that. Then looking back, I think … maybe reading. I enjoy reading, so I’ve been trying to do that. It’s been something I’ve loved my whole life, but as I look back and it’s ingrained in my head, “I’m a reader. I read a lot,” but I started looking and I was like, “You know, I really actually don’t read that much anymore. I’d like to do more of that.”
You can take the point-of-view, “If it’s my last day on earth and I look back, am I going to be sad that I didn’t read a book? Actually, yeah, I might be.” I certainly want to spend more quality time with friends, family, my wife. Then beyond that, the things that I can do on my own and have a lot of influence over, I’m going to look back. That’s how I think about that. Am I sad that I didn’t watch that TV show? No. It’s not that I’m never going to watch TV, but it’s prioritizing those things. So, anyways, getting a little deep into that question, but if I had more time, I would look back and I would spend it on those things that I really do enjoy and give back to me as well. That’s, in my case, reading, getting outside, being outside, exercising, things like that.
All right. Grab a drink of water real quick. Some really good questions. “What is the best time management app?” All right, so loaded question here. There’s a lot of opinions on this. I think that the best time management app, it’s whatever works best for you. I will say that … I’ll share what I do. I use a self journal and I time block. All that means is just literally blocking out your time. I go through in the morning and try to be as accurate as I can about what I’m doing in the day, what appointments do I have and if I have a project I’m working on, how much time I’m allotting myself.
From there, I’ll use timers, whether it’s my watch. A lot of times too I’ll egg time. I forget if the URL’s like eg.gtimer or egg.timer, but that’s really handy just in your browser, a quick countdown. You can say maybe you’re doing a task and you only want to spend 45 minutes on it, pop that on, and then go from there. For the people who are looking for something more online, I recommend Focuser. It’s a great app, and it integrates with your calendar and whatever calendar you’re using. It’s a to-do app all in one, and it automatically schedules your tasks where it fits in your calendar, which is pretty cool. So, you say, “I’m going to spend 45 minutes on Task A.” Then it goes and find the first 45 minute block of time you have available.
That’s good in two ways. One, it takes care of that part of your day of scheduling for you, but also it forces you to get better over time about estimating how long it takes you to do things, which for me is one of the most important parts of time management. It’s understanding how much time we actually have available for tasks and then being more and more accurate with those predictions so that you can spend your time doing what needs to be done or what you choose to do.
All right, let me see. We’ve got one more question here. If you’re watching live, again, feel free to pop it on the page. If not watching live, you can always ask the questions at productivity.academy/more. If you go there, you’ll be able to find a link to ask questions. Okay, last question. “What are you supposed to do Pomodoro breaks?” This is good. I’m laughing just because I was thinking about what I do during breaks.
I don’t generally work to a strict Pomodoro schedule, like 20 on, five off or anything like that. From time-to-time, I’ll do it, especially if I need to get up and move around, which is generally what I do during Pomodoro breaks. I get up and I try to do something different than what I’ve been doing, and I see that recommended a lot for pretty obvious reasons. Especially if you’re sitting in front of the computer, get up, move around, let your eyes relax a little bit and be physical. It’s good. Drink some water. Some people want to go outside, shoot hoops. Maybe go, if they’ve got a small neighborhood, go around the block, walk around.
I tend to do little things around the house, because I have a home office. Maybe check and switch the laundry, or just do something like that where I’m just moving for a couple minutes. Like I said, grab some water. It doesn’t have to be complicated. If you need a routine or something to do, I highly suggest doing that. If you find yourself working through these breaks or just sitting at your computer, then get a Post-It and write down what it is you’re supposed to do and pop it on your computer. Whether that’s, “Hey, get up and go for a walk,” or anything like that, just a reminder to help you get that done can be helpful.
Cool. Well, I hope this helped. If you have anymore questions, like I said, feel free to ask them ahead of time. Join us in the real world Productivity Growth Group, and you can watch these live, ask questions. We’ll talk about apps, organization, time management, processes for businesses or for your personal life. So, please come join us. Otherwise, I will talk to everybody next week.