Given that everyone has the exact same amount of time in a day, it always amazes me when people give the excuse of `I didn’t have time’.
It’s actually one of my biggest pet peeves, because this is just code for `I didn’t make time’ or `It wasn’t a priority’.
So let’s solve this riddle of not having enough time, once and for all, shall we?
In this post I want to look at three easy ways to increase your productivity in a week – by yourself and with the help of others.
Engage your MIDA
If you want to start off your day in the right way, there really is only one thing you need to do. You need to focus on your Most Important Daily Action. This is the ONE thing you want to do today, that will make you feel 100 times better when it’s completed.
I’m not talking about a to-do list, where you place 17 items that apparently all need to be one, but no sense of priority on which of those will really get you the results you want.
I suggest you put no more than three items on your list – be it a paper note, on your laptop or using a tool like TeuxDeux, that you want to complete each day.
You should write these down the night before, at the end of your work day, so that when you wake up, it’s the first thing you look at. You put the most important action at the top, and you do everything in your power to complete that first thing – before anything else.
This is also called discipline, and opening Facebook, Twitter or email before doing this is detrimental to being the most productive person ever – so just don’t do it. Embracing these time wasting activities will not mean that your client report, sales page copy or blog post will be done magically.
Knock of this pressing item straight away and you will feel like a million dollars, trust me. Everything else you do during the day will feel like a pure bonus.
Commit to your accountability partner
As entrepreneurs, we have so many things trying to get our attention in any given day, that we can find it hard to concentrate and stay on track. It’s too easy to get pulled off in the wrong direction and not stay true to meeting your business and life goals.
And why are you trying to do this all by yourself anyway? That just seems like madness to me, especially when you consider all the super successful people in life have a team of brilliant people behind them.
So imagine how much more efficient and effective you can be with just one person cheering you on, and holding you to meet your goals and deadlines? This is your accountability partner and they could change your life.
Who is this person? A good friend or a complete stranger – it actually doesn’t matter, so long as they will kick your ass when you need it most, and turn up every week to talk through your goals. You will do the same for them in return.
Obviously though it helps if they understand what you do and your business to offer the right advice when you need it. But ultimately they are there to ensure you both show up and do the work.
Think of this like your gym buddy. You are far more likely to make it to the gym for that class or workout, if your friend is going to meet you there and do it with you. The same applies with an accountability partner.
You either Skype each week (or more) or meet at a café at the same time, week in and week out. You set a schedule that allows you to both run through your key challenges, recap on how much progress you’ve made, and discuss what’s happening this week.
This is your time to help each other have the best week ever by solving problems and tackling any potential road bumps before you hit them. It also keeps you sane and shares your load.
Build Your Mastermind Team
If you want to take it up a notch, then I suggest you look into the power of a mastermind group. Usually these are made up of 4-6 people (although you can have more) who are in similar stages of business, and ready to grow.
Masterminds are less focused on completing tasks, and more about accessing the brilliance of each member’s brain and expertise to really propel your business further.
It’s like a strategic alliance that gathers weekly or monthly, in person or online in a call or Google Hangout to discuss the parts of your business that you’re stuck on. This is when you get to talk about pricing, client issues, marketing strategy, revenue stream generation and launch tactics.
It’s like your advisory board telling you what move to make next to meet your goals and ensure your vision becomes a reality.
You all grow together and hold each other to a higher level. It’s incredibly empowering and can make a huge difference to the success of your business.
Liz Seda, a member of WE Mastermind, wrote the complete guide to running a successful mastermind group that you can download here for free.
Putting together a mastermind group or finding the right one can certainly be a challenge, but once you do, the results will be so worth it.
Or you can join a mastermind program that does this for you, based on your needs and stage of business.
Ultimately what we’re discussing here and in the three examples above, is all about taking action and committing to making a change. If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
There’s no magic wand to wave if you want to become more productive and effective, so take time to implement the above techniques and strategies to get more out of every single day, so you can put more time to living your ideal lifestyle and having a business you love.