Manage Your Time by “Chunking”

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Is this your To Do list?

I first learned about “Chunking” from Tony Robbins’s “Get the Edge” program many years ago. It had a profound impact on how I view my tasks and how I organize my time. It is also an audio I return to whenever I get off track with my productivity.

“The Power of Chunking = grouping information together into ideally sized
pieces so they can be used effectively to produce the results you want.”

Our brains are easily overwhelmed. We have so much information thrown at us from every direction and so many tasks that need to be done. Have you ever written out a to do list and just stared at it afterwards…paralized. Where do I even begin?
Our brains count items 1, 2, 3, MANY. Anything more than 3 items and it may as well be 20. Overwhelm sets in and when we’re overwhelmed, we fail to take action.

For example, think about when you learned how to drive a car, especially a standard. You have to focus on the brake, the clutch, the gas, steering, the mirrors, look left, look right…AAHHHH!!!! 1, 2, 3…MANY! Those first few times out were exhausting and you felt like you would never be able to drive. I certainly swore I’d never buy a car that was a standard after the nightmare of my first few lessons. What happened after a you gained some experience? All of those different tasks that felt so overwhelming just became 1 item – Driving. Heck, now you can do 2 other things while you’re driving (although, I don’t recommend that).

This principle applies when we look at our own lives. How many goals do you have at one time? How many categories do you break life into? More importantly, how many NEW things do you try to take on at a time? You may have great intentions of starting a blog, a newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, a podcast, a video series… 1, 2, 3, MANY! That’s how you get overwhelmed into inaction.

Instead, try limiting your new endeavors to 2-3 at a time, max. If you’re already blogging, try adding a bi-weekly newsletter and a few Facebook posts. Nothing too crazy. Then, when that feels like one thing – marketing – you can add one more to the mix without too much overwhelm. The same is true with determining your services. When starting out, you may feel like you need to offer more than you’d like to. Doing that, you end up spreading yourself thin and watering down your expertise. You’re efforts will be more focused if you choose 3 services or 3 programs to offer. It will also lead to greater productivity and less feeling scattered in 100 directions keeping track of a dozen different programs or services.

How can you use the Power of Chunking in your business or life? Please share in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!
~Deb

Identify Your Unique Brilliance and Love Your Business Again!

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Business owners need to be constantly learning how to improve their craft and their business. Not to mention finding new ways to make this work/life juggling act less of a struggle. It’s important to take time out to learn new techniques and new ideas and gain a better clarity on how to move forward.

Last week, I took that time and attended (virtually) a 3-day workshop on how to Monetize Your Message hosted by Fabienne Fredrickson of Client Attraction. The nuggets of worthwhile information are too numerous to list in full so I’ll share just one today:

Discover your unique brilliance and do only that.

We all do things within our business that we don’t like and aren’t great at. When you are starting out, this is often necessary. The goal, however, should not be to try to strengthen your weaknesses but rather strengthen your strengths and delegate the rest.

4 Quad Instruction

The above diagram is part of an exercise that is very eye-opening. What are you doing in your business that you hate? What are you downright bad at that could be costing you money?

Get rid of it!

Ideally, you want to work as much as possible in the “Uniquely Brilliant” quadrant. There should only be 4-5 things, at most, that you are uniquely brilliant at. You will likely spend a fair amount of time in the “Really Good” quadrant as well, which is acceptable. Nothing positive will come from the bottom. Nothing. Delegate those items as soon as possible. They won’t make you money and will make you miserable.

Not only will those items not make you money but they will likely LOSE you money by wasting your time and your energy. How much time and energy do you spend just thinking about having to do them or procrastinate about doing them? Hiring help may not cost you as much as you think and will free your time and energy to spend on money-GENERATING activities THAT YOU LOVE!

That creates a business to get excited about again!

You can’t be good at everything. Sorry. I’m feeling the dirty looks from all of my fellow perfectionists out there. But it’s a fact that we need to accept.

Mediocre

I don’t wake up in the morning with the goal of being mediocre…do you?

But what am I brilliant at?

That was my question. I’m sharing this exercise because I struggled with it. It is so ingrained in me to try to do it all and dwell on my failures and inadequacies that I looked at my worksheet with my blank Uniquely Brilliant box and…crickets…. I had no idea what to enter there. I know what I hate and what I’m just ok at. But brilliant? Perfectionists never feel brilliant. So, what’s one to do?

It was suggested to take the Strengthsfinder test. I found my results very interesting and eye opening. The test will generate the 5 areas of strength for you and provide you with a detailed report on what they mean and how you can use them. I highly recommend this if you are so involved with the minutia of your business that you have forgotten what you love about it.

How to use this info to improve your business

When you begin delegating within your business, focus on unloading the tasks in the “Incompetent” quadrant first, followed by “Competent”. Look for team members who are strong where you are weak and who love the tasks you hate. There are actually people out there who LOVE bookkeeping and get excited about doing it! Can you imagine that? Add those people to your team and your business will be unstoppable! Not to mention, you will feel a huge weight lifted and you may even begin to LOVE your business again.

Please fill out your own 4-quadrant worksheet (4 Quad Strengths – Blank) and share in the comments what uniquely brilliant skills you’re going to commit to doing more of and what items you’re going to delegate first.

Thanks for reading!

~Deb

Marketing Your Business in 30 Minutes a Day

One of the biggest complaints that business owners have with content marketing is…

TIME!

Working under preessure concept

Time to write posts, time to load posts, time to find images, time to create social media updates, time to engage with followers on your blog and on social media. time to create and send a regular ezine.

It’s OVERWHELMING!

Unless you have a dedicated marketing team or are currently outsourcing your online marketing, you need to fit these tasks in between your client work – you know, the work that makes you money. You need a plan. By creating a plan for your content marketing and scheduling it into your week, you can reduce the overwhelm and increase your consistency, thereby improving your results. 30 minutes a day really can and will make a difference in your business.

Automate!

Automation is the name of the game when it comes to streamlining your marketing plans. Wherever you can, use plug-ins, services and software to get things done quickly and, in some cases, automatically. Keep in mind that in the beginning, it may take more than 30 minutes. You need time to get a feel for what needs to be done each day and to put automation systems and checklists in place. Remember that this time spent up front will save you HOURS down the road.

For example, if you don’t have a supply of blog posts or articles ready to go, it may take you some time to create enough content to use for your website and/or blog posts. The good news is that longer articles can be broken down into smaller blog posts or used as the basis for email messages. Any time you create content, keep in mind how it can be re-purposed later.

Here’s a sample chart with some of the things that you may be implementing in your content marketing strategy and how to allocate your time with these items. This may be adjusted to fit the needs of your business but it will give you a guideline.

30 Minutes Marketing Table

ACTIONS
TIME
FREQUENCY
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and the like)
  • Write posts and/or tweets
  • Write comments
15 minutes (depends on how many social sites you focus on)
Every day
Email marketing
  • Create autoresponder      messages
  • Automate opt-in page      collection and email delivery using a service like AWeber or Mailchimp
  • Create ezine, weekly or bi-weekly
30 minutes – depending on frequency and complexity of ezine
Once a week
Content Marketing
  • Write content (yourself or use a service)
  • Check blog comments
10-15 minutes
Every day to create      content until you build up your supply

Check blog daily for      comments
Schedule blog postings once a week

 

Marketing is vital to making a success of your business. Without it, your leads will dry up and you’ll be out of business as quickly as you got into it. There are several strategies that can be implemented depending on your needs. The chart above details a few of them but not all. As you switch out and change strategies, they can be tweaked to complete the necessary tasks in as little as 30 minutes each day. It’s unlikely that you will be able to write a 1000 word blog post in one 30 minute block but you can add a couple hundred words at a time.

And here’s a final tip for you: You, as the business owner, do not have to do all your marketing tasks on your own. Many small business owners find that hiring a virtual assistant for even a few hours per week can free up your time for more important business building efforts – including creating more content.

Please share in the comments what you currently do to market your business online and how much time you spend on it. Are there ways you think you could save time but either automating tasks, creating more streamlined systems or delegating?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Ask me anything! (Ok, maybe not “ANYTHING”…)

It is my mission to help my fellow mompreneurs. We all face similar struggles and need to pool our resources so that we can all reach our goals – in business and in life.

What do you want to know?

With that in mind, I want to ask you what information would be helpful to you. What would you like me to address in this blog? What would you like to know about content marketing, blogging, social media, delegating, automating, working with a VA… There’s no question to basic (or too difficult).

I’m not claiming to have all the answers. Not even close. However, I am pretty resourceful. I can usually find the answer or at least find someone who knows the answer. I’ll do my best to address your questions in an upcoming post.

Please submit your questions in the comments below.   Thanks for reading!

 

15 Questions to Ask Before You Publish Your Next Blog Post

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You know why you need to be blogging for your business. It helps drive traffic to your website. It converts that traffic to leads. It establishes you as an authority in your field. It builds trust with your audience and shows them that you aren’t there just to take from them but, rather, to give them value. If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ve likely already seen some results of this new, trust-building marketing.

Whether you’re a veteran blogger or just a novice, you will benefit by a simple checklist that lays out some key elements that you’ll want to include in your next blog post. Download it. Print it. Keep it by your desk for reference. Your blog readers will thank you for it!

 

Blog Post Checklist – Free Download

 

Do you have any other tips to add to the list?  Please share them below!