With all this technology, why are we still working 50 – 70 hours a week?
With your smart phone you can communicate to 50, even 100, people a day when it used to take an hour to write a letter or 30 minutes to write an email message.
Instead of leaving voice messages and returning calls, we’re answering our phones and returning text messages on the spot.
To find out the answer to virtually any question, we used to call someone, look through trade journal or encyclopedia, or even go to the library. Now we speak the question into the phone and it speaks back the answer.
Yes, technological advances have helped us to get an astounding amount of work done in a day compared to what we did 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. But with that, the other thing that’s changed is that now the tasks are smaller. Now instead of doing 3 or 4 or 6 or 7 big tasks a day, we do dozens or hundreds of communications and tasks each day. “How to defeat the terrible tyranny of tiny tasks.” That’s the name of a good article that describes this.
But those tiny tasks take our eye, and time, off the big tasks, making it easy to allow our time to be overloaded with low-value, easy-to-knock-out tasks.
For the business owner, the KEY is keeping a focus on profit while managing the technological tools.
Here are 5 ways to drive your profits while managing tiny tasks in our technology-teeming world.
Reconnect with WHY you do what you do
Keep your eye on the tasks that are important—the ones that drive profit. Reject the once-good advice to knock out small tasks immediately. Since there’s an endless stream of emails, texts, and small tasks before you now, don’t try to complete them all… or even most of them. Accept that some things will never get done and keep your eye on the prize.
Don’t let the technology enable you to take your eye off the prize
When you do check and respond to business email, don’t let yourself get side-tracked responding to non-essential texts, tweets, and email.
Compartmentalizing is still good time management advice
It’s still important to compartmentalize your time. Switching from task to task wastes time with every switch. The average person gets 60 emails a day. Say you check just half of them as they come in—do you really want to jump off that important task 30 times? Every day? Certainly, either turn off auditory notifications or discipline yourself not to jump over to see one each time the sound goes off.
Sync your calendars to the one you use the most
Most of us have options for online calendars. Choose one and sync the others to it. Since most of us spend a lot of time in email, make it your central calendar. Sync your smartphone to your Outlook calendar, for example, and if you use Google calendar, sync it to your email calendar
Don’t worry about managing the information; worry about managing your attention
Keep your attention span muscles strong. It’s an exercise in endurance and like any sport, requires practice. It’s “attention management” vs time management. Practice every day ignoring the alarms, noise, and distractions and keep your attention on the important project. Make rules—tell yourself you won’t look up from the project for 35 minutes and set a timer. Here’s a good, short article for more info on “How To Rebuild Your Attention Span.” Attention fitness will take a little time to work it into a routine but the payoffs are huge on this one. Side note – this is one we should be teaching our kids to do.
Don’t let today’s over-abundance of small tasks lay claim to your time. Own your time and keep it focused on the activities that drive profits.
I invite you to join us. The day includes short educational periods, work in small groups, and a nice hot lunch together.
Thur., June 25, 2015, 9 – 4 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport, 8910 Hatfield Dr., Indianapolis 46231
Register for this quarter’s Growth Plan Business Planning Workshop.
You’ll walk away with:
- A clear picture of where you want your business to be in 10-30 years, a 3-5 year plan, a 90-day plan, & a ready-to-implement action plan to get you there
- Your 12-month goals broken into bite-size quarterly goals, monthly milestones, & weekly actions
- Strategies to build your profits right away
- A network of like-minded business owners
Cost is $247 at the door, $187 in advance, and FREE for business coaching clients.