Balancing Your Gifts of Logic and Intuition in Determining Productivity Priorities
Most of us have work commitments, personal responsibilities, and family obligations to juggle. We are not omniscient, do not have expertise in every field, nor are we robots. We must maximize our productivity, delegate, and improvise.
Let’s begin with some practical, logical methods for helping us prioritize on any given day. Then, I’ll mention ways to engage your Intuition or “Higher Self” to help you with productivity.
REMEMBER THIS ONE
My most important tip for you to remember is to ask yourself each morning and, as needed, throughout the day and night, “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?”
Hopefully, the rest of these ideas will prove helpful to you in making big decisions. However, in the daily, mundane routine of awakening to multiple, contending demands, I have found that asking myself, “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?” is my “Go To” treasure.
It was invaluable when I was a Frequent Flyer in charge of six regional offices of an IT company. I had to cover operations involving 2/3 of the United States and part of Canada while running a household in yet another city.
Years later, I still use it daily when I have to choose among cleaning up my flooded property outdoors, versus the flooded basement indoors, and also have business meetings or classes to attend.
It works on the big things and on the little stuff.
What Can I Delegate to Increase My Productivity When I Have No Money?
Let’s face it. Some people think they have no-one of any age to whom they can give business assignments. So, let me address that first.
The answer may be “yes” or “no,” but, ask yourself if you can give responsibility to anyone else for some personal work, in order to free your time for business functions. Examples follow.
Children and Teens
Boys and girls of all ages need to learn to be responsible and accountable if they are to become responsible, accountable adults.
Delegate, but only after you patiently teach them how to do each chore. You want to build self-confidence, skills, efficiency, and pride in them, not set them up for failure and criticism. … and you need your work to be done correctly.
- They can handle some food prep, laundry, or other cleaning tasks (like yard chores or cleaning the car, the litter box, or a particular room).
- They could help you stuff envelopes or gift bags.
- Some might be great at posting social media blogs.
- Maybe they can fix your computer or program your phone!
Be Creative in Your Thoughts About Productivity!
Let’s say you have a friend or neighbors who love gardening but have no yard. Hooray! That individual or group of friends could create or attend to your garden – occasionally, or as something that gives great joy so they want to do it for the whole summer!
Let’s pretend you recruited a retired woman. You and she get good veggies from the deal. You buy the supplies. She does the work. She loves it. You love not having to do it. Everybody wins.
More Productivity Delegation Ideas
- Most of you will be familiar with the concept of asking parents or other relatives to babysit the kids while you attend a meeting or event. Guess what…they can do things other than taking care of kids!
- Maybe you want to have a small party and invite friends or relatives to:
- Collate and assemble marketing materials or gift bags for your next event
- Paint your house or a room
- Brainstorm ideas on how to reach new customer markets
- Do landscaping chores
You could host a gathering on any topic – large or small – with a full-fledged party or just coffee and muffins to match. Think “outside the box.” Ask yourself, “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?” Then, figure out how to offload some of the things that are not a good use of your time.
What If You’re One of the Lucky Ones?
There are people who have lots of possibilities for getting help. If you’re fortunate in this way, you are truly Blessed. You have money and/or several people to whom you can delegate short-term tasks or long-term functions. Here are some wise productivity choices.
Delegate Tasks or Long-Term Functions
- that are outside your abilities
- for which you don’t have time
- that you simply hate doing
- for which others can recruit even more money or human resources that they will employ on your behalf. You don’t just get the skills of that person. You acquire an entire network of talent for your cause.
Select Your Associates Carefully
- Your “Kitchen Cabinet” group of informal, but thoroughly trusted advisors
- A Board of Directors
- All Affiliates or Partners (either on a project or on an on-going basis)
When you’re selecting a Board of Directors, a formal Advisory Committee, or affiliate partners, don’t just choose your best friends and relatives. Choose people who can give respected professional advice or assistance in attracting sponsors, funding sources, and/or clients according to the functions you need to fulfill.
Maybe one of them will perform administrative or marketing duties. Maybe one is an expert in IT or web design. Even if they don’t perform those tasks, they should have expertise sufficient to give you excellent advice in their fields.
If you’re trying to do everything yourself, know two things:
- You can’t. Things WILL “fall through the cracks.”
- You’ll “burn out.”
Simply put, if you
- Can’t afford a lawyer, put a lawyer with expertise in your field or area of greatest vulnerability on your Advisory Committee.
- Can’t afford a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), put one on your Board.
- Are not a talented marketing or salesperson, attract someone who is skillful and give that person a role.
Enlist “Outsiders” to Enhance Your Productivity
Don’t ask only ‘The Usual Suspects’ for help. Maybe a college class, a church group, a high school intern, or a Master Gardener class can be enlisted to handle some of your administrative, landscaping, and other chores.
- My Master Gardener class helped a couple prune trees and clean up a huge property after a storm. In six hours, we accomplished what would have taken them weeks to do, and we all had joy and camaraderie in the process!
- I have even let an auto mechanics class use my vehicle to learn how to repair something on my car that needed to be fixed. The instructor supervised carefully, and all I had to pay for were the parts.
Resource Options for which You Pay Fees
This, of course, assumes you have money to pay for things you need, like
- IT manager
- Social Media Marketer
- Data Entry Worker
- Assistant to handle administrative functions and first-line customer responses
- Company to make a promotional video for you to use on YouTube and in other social media places where you might find customers.
First, you must decide – as an overall principle – “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?”
Are you a
- Holistic healer, who should be healing and not spending all your time in administration? Or a lawyer, or an author, or a singer, or …. you get the idea.
- Person who is unfamiliar and uncomfortable with current computer technology?
- Full-time employee and your business must be done “on the side?”
These are examples of people who can benefit from outsourcing time-consuming functions and those which are outside their areas of expertise and primary business role.
I suggest trying Shoeboxed for “painless receipt scanning and expense tracking.” You send them your receipts, a collection of business cards, or other records. They organize, scan, and save them in a format you can use, like Excel. They can create expense reports, track mileage, tax prep documents and more. Their price packages are quite reasonable.
Aside from hiring people, you can employ technology. For example, APT Impact is a company which creates messages that callers hear while on hold. The caller is far less likely to hang up. The messages can cover Frequently Asked Questions, so your caller gets a quick answer without taking your time.
Increasing Your Sales Via Customized Sales Coaching
In addition to that great service, the owner, Jim DiModica, is a seasoned and outstanding sales coach who can help you learn how to close sales or can coach your salespeople to do a much better job, thereby increasing the productivity of the company at the level of the bottom-line dollar. I know him. He’s a highly respected business leader and a very nice, approachable guy who will not waste your time or money.
Social Media Post Scheduling
I keep promising myself that I’ll do this. I haven’t done it. Some people love it. Yes, you can schedule your blogs or posts individually. However, comma, HootSuite is one of the software platforms that will handle the scheduling of multiple posts, even if you’re doing them for different companies. You could write a month’s worth or a year’s worth of posts on a Saturday, and the posts show up on your feeds throughout the month or year, per the schedule you set up.
Technology Productivity Resources Which Don’t Cost Moola
Leave directions to an event on your phone’s outgoing message, so anyone can get them, even if the line is busy.
Health, Task, and Event Reminders
Set up auto-timers to remind you to breathe deeply and rest your eyes every half hour when your work engages you so much you forget about everything else. You can use timers to remind you of start times for tasks and events.
Back Up Your Work and Your Drives Often
Anyone who has “lost everything” in a computer crash will understand the importance of this. Again, set task reminders to back up your drives weekly, and be sure to save your work often during the process of creating it.
Should I Exchange Services With Someone Else to Enhance Productivity?
There are some dangers associated with this – especially for new entrepreneurs.
People usually engage in an exchange of services (EOS) because one or both parties are cash poor. Either they have no money, or they already have higher priority commitments for the money they do possess.
The dangers are several. For example,
- Time (potentially a lot of time) will be spent in doing work for others which does not generate income for your business.
- People will come to expect that you will exchange services and that they will not have to pay for your business offerings. As illogical as it is, they may resent your charging fees in the future.
- One party in the EOS gets much more value than the other in terms of work, time, or money equivalency.
But, There Are Ways To Do It
Here are some examples in which you might want to consider doing an exchange.
- Holistic healers often exchange one Reiki session for an equivalent healing session.
- One person might sponsor a product party in exchange for having the sponsor advertise the product to her own network of followers.
- In my case, I could write something for a person in exchange for free use of her venue for one of my classes. Exchanges can be based on time, money, or the forfeited amount of money involved, as the participants choose.
- You might also offer a small percentage or a one-time bonus payment (known as “finder’s fees” for someone who does work for you that results in bringing you a new client. We could do a whole class on just that topic.
I’m sure you can think of many such worthwhile exchanges, but I want to move on to two new perspectives on how to find out “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?”
That means getting input from the people above and below you and your peers, and your customers about:
- Your performance
- A project
- New policies or procedures
- A marketing campaign
- Goals and Objectives
The bottom line is that people on “the front line” know a lot more about the practicalities of dealing directly with customers than does upper management. Upper management may know a lot more about long-term aspirations, company culture, or market trends than front-line workers.
Getting input – in advance of making decisions – can be very useful in crafting the best paths to follow. It helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, and new ideas. It also helps you answer, “WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?” and what can be delegated.
“WHAT IS THE BEST USE OF MY TIME RIGHT NOW?”
You probably won’t think the answer is meditation. You may also think you can’t meditate…or you don’t have time. News Flash! Meditation can make you very efficient, and you already know how. In fact, you do it every day!
Surprise! EVERYONE gets into the meditative state multiple times a day. That is the brain-wave state you’re in when you enter that “Twilight Zone” as you fall asleep or fall awake daily. That is the state you’re in when you “zone out” while staring at a candle flicker or into the sunset (or while driving).
Meditation is simply the slowing of your brain’s activity so that your logical mind takes less precedence over your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind has much greater Awareness and is the place where all change takes place. You may have gone to bed with a problem in mind, and, when you awaken, you have solved it. That was the subconscious at work.
It is in that “alpha” state that you can change bad habits, overcome fears and limiting beliefs, etc. That is why hypnosis and Neuro-linguistic Programming work.
A Work-Related Example
I once had a job in which I was responsible for several unrelated departments. They were:
- A business office handling millions of dollars of transactions
- Emergency Management
- Parking (handling thousands of dollars of transactions)
- Storeroom (inventory and warehousing)
- Food Service
- Buildings and Grounds Maintenance
- Photo IDs
My budget was small and had to be divided in accordance with the needs and priorities of each department. The first year, it took me TWO WEEKS to figure out how to most fairly and realistically allocate the funds. Then, I learned how to meditate. The next year, it took me TWO HOURS to accomplish the same task.
Meditation Calms You and Clears Your Thinking
When you meditate – even for a very short time – each day, your Higher Mind centers you, helps you intuitively know your priorities, and lets you feel the constructive or negative value of each action and thought.
You can combine meditation with affirmations and creative visualization for greatly enhanced results. I offer a class about the similarities and differences among these 3 techniques. Click Here to learn more. I offer shorter classes on each of these individual topics. Let me know if you’re interested.
I would love to hear your suggestions for being productive as a small business owner. Feel free to comment below.
Do It The Write Way! Let My Fingers Do Your Talking!