[HOW TO:] Make more money through extreme productivity
I have developed a tyrannical level of control over my time. I highly value the ability to relax at certain points in the day and be able to shut my mind off from work to spend time with my family. That means I must pack lots of good work into my "work time" so I don't have things weighing my mind down.
"[Entrepreneurial success] does not essentially consist in either inventing anything or otherwise creating the conditions which the enterprise exploits. It consists in getting things done." Schumpeter - Genius Economist - 1939
You may have heard of the Pareto Principle - 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. You can read here for more info:Pareto principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Knowing the Pareto Principle tells us something about our work:
80% of our profit comes from 20% of our efforts
The goal is to figure out what those 20% tasks are and focus on them. Hire others to do the 80% tasks that produce the least profit per hour.
In honing my productivity levels to a razors edge, I've discovered a few things. These few, simple steps have allowed me to grow faster than ever while increasing the amount of time I can "unplug" from my business. It is the best of both worlds.
1) Be productive early I used to say "I'm not a morning person" and that meant I would stay up late at night working and then sleep in. This is a bad, bad way to be productive. Sure, it's an OK way to be lazy but personal and professional growth is not for the lazy.
In the corporate world, you become disciplined to get up early and get to work. If you have never had that experience and learned that discipline, you must learn it on your own. Go to bed early and get up early. It is a fact of the world that people are most productive in the morning.
You can argue all you want but it is true. Develop the habit. If you insist on saying you can't get up early - please examine your real motives. I'd bet there is a lack of discipline in many areas of your life.
If you still have a full-time 9-5, it is much better to go to bed early and get up early enough to work. When I still had my 9-5, I got up at 4am every single day. I had to be at work by 8. So, I left at 7:15. This meant I had THREE hours every morning before work. After work, I came home, ate dinner with the family, and worked another hour. I was in bed by 8:30. I know how it is. Shower at night before bed so your morning productivity is not wasted. Showering is a low profit activity - do it at night.
On weekends, I STILL got up at 4am. I could knock out a full 8 hours of work by noon, and then have fun. I was tired a lot - but that is what you must do.
2) Turn off all of your alerts. While you are working, little reminders keep popping up that interrupt you. New email in the inbox. Facebook message. Text message. IM. Sales notifications. News feeds. In today's world, we are surrounded by interruptions. Turn them all off and you will find a new level of high profit productivity.
3) Don't let email drive your day. This is so important. If email is the first thing you do in the morning you are missing out on a lot of productive time. Letting email drive the day is like giving your car keys to an insane person and letting them decide your fate. Email is schizophrenic.
I use startup tabs in my browser. Email used to be one of them that automatically came up. Take it out of your startup tabs! This one thing will free you up and unleash your morning productive time. What do I do instead?
Here is how my tabs are set up. This determines my early morning workflow.
Tab #1 - My sales CRM (right now I use Nutshell - it is simple and awesome) Sales is the single most important function of any business so I start there. I run through all of my sales related tasks and make sure I have enough in the pipeline. I make my calls to followup with people first thing in the morning. ALL SALES TASKS COME FIRST. Then, in the afternoon, I can followup with the people who didn't answer the phone or were too busy etc.
Tab #2 - Project Manager (right now I use Wrike - it is awesome and has made me much more productive) Now it's time to execute work product. I look at the tasks that are overdue/due today and follow up with the workers. If you don't have workers it's OK - just start doing these yourself. Just don't jump into project tasks until AFTER all your sales tasks are done. That is the only way to grow your business so you can eventually hire other people to do the work.
TAB #3 - Contractors - I have my outsource tab pop up so that I can quickly communicate with any contractors as I am doing Tab #2.
Notice - There is no email tab open. No Facebook. No News. There is no Warrior Forum tab. I love the WF but it is a low productivity activity. You really shouldn't open it until your other things are DONE.
My daily workflow looks like this - Sales > Projects > Email > Sales > Email > Other stuff > Projects > Family Time
Other Stuff = WF, Facebook, News etc...
If you adopt a similar pattern, I guarantee you will get more done, and earn more money.
"If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."