When your driving and you enter a “Work Zone” the message is to “Slow Down”. You are to use caution, go slowly, be careful and certainly don’t speed. In fact, you’ll get a ticket with a huge fine if you’re caught speeding in a work zone.
But that’s just the opposite of what we want to happen when it comes to our own personal work zone. We want to “Speed Up” rather than “Slow Down”, yet is seems almost impossible to do!
Why is it so difficult to speed up in your business work zone? Why do so many people repeatedly say “This week just flew by and I feel like I didn’t accomplish much at all?” Does your time seem to just “get away from you”? Is it difficult getting any of the real important things done during normal working hours? For many of us, this is more the reality than we would like to admit!
So let me give you 3 tips on Getting Work Done. These are three independent but related concepts that can help you become a master at “Going Fast” in your personal or business “Work Zone”.
Tip #1: Don’t Procrastinate! Go get the book “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy. It is an easy read and is full of quick, practical helpful tips to improve your productivity. The primary message is to start your monthly, weekly and daily routine by taking on the biggest, ugliest, hairiest action item that you have on your list. Don’t start with the little ones. Start first with the ones that are game-changers for your business. Eat the BIG frogs first!
Tip #2: Don’t Multi-Task! Focus your time and attention on one thing at a time. If you want to get more work done, focus and complete one assignment before moving to the next. A recent study suggested that someone who is constantly multi-tasking has a lower brain function that someone who has been smoking marijuana! Now that’s scary!
I would highly recommend you use the technique of Time Blocking. Create a default calendar for each day of your week and block the time periods where you are going to focus on the different activities of your business. Identify specific times for the things that matter most in your business: Prospecting for new business, Communicating with your Team, Working on your Processes, Getting Customer Feedback.
Unless you block time for the important things, you will find yourself simply doing the mindless, day-to-day task such as reading e-mails, surfing the web, doing paperwork and rearranging your pencil drawer.
Tip #3: Become a Serial Project Manager. Most business owners have many projects underway and any given time. You work on each of your projects a little at a time and they seem to never get to the finish line – but they only give you a return when they are complete and in place in your business!
Do this exercise: Assume you have 3 projects, A, B and C. Each takes 3 full weeks to complete and when each is finished and implemented in your business they will give you $1000 of value (in the form of increased revenue, efficiency or cost savings).
The typical approach to working these 3 projects is to work on each a little each week. The weekly work schedule looks something like this:
Wk 1: A B C Wk2: A B C Wk3: A B C Wk4: A B C Wk5: A B C Wk6: A B C Wk7: A B C Wk8: A B C Wk9: A B C
By week 9 we should be ready to launch our 3 projects. At which time we should get an improvement of $3000 per week in benefit from these projects. But during the entire work process, we get no real benefit because all of the projects are a “work in progress” with no gain in revenue or reduction in expenses.
Now, what if you had been a Serial Project Manager and worked on your projects in this manner:
Wk1: A Wk2: A Wk3: A Wk4: B Wk5: B Wk6: B Wk7: C Wk8: C Wk9: C
By week 4 you would be getting the benefit of project A at $1000 per week. By week 7 you would be getting the benefit of project B at another $1000 per week. By the time you get to week 10, you would have already received $9000 in benefits from project A and B being completed earlier!
Being a Serial Project Manager gets the priority actions done sooner and puts financial benefit into your pocket earlier. It is a No-brainer!
Try these tips in your business and start picking up the speed when you enter your work zone!