Question: “How do I divide the time I spend on each part of my business to be most effective and least wasteful of said time?
I need to be more efficient. I feel like between blogging, web design, email management, client meetings, shooting, and editing, SEO, building relationships with vendors, getting publications… how can I get it all done myself? And if I want to outsource, how do I do that on a shoestring budget? HELP!”
Answer: Step One: admit that you can’t do everything.
There simply isn’t a way to do everything you want to do.
I recently read an article by Sean D’Sousa discussing the Never Ending To Do List and why we’re always behind. We feel unproductive because we have 10 things on our list, do only five of them, then add five more. We’re never done.
You’ll finish your To Do List when you’re dead.
As long as you’re learning and growing, that list is going to grow, too. So what’s the answer?
Focus on the 20% that gives you 80% of results.
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 Law, holds that in any given area a small percentage of your actions are responsible for the largest percentage of results.
In other words, most of the stuff you’re doing is a waste of time.
Instead of trying to get it ALL done, focus on the tasks that make the most difference to your business and let the rest go.
Learn more about how to free up extra time in your day here.
Step #1 – Identify the top 20% in your wedding business.
- Which weddings are the most fun and profitable to work with?
- Which lead sources generate the most sales?
- Which of your daily tasks generate the most income?
Step #2 – Schedule time to focus on those top 20% tasks weekly.
Many times your most high leverage activities are non-urgent. They don’t scream at you for attention like the cell phone vibrating in your pocket or the Bridezilla who keeps emailing. You’ll have to deliberately focus on them.
If you discover that attending a monthly networking meeting and connecting with wedding pros on Facebook yields the most referrals, schedule time each week just for those activities. Book it like an appointment on your calendar and keep it sacred.
It’s a simple, proven recipe: focus your time and energy on the activities that give you results to improve your results.
Step #3 – Be ruthless.
As soon as you commit time to these high leverage activities, life is going to interfere. You’ll be challenged by full inboxes, text messages and online distractions.
Maintain ruthless focus during your designated task times.
Step #4 – Learn to say no.
Most of the requests and opportunities that come your way will only take your focus away from what gets results. Say NO to anything you don’t really want to do or that doesn’t serve your highest purpose.
You only have so many hours in the day to work with. Use them wisely.
Step #5 – Get help.
You can only grow to the limit of your individual time and energy resources when working by yourself. At some point (hopefully sooner, rather than later) you need to get help.
List all the tasks you do regularly for your business. Identify the ones you dislike the most or that take the least amount of skill. Hire someone else to do them.
It’s often cheaper than you think, and it will free you up to do more of the “everything” that really matters. It’s an investment you can’t afford not to make.
Learn more about the 7 Habits of Highly Productive Wedding Pros here.
What do you think about getting it all done?