There is a big difference between actually being busy and being needlessly busy. I did an experiment when I was employed to see if I could go an entire day looking really busy but doing absolutely nothing, because weird things like that interest me. In case you’re wondering, I was successful.
It’s very easy to be busy doing nothing.
“I’m busy” is quite possibly the most overused phrase among small business owners. It’s not because they’re actually busy doing things that matters, it’s for a lot of other reasons that might surprise you.
Val at Aspire & Grow wrote a great post about how busy is the new lazy, and she’s right.
Not creating, learning and implementing systems to make your life and work easier and more efficient is lazy. So it’s not a being-too-busy problem. It’s an organization problem.
I hear people tell me all the time how hard it is to keep up with their email or social media. They wouldn’t have this problem if they used the correct tools and approach.
My natural approach to solving problems is to ask myself, “Is there an easier way to do this?” That is how I manage to get so much done. We have access to all of the information in the world. Usually, the answer to your question is only a Google search away.
I want you to adopt that mindset and look at the things that suck your time. Is there an easier, more efficient way to do them?
The idea of setting up systems in your business can sound daunting and abstract, so let’s look at how your life would change if you didn’t have systems in place.
- Do you do all of your grocery shopping at one time? That’s a system! Without that system, you’d be going to the store every time you ran out of something and you’d probably do nothing else in life but grocery shop.
- Do you wash your clothes in loads? Of course you do! Washing them one at a time would be a waste of energy and would take too long.
- When running errands, do you go to several places in one trip? That’s a lot more efficient than going home between each stop isn’t it?
You see, you already have systems in your life. You just have to take this idea and apply it to your business.
Here is how I use systems in my business coaching wedding photographers:
- I do all of my bookkeeping and accounting in one sitting on a set day of the month.
- I check in with my monthly goals in one sitting on a set day of the month.
- I buffer as many social media updates as I can at one time so I don’t have to search for something to say on social media (which will inevitably lead to getting lost on something interesting I find.) This only takes me about 30 minutes per week.
- I plan out my topics for my blog ahead of time so I’m not left with nothing to write about at the last minute.
- I do all of my content creation in blocks so that I can use that momentum to get a lot done in one sitting.
- I have a very specific process I go through after I publish a blog post to promote it.
- I ALWAYS schedule things in Google Calendar, even if it’s just something for me. My content creation blocks are in there as appointments with myself.
- I use Unroll.me to manage my email and I only check that folder once a day. This helps keep my focus and prevents me from getting distracted by emails.
- This is the most important one: I have a system set up to generate leads consistently, nurture them and convert them into customers.
You can get started today by taking inventory of those tasks that come up over and over again. Then simply document that process, set up time to do it in your calendar and find out if there are any tools that can make those tasks easier.
Do this and you’ll be well on your way to making better use of your time!
Editor’s Note: If this is a topic that hits home for you, we recommend you plan to attend a free webinar Heidi Thompson will be having on Nov. 12. The event is titled “Put an End to Overwhelm: Learn how to implement systems in your business so you aren’t so damn busy all the time!” Event registration is here.