5 Ways to Work Smarter in 2018
It’s a new year and with that comes a fresh start, a chance to do things differently. We’ve spent the last several weeks welcoming some new members into our private Facebook group, and as always the discussion has been riveting.
Lately we have seen a lot of members reflecting back on wins and challenges from the year that has passed. We’re seeing some common themes around the idea of avoiding burnout and working smarter not harder.
Many of our members are brand new to business, but a large portion of our members are in their second, third, fifth, and even 10th year of business and beyond. They have seen the good and the bad and lived to tell the tale. They have put in the time, hustle and hard work. And for some, they realize that pushing themselves to far too often is not sustainable.
So we wanted to share our top 5 tips for working smarter in 2018. We hope you find some of these ideas useful.
It’s no secret that some of the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones that have a team of people who help them so they can focus on business growth. As you look forward to 2018 think about how you might like to grow. What tasks are you currently doing that a) are time consuming; b) you don’t really enjoy; or c) that someone else might be able to do it and achieve better results that you. Working smarter means knowing one’s limits and not trying to DIY every task.
Think back to 2017. What tasks are no longer serving you or your business? What tasks are causing you more pain than they are pleasure? Perhaps there are some items that used to get great results, but that is no longer the case. Make a list and see which of these items you’re ready to eliminate all together. By letting go of what no longer serves us, we make space for new opportunities.
We at Mamas & Co. are very big on collaboration. It’s one of the founding principles of our entire community. Working solo all the time can feel very isolating and draining. Are there people in your network you can partner up with and work as a team? Who do you know that has complementary skills to yours? Who do you know whose business has a similar audience, however is not a direct competitor to you? By joining forces with the right people, we leverage each other’s skills to achieve an even bigger success than we would going it alone.
4. Reduce travel
Does your business require you to travel from place to place to serve clients or gain exposure for your business i.e. speaking events etc.? If so, you might want to consider which of these face-to-face agenda items you can move online. Can you work with your clients over the phone versus in person? Can you host webinars instead of live workshops? By cutting down on travel, time we can dramatically reduce our stress and create more space for more important activities.
5. Reduce email
This last one may be controversial. Many of our members have built strong alliances with their customers by being available and accessible at all times. However, this can be emotionally draining. Studies have shown that people block off set times for email are significantly more productive than people who check and respond to emails all day long. If our brains are to work at their most efficient, we need to eliminate distraction, and email is one of the biggest distractions we entrepreneurs face. Think about batching your emails twice a day, perhaps for 30 minutes in the early morning and 30 minutes in the late afternoon. It’s likely this one small shift could actually create hours of productivity per day.
As our businesses grow and evolve we do need to be vigilant and ensure we’re spending our time wisely. Let’s try to focus on working in ways that bring us both joy and success. Now that’s working smarter!
If your goal is to work smarter, not harder, a great place to start is with a simple business plan that clearly lays out your goals and strategies for the months ahead. If you’re not sure where to start, and want a step-by-step process to create a concise plan that will help your business grow, we invite you to check out our Business Plan Made Simple webinar!