It’s easy to lose yourself — and your business momentum — to daily minutiae. Get ready to break the cycle by working this simple set of goals into your planning.
Make a list of things you need to stop doing so you can devote more time and focus to your business instead. My list includes: Refrain from checking Twitter and Google+ in between tasks, stop saying yes to writing book forewords when my own book’s foreword isn’t complete, and put a halt to my Pavlovian response to email alerts.
The rule of thirds
Start tracking your time. The goal: Dedicate one-third of your day to prospecting for new buyers, one-third to executing business tasks and the remainder to supporting existing customers. Most people tend to focus on one or two of these areas and forget the other. I prospect and execute, but I don’t devote enough time to nurturing my community. Which one is your weak spot?
Five people to thank
Who are your top five customers right now? Start sending each one a regular personal note to check in and find out how you can help them. It’s just five people; it won’t zap too much of your time. If you keep them top of mind, they’ll return the favour. (However, if you feel one beginning to shy away, back off. You don’t want to hound your customers, either.)
30 minutes of media
Take 30 minutes twice a week to shoot and post a personal video message to your community (or your prospects or employees). It can help drive customer perception of your company and potentially create new leads. The video should be shorter than five minutes.
Write a brief dialogue before you start to clarify your thoughts, then look into a camera — even the webcam built into your laptop — and speak your mind. Also, consider interviewing staff members or customers about your company; ask them about their success, not about your products.
Ten replies a day
President Obama responds to ten written letters every work-day. It’s one of his rituals — and it’s just plain smart. Put the practice to work and commit to replying to at least that many emails, blog comments or tweets each day. This simple gesture improves loyalty.
Tools: put it in writing
Listhings has a virtual corkboard for pinning to-do lists. You can access the site from any browser and share with other people. Go to listhings.com
Evernote is one of the most powerful (yet easiest to use) note-taking tools online. Even the free version automatically syncs to your phone, tablet and computer. Go to evernote.com
Action Method helps you break tasks down into steps – and, as the name says, take action. Go to Action Method for more information.