We daily have new priorities and challenges in either personal or professional life and we may face them as they come or be proactive and plan in advance. However we tend to get confused or stressed when we are unable to manage our tasks as per our expectations. Or sometimes our efforts don’t bring the results we expect. To stay organized and never miss our priorities, here are few simple tips to manage our business online and offline.
1. Have a Coach/Guru/Mentor
We can start with introspection of a particular area, we want to master at and hunt for a good coach/expert that can help us. This would work best when our coach can also benefit something from us while he is sharing his expertise with us. Reiterating, this coaching time should not be a part of our personal dedicated time. For me books and amazing online website like HubSpot and Mashable are great guides. However I am still looking for a personal coach for SEO who can guide me, a non programmer, in a simple (non programming) language.
2. Have time bound goals.
The key to success is proper planning, execution and follow up. For this, our goals have to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific. So if we know what we want to achieve this year, (tangible numbers) we can divide the figure to quarterly goals and then further divide it into weekly targets. By doing this we would be able to measure our efforts, make changes to our plans accordingly and work out for the deviation (if any).Goals can be in personal, professional, social or spiritual area, whatever you are looking for.
3. Plan for the day.
We all know how important a to-do list is. We may just try to remember everything that we have to accomplish for the day, or jot it down on yellow notes, or in a diary or paper pad. People also like Outlook for this activity. This activity becomes very satisfying, once we go on completing the tasks one by one and put a check mark as they get done. If we make this a habit, it ensures that we never miss out important tasks of the day and are always able to meet deadlines. I like to start with actions that are fun or easy to do, and since they would get accomplished fast, I get a boost that only few are left and I can make it.
4. Introspection time.
Dedicate yourself few hours of the day, may be at early morning or afternoon (whatever time suits you) one hour or two or three. But not more, since we have other priorities. During this time we should fully concentrate on our business/areas of improvement/business reengineering or whatever project we are working on and should avoid interruptions (those which are controllable) like answering phone calls, listening to voice messages, reading emails etc. In nutshell, this is the time just dedicated for yourself, where you can work on your most important priority.
5. Set a Time check.
I like this key the best. Once we have dedicated a time for us, we should put a limit for our self, that within this time I have to complete this task. “All the exams have a time limit”. This would create a bit of pressure to make the best use of every minute and make us accountable. We may also use a timer, to discipline our self and complete our task within that time by staying away from non productive thoughts and dreams. This is like, we first set a dedicated time for self, and in that time, we have deadlines for actions to be done. We may also give us a break of say 5 minutes, after each task is done.
6. Treasure your ideas.
Ideas come to us all the time, but we miss them either by not paying attention or fail to remember them. To avoid missing our ideas, we may carry a small diary, where we can record our ideas. Sometimes it happens that I am thinking on a problem, and I would get a solution in my sleep. Therefore we should always carry something where we can capture our ideas, (a paper napkin would also work). We may also use Outlook, but I like using a dairy which gives a feeling of touch and think while you write.
7. Offer free assistance.
In whatever field we are working, we would have clients/audience or customers. And they have concerns or problems where we can serve them. We need to identify their concerns, and dedicate a time for them, say a particular day of the week or time of the day, when we would listen and solve their concerns for free. This can be in the form of free consultation; free service, free product repair, free oil change (Although I don’t think we can get this for free).We can have more ideas here based on what would work for our business and what would be cost and time effective. HubSpot does this very well by sharing free information and downloadable digests on various marketing topics. I learn a lot from these articles.
This exercise would help us know our customers better and also see them go happy with a solution.This could also be revenue generating, because since it is free we may see more people come to you than usual and we can capitalize on it. Further serving someone for free by dedicating them some time, would also bring a sense of happiness.