Admit it, you are multitasking and it is failing you. Don’t worry, you are not alone. When I gather entrepreneurs into a group the common theme that always bubbles up is a lack of resources with an over-abundance of ideas. Those who are actively learning to master the art of focus get that the real goal is traction. Period.
Here is the secret sauce, but I am going to warn you first, this information isn’t going to be of much value unless you put it into action.
- Sticky notes: Rummage through your junk drawer and find those lonely pack of sticky notes
- Pens: Test and try out pens from that same junk drawer and choose a couple that can be trusted.
- Quiet Space: Either lock yourself in a room or turn off all distractions.
- Flop on the floor: Armed with sticky notes, a pen and a quiet place to work it’s time to belly flop on the floor, you are ready to create.
- Start Writing: Write one thing per sticky note of tasks or projects you think need to be done for your business.
- Time to Sort: Now take each sticky note and ask yourself, “Is this something I must do in order to get my business from point A to point B, or is this something that is a nice to have and has a low probability of progressing the business?”
The reason you are currently belly flopped on the floor is that I want the sticky notes to be within arms reach. Plus, it limits your ability to get distracted. Once you have finished sorting your sticky notes by Must Dos and Nice to Haves, move them into two pretty columns. Whew! Now you can stand up and grab your cell phone I know you are itching to look at. Flip to the camera, hover over your hard work and take a few pictures of your two lists. Then go grab your tablet or laptop and flop back on the floor, time to record all of those great sticky notes. Personally, I typically recommend recording both columns in a Google Doc spreadsheet.
Now, you have a list of things that will move your business from Point A to Point B. This will be a test of will: can you stick to this list? Can you keep your focus and maintain the goal of maximizing your resources? Yes, I know you can.
Common Must Haves:
- Setup analytic reports: Google Analytics allows you to create custom reports that will magically be delivered to your email inbox. Reduce the time you need to hunt through Google Analytics and get a digest delivered that can be quickly reviewed.
- Increase revenue & profit while minimizing cost: Don’t take this the wrong way but you are probably leaking cash. Until you are profitable you don’t need fluffy nice-to-have services like recruiters. Ouch, the fees!
- Hire engineering talent: Time is a limited resource and waiting for candidates to come to your website and apply is a bit like putting out a sticky trap at a networking event and going home. Spread the word about your open positions by reaching out to Meetup Groups or using Hired.com. Remember: it’s OK to be picky.
- Increase press: I have seen a lot of time and money spent pouring cash into getting press. If the press’ reach is too wide, the net that is cast is typically too large and while it creates a spike in traffic it doesn’t equal conversions. Be strategic. Build relationships with topic experts in your industry and be specific to what kind of press you need to attract users. Think complimentary businesses to expect the largest percentage of conversions to users.
The secret sauce isn’t something everyone wants to taste; it’s too real. The feeling that your great ideas are becoming diluted with busy work means the focus needs to be re-visited, the vision clarified and maybe even some mental recharging needs to happen. Whether you are an entrepreneur who is just about to take the plunge or a seasoned professional looking to level up your career take my sticky-note-belly-flop challenge and tell me if the Must Have VS Nice to Have strategy worked for you.