My 7 Top Tips for Maximising Your Business Day

I’ve always got a pretty packed schedule, so maximising my time is absolutely essential.

Here are my top tips for maximising your business day.

iosphere

1) Checking emails – have designated times for checking your emails. First thing in the morning, midday and before I finish for the day works well for me.

If possible, shut down your email between those times. If you need to refer to information in your emails, set it to offline mode. This will allow you access to all your information whilst also ensuring you do not constantly feel the need to look at what is coming through.

When going through your emails, if there are some that you can deal with via a quick response, do it immediately. It’s quicker than flagging for follow-up and then having to come back to it later.

2) Social Media – this is very much a part of business today and we can’t do without it. However, we do need to be aware of what a time waster it can be. I’m guilty of getting sucked into reading funnies, articles, etc., so willpower is essential.

The solution I’ve found is to apply some rules, just as with emails. Unless you work in an occupation which requires you to be constantly on, then a similar schedule to email checking works very well.

Create a system for posting and checking your pages and stick to it!

3) Mute your phone and set your Skype to offline– this will avoid interruptions and allow you to concentrate so much better!

I actually have my Skype set to offline for the vast majority of my workday.  I also only answer my phone at set times. If you answer your phone when you’re busy on another project, you often end up losing focus and worst of all, you fail to give the caller your full attention.

If it’s necessary to have your phone on for the family, it’s a good idea to have a totally separate mobile number that is exclusively for very close family.

4) Keep a notepad handy – this is perfect for scribbling down any thoughts that pop into your head at random moments.

Have you found how when you’re not thinking about a particular area, a thought will suddenly form? I often find when I am working I’ll have an unbidden thought of what I need to buy at the supermarket, or a great idea for a client blog, etc – I don’t want to lose the thought, so my notepad allows me to get it down on paper. The act of writing it down, then frees my mind to continue to concentrate on the task at hand.

5) Break times – Set yourself designated break times and stick to them. Leave your desk, and if possible go outside into the fresh air.

Don’t eat at your desk, take the time to chat to colleagues or read a magazine/chapter from a book, listen to some relaxing music or whatever appeals to you.

This is not wasting time, it’s actually setting you up to be more productive. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have after a short break – even 15 minutes can make a difference. You’ll work more efficiently – guaranteed! I didn’t always used to do this, but once I started to implement this technique, it’s made a huge difference.

6) Make Life Easier – there are lots of great tools out there that can help make life easier.

Trello is a great tool for keeping all kinds of stuff organised, kind of like a virtual pin-board. I use it to put up task for my VA’s and pop my ideas that need to be “parked” so I do not get hit with Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS)

7) Set aside the last 15 minutes at the end of your workday for  review.

Use this time to:

  • Go over your emails
  • Delete and file anything you don’t need
  • Check your trusty notepad for the days unbidden thoughts
  • Look over your calendar and add in/delete/accepts as appropriate
  • Transfer any outstanding tasks to tomorrows
  • Finalise the next day’s priority list

I’d love to hear your feedback and of course please share, in the comments below, any tips you like to use to get more out of each day.

Michelle

This post originally appeared on Simple Team Meeting as 7 Simple, Proven Tips to Immediately Get More Out of Your Day.

Who wants Uber Marketing?

Answer: Who doesn’t?!

I got this from Powered by Oxford Dictionaries • © Oxford University Press as the definition of ‘uber’:

“… denoting an outstanding or supreme example of a particular kind of person or thing … ”

Maybe you are an outstanding expert in your field.
Maybe your business is a supreme example for your sector.
Maybe everything about your business is totally uber – except the un-uber state of your customer engagement.

Did you see the post we shared on Facebook this morning that digital disruption has already happened?
Old Digital Marketing(1)It’s something many B2B and B2C clients are trying to get a handle on.

We know, because they ask us to help with this more than any other single Business Barrier Busting need.

The biggest challenges are:
1. What do you put up – or put out there – as your marketing messages?

2. How do you engage the interest of prospects and customers?

3. What will set you apart from the multitude of product and service toting businesses?

The answer to this is Strategic Content Marketing. And it’s not rocket science.

We do it every day, usually in the form of ghost writing, for just about every sort of platform – articles, email shots, blogs, webinars, Snagit, LinkedIn, Facebook, newsletters, advertorials etc.

Is that an unashamed plug for one of the Dragon Sisters services? Well, I am a sales person at heart, so what do you think?

This isn’t a plug though. Rather, I am sharing what I really think is a great article by Brian Honigman which explains a lot in terms of ‘how to.’ So if you’re in the mood for a Sunday read, check it out.

Hope this helps you with your marketing.
Have a super uber Sunday!
Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

Understanding A Sales Meeting

There are meetings, and there are meetings (very often too many of them!), but one thing every meeting should produce is measurable, achievable and progressive outcomes.

As elementary as this sounds (My Dear Watson) it’s sometimes quite astonishing how often meetings fail to produce this result.

This happens for a variety of reasons, though it’s safe to say that the main two reasons are (a) that there has been a lack of understanding, and (b) that there has been a lack of commitment. Both issues arise from the incorrect positioning of the dialogue.

The giveaway is in the title. If the meeting does not produce sales resultant outcomes – budget, orders, market share, etc. – then it has no business calling itself a Sales Meeting. As they say, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck … well, it’s a duck, not a Sales Meeting.

Understanding a Sales Meeting
Image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’ve been a party to sales meetings my entire working life, as a participant and as a manager. The most common failing of many sales meetings is that the chair does not understand the basics of running such a meeting.

Naturally, every sales meeting is about performance and sometimes there is a distinct lack of understanding of how to successfully translate this objective into meaningful, dynamic, real time, meeting outcomes (sales!!).

For example, if the meeting revolves simplistically around looking at last month’s figures, berating those team members who haven’t hit target, lavishly praising the team star and worst, kicking the team trailer (while she’s down) what you have is a Head Kicker Session not a Sales Meeting.

Similarly, if the meeting is all about what the company needs and wants with no substance (dialogue) as to how the team individuals can actively go out and achieve this, you might just as well send out a memorandum directive email. That’s not even a meeting!

The absolute worst sales meetings have been those where the boss expounds at length on a particular individual’s poor performance or that of a few non-performing team members.

That’s not a sales meeting. That’s a performance review. The reason (other than HR legislation) that those are done in private is that if there’re performance issues to address these should not be aired in public. At best you’ll end up with one shattered, humiliated individual (and how great is his performance likely to be then?!); at worst you’ll end up with the entire team thinking you’re a complete bar-steward, eager to stick the knife in at the earliest opportunity. The ‘sales meeting’ then moves on to projections for the new month, often in similar vein.

Too often the finale, in the guise of Any Other Business, degenerates into a whinging session or the boring minutiae of office housekeeping, e.g. the admin staff have again complained that no one is washing up their lunch dishes. Be still my beating heart! Boy is this going to project your team like so many sales-seeking-missiles out of that meeting room ready to wrest the best out of the day’s opportunities – not.

There are two things any chair must get out of the Sales Meeting:

  1. The team’s understanding of how to achieve their target
  2. The team’s commitment to achieving their target

We’ll talk about how we achieve this next time. Meantime, watch out for ducks!

Yvonne

Yvonne Toering is a business development consultant who has worked with leading organisations and brands including Securicor Group, Vodafone Group, ASDA as well as most of the UK’s major high street retail chains including Marks and Spencer Plc, the National Health Service, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mars UK, and the Grand Metropolitan Group, owners of Burger King, Smirnoff, Samuel Webster Brewers, Haagen Daas, Cinzano and other iconic brands.

This post originally appeared on Simple Team Meeting on 3 June 2015

Success – A Different Perspective

WINNER1 cmpThis blog post was, in part, inspired by the speech Michelle gave almost 12 years ago as the 2004 Telstra NT Business Woman of the Year. It was first posted on Simple Team Meeting in April 2015.  We believe it is just as relevant now as it was then.  Wishing you every success in 2016.

Michelle & Yvonne

 

When you hear the word success what do you immediately think of?  Wealth, status or fame? I suppose the most common is the trappings of wealth but this is purely external.

Success, at least the monetary kind, and happiness do not go hand in hand. For numerous reasons. Sometimes individuals have a tendency to push themselves so hard to succeed that they do this at the risk of loosing everything else around them. This includes health, family and even themselves.

The more pressured your job is, the more important it becomes to take the time to ensure you are succeeding in all aspects of your life.

In my eyes you are a success when you are happy with where you are. In other words, being happy in the moment. That is not to say you should not have ambition, goals and dreams, rather it means accepting and enjoying the present as opposed to constantly looking ahead to the future, the next goal.

Now this may sound a bit strange to some, but based on personal experience, I believe this is absolutely the case. The epitome of success is allowing yourself to appreciate the present.

Accept and give yourself a pat on the back for what you are achieving at the moment.

Do not pay too much heed to what everyone else considers or thinks is appropriate.

Living in the moment means taking the time to enjoy what are often the very simple pleasures of life. I embrace moments when I walk to work. I admire the scenery and absorb the little details like the blossoms unfolding , the birds cheeping,  and the way the light changes in the sky at different times of day. I enjoy allowing my mind to wander where it chooses.  I take the time to appreciate the walk and see it as an exercise opportunity rather than a drudge. It is my choice to see these as a pleasure moment and it sets me up for the day with a positive mindset.

We are each responsible for our own success, for our own feelings.  It does take some time and effort to achieve the skills to be able to live in the moment, but it is definitely a skill worth developing.

Developing awareness of living in the moment is a skill which accompanies us through life. It gives us the power to embrace success in all its forms and allows us to experience the greatest success of all in life, personal happiness.

Michelle

PS – love to hear your thoughts on what represents success. Leave a comment here.

Michelle Hanton is a multi-award winning bespoke business strategist, working internationally as a consultant, coach, speaker and writer. She has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector and is the former CEO of Lifeline Top End, and founder of Dragons Abreast Australia, a national charity dedicated to the promotion of breast cancer awareness.