This post talks about four ways that you can “Marie-Kondo” your business. This month we’ve been focused on the theme of simplicity. We covered a few different topics, decision fatigue- all of the decisions that we need to make and how to cut some of those out of your day. We’ve touched on mega-batching- the idea of chunking activities together into focused blocks of time to be more productive. Then we talked about where to start, by doing your highest leverage activities first. That approach will give you the highest return on your bottom line.
This post will pull all of those concepts together and look at how you create space and openness for the ability to be more creative. If you’re on the hamster wheel and constantly moving, you don’t have the ability to have space to be creative. Or to come up with new ideas. Or to be productive. You think that you need to keep moving forward. What you really need is to slow down and to create space.
I found out that one of my colleagues hasn’t had a vacation in over five years. FIVE YEARS! Not a single day off from their business in that time. My suggestion to them was to take a break from their business. After working solid for five years, you could imagine they weren’t super keen to jump into a two-week vacation. They aren’t in the habit of taking time for themselves. The idea of taking a vacation was actually more stress producing for them because they don’t know how to manage their business when they are away. That’s when you can start with baby steps like taking a single day off. Or having a weekend getaway. The more you resist taking time off, the bigger the red flag. You need time off. Resisting it means that you’re too accustomed to not taking breaks. If you can relate to this, start by taking a smaller breaks and then building to bigger chunks of time.
To allow your business to continue running while you’re away, you may need to look at implementing new systems or processes to support the work you do. You may need to get someone to step in on a casual business to run things while you’re away. It’s always possible to find ways to get away. You owe it to yourself, to your sanity, your creativity and to your productivity to take a break.
If you haven’t heard of the Pareto Principle before, it’s the 80-20 rule. In business you should be spending 20% to produce 80% of your work. Unfortunately most of us work on that the opposite way. We spend 80% of our time to produce 20% of our results. That’s a lot of wasted time being spent on tasks that aren’t actually making an impact on your bottom line or how you deliver, or how you advance your business.
Focus on four core areas. What is going to give you impact first? What is going to give you results? This ties into doing the highest leverage tasks first. Do the things that are going to make an impact on your bottom line. Get those tasks done. Focus on what matters most and what’s most important to your business.
The second step is to say no, more often. I know as a women, it’s really hard to say no. We say, “maybe,” “I’m not sure,” or “I’ll think about it” rather than saying no. Some men struggle with this as well, however it’s much more common in women. Your new goal should be to get to “no” quicker, to save yourself some time. You can say no with a sandwich approach. Start with a positive statement, acknowledging their effort and request. Then state that it won’t work for you or that you’re not interested. Close up the sandwich with another positive, wishing them well or all the best in their endeavour. It’s a kind way to say no, without coming across as a jerk. Use this approach to clear more things off your plate and to stop doing things that you’re not interested in. You’ll have more time to focus on the 20% of time that delivers 80% of your results.
The third approach is to fill your cup. It’s the idea of taking care of yourself first which is not selfish. It’s selfish not to take care of yourself because your business depends on you being your best self. You need the most energy to put into your business. My program, Your Lifestyle Redesigned, is an online program that teaches you how to focus on yourself without being selfish. It focuses on the seven core pillars of health and teaches you a blueprint and the fundamentals, that you need to focus on to give you results. It’s a great place to start to fill your cup, to feel energized and to be able to offer more of yourself to the world. Check it out here.
The fourth way you can Marie-Kondo your business is to get rid of clutter. I’m a bit of a neat freak. I’d live in a show home quality house all the time if it was just me. The idea is to apply some of that approach to your business. How can you simplify your business and get rid of things that you don’t need to have around. That clutter may be files, your to-do list, old furniture or office supplies, or it may be projects that you’ve been thinking about doing forever. You may need to clear out projects that aren’t converting or making an impact on your bottom line. Cut the bottom 20% of things that are not helping to advance your business. How can you create more space for new possibilities? Keep cutting that bottom 20% as your business grows so you don’t get bogged down. Perhaps you schedule a time every six months or year to clear out your bottom 20%.
Give these four ideas a try. Let me know how they work for you.
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