How to Be More Productive In Your Business


OK, well you go ahead with your unstructured bad self – I’ll take routines any day.  Why, because they actually free you from having to think about what to do next.  Now I’m not saying that everything you do has to be rigidly inserted into a routine.  But I am saying that routines can help you be more effective, save on the mental drag of task switching, and actually help you get better at whatever you’re doing.

When you form a routine to work through a task or project, it helps you know what comes next – what’s the next step.  That immediately stops the mental friction that comes with thinking thru task switching.  Think about it, if you have a routine that every Thursday afternoon at 3:00 you’ll sit down to review your notes, write two video scripts, and prep them into a blog post – then when Thursday rolls around you don’t have to go through the process of making a decision about what to do, and what comes next.

It’s a routine, you already know what to do and what comes next – now you just have to get to the doing.

Another huge value in routines is that when you do something over and over again, it gets easier to spot how it could be done better – and not for nothing, but you also get better at it.  That’s actually why a lot of online experts caution against batching huge amounts of videos.  Because recording 6 months of videos in one week isn’t nearly as helpful as recording 2 videos every two weeks.  Because when you record every other week, you get loads of practice opportunities.  The repetition makes you better, and the frequency gives you more chances to refine your delivery.

So, we agree – routines are good.  But how can you form effective business routines?

Well first, determine what needs doing and how often.  You may have 3 things a month or it may be 10; just be sure you’ve thoroughly thought through what the tasks are.  And don’t forget to figure out how long each one will take.  So if you’re processing bills, does that usually take 1 hour or 3 hours.

Next, map it out on a calendar (now take note – I didn’t say schedule it on your calendar – at least not yet), but map it out, what does that look like, one session or two or three or five.  How long is each session, what gets accomplished at each session.  Let’s take a look at video production as an example.  Once the script has been written, we have to break it down into an editing roadmap – that shows where titles or B-roll will happen.  Then once we have the editing roadmap, we select music and clips.  Then the video gets edited and rendered.

“… when you record every other week, you get loads of practice opportunities.  The repetition makes you better, and the frequency gives you more chances to refine your delivery.”

Now, creating the editing roadmap takes about an hour; and selecting music and clips can take anywhere from 2 – 3 hours.  Then the actual edit takes another 2 hours or so.  But in going through this routine, I found that mentally it’s better to do the roadmap, music and clip selection and final editing all on different days.  It helps my creative flow, and makes me more efficient.  So, we calendar it that way – roadmap on Tuesday, music and clips on Wednesday and final editing on Thursday.  So with all that, I know that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I’m going to need anywhere from 1 – 3 hours, depending, for video work.

Then I do that for all the routines I have in my business, and align them all on one calendar – what does that look like.  What about once I add in personal obligations or event, like being home for dinner every night by 7, or getting 8 hours of sleep.  And finally, add in the goals you’ve set for the year.  By the way, if you’re having difficulty in figuring out goals, check out last week’s episode.

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OK, now you have everything aligned on the calendar, what does it look like – it is a solid block.  Are you booking in 10 hours every day?  Well then something needs to be revised.

You could reduce the number of goals you have, or reduce the number of routines you have.  What about keeping the routines, but reducing their complexity.  Another option – and this is my favorite – delegate, get help.

And here’s a pro tip – most routines can be delegated in whole or in part to someone or something else – think automation or outsourcing.

Another pro tip – don’t forget to schedule open brain space time for reading, thinking or writing.  I like to take a least a whole day each month.  Taking the day give me enough time to get fully in the zone and be really creative in my thinking and planning.

Try these tips to create or develop routines that can unlock massive productivity in your business.  Oh, also remember your routines will change and grow over time – some may even become obsolete.  That’s good, it shows that they’re adapting and staying viable and valuable, as your needs change.

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