“But I simply cannot do it, you may think there’s nothing to it, but I simply cannot do it… alone!” – Velma Kelly, Chicago
I’ve always wanted to start an article with a musical line. Not only is it one my favorite numbers (so much so I performed it in a high school talent show), it’s also the refrain I hear most often from prospective clients.
You can’t do it alone anymore. What was working isn’t anymore, and now you need to know how to get the support and systems you need to continue to grow. Without this, it’s not possible to maximize your output. There just aren’t enough hours in a day!
And you know what? That’s awesome!
How could something like not having enough hours in the day be awesome? Because it means you’ve achieved a new level of growth in your business – you’re in a new phase of business, and that’s exciting.
So how can you squeeze more time out of your day?
You’ve got three realistic options: optimize, automate, and delegate.
Are you operating at peak performance? What percentage of the time do you feel like you’re totally on it?
When you’re looking to optimize, take a look at diet, exercise, use of stimulants, and your overall health. Is there anything you could be doing better here?
You know, like how you know you do better work after you go for your run but you haven’t been putting in the effort to make it happen?
Or maybe you’ve been eating on the go a bunch.
Now’s the time to take inventory of your habits and see what you can eliminate or optimize.
Hot tip: Something that has made a huge difference in my energy levels is making total nutrition a no-brainer. You can check out what I’ve been using here.
You’ve seen a million of those lifehacker style posts where they share software that will make your life easier. Now you’re not just going to read them – you’re going to implement them.
A few of my favorite apps, extensions, and more for saving time, energy, and mental bandwidth include:
Instacart: Online grocery shopping + delivery.
Rapportive: View all of your contact’s most relevant information within Gmail.
StayFocusd: Block all of your time waster sites instantly.
TaskRabbit: Hire domestic help that’s been vetted. (I hired a guy *with* a truck to help me move into my new place, and it cost me less than $100 with tip. I’ve also hired weekly cleaning help, etc., and I’ve been very happy with the results.)
IFTTT: The ultimate in automation tools. (I use this handy little app to sync up my – and my clients – social media so constant reposting is no longer necessary.)
That short list will save the average time waster a good chunk of time. After you’ve automated as much of your to-do list as possible, hopefully you’ve got a little breathing room.
And if not? Well, it looks like it’s time to take things to the next level.
Hiring a VA (virtual assistant) was the best decision I’ve ever made for my business.
The thing with hiring an expert is that they are so much faster at that thing they do than you are.
More than the time it took to do these tasks, the dread factor associated with doing them was high enough, it was taking me even longer and keeping me spending too much emotional energy on knowing I had to get them done.
When you consider the total amount of time involved here, it looks like this.
The time it would take you to complete a task + plus the time you spend dreading it + plus the time lost if that time had been spent on a higher value task.
Here’s a short list of things I hate doing: bookkeeping, chasing down assignments from contractors, sending out weekly updates, chasing down client paperwork, keeping track of minutiae, mailing things, etc.
Turns out, there’s a lot I don’t like to do. And frankly, that added up to a lot of time being wasted on things that were not increasing my bottom line or making my current clients happier.
When I brought on a VA, it ended up nearly doubling my output because I was able to focus on my highest value tasks, writing and sales.
Fast forward to now, thinkCHARM has one full-time team member, as well as many other part-time contractors. This system allows me to focus on my higher value tasks a much larger percentage of the time, instead of spending my time in the trenches trying to crank out work I’m realistically just not nearly as talented at. Bringing in experts not only allowed me to maximize my personal output, but also that of my team. It has been a total game changer.
By going through this process of optimizing, automating, and delegating, you’ll ensure when you do start expanding and hiring that you’ll do it in a way that is measured, cost effective, and intentional.
Have you implemented my tips to maximize output? Let us know in the comments.