I was tired, exhausted, and my work still wasn’t done. I was working 80-90 hours per week for months on end without a break. I was angry when I came home from work. I couldn’t find time to take a vacation and I was at my max of earned vacation days. I was ready to quit and move on to the next job. Something had to change and I started searching for answers. I read everything I could find time to read while I searched for a new job. I finally realized that I was the problem. Ouch! That really hurt! I realized that I was my own worst enemy because I kept taking on more work each and every day when I had no more capacity. I put an action plan into place that dropped my hours back to a normal 40-45 hours per week and I was getting everything done that needed to get done.
I want to show you how I did it and how you can put the same action plan into place. I’ll even give you two free videos and an Excel spreadsheet to quickly regain two or more hours back in your day.
Each day you accept new tasks. The key is to understand which tasks you should work on and which tasks you should say No to. If you are like I was, you are probably saying Yes to most things because you feel you have to get it done. The flow of tasks you receive is like a river after a major rain storm. The river of tasks is more than you can handle unless you can slow down the flow of water or tasks. You must start building a dam to block those tasks that you should not be working on.
- Start by evaluating and understanding what tasks you actually work on each day.
- Write down the top 10-20 tasks that you work on daily and throughout your week.
- Estimate how much time it takes to complete each tasks.
- Then spend the next few weeks actually measuring how much time it actually takes you to complete those tasks.
- Get ready to start saying No to those tasks that provide no value.
In my video you will learn when to say Yes and when to say No.
I recently visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. As I walked in the door, my 78 year old father-in-law called my name with long drawn out “Waayynne”. I knew he needed some help with something technology related. Sure enough he had just bought an Amazon Fire Stick in the hopes of being able to share his computer screen onto a TV. We took a look at the Fire Stick and I set him up with Netflix for watching movies and IOS photo sharing but the device doesn’t work well yet with desktop sharing for a Windows computer. Sigh…. If he had a Mac we could use AppleTV or if he had a Chromebook, he could use Chromecast. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy way to mirror a Windows screen just yet until MiraCast is ready.
In business we often need good tools at a great price. I’ve included several key solutions for small businesses to consider.
1. Audio Conferencing.
There are several large companies that provide great products that are very stable for large businesses but they still charge by the minute and you need significant volume to lower your price. To get start quickly with audio conferencing you can check out FreeConferenceCall (https://www.freeconferencecall.com/). You can have up to 1,000 participants in a call. You can even share your screen for up to 25 people at once. The catch is that your participants will be paying the long distance charges to join the call instead of using a toll free number.
When you grow large enough to upgrade, there are several companies that offer great services. Check out Intercall, Level3, AT&T, Verizon, Time Warner Telecom, etc.
Turning a profit in any business is difficult these days. You work hard to drive sales, deliver your product, and keep the customer happy. So why should you give up part of your revenue or profit?
Early in my career I realized that I was giving away a lot my profit because I was being lazy and didn’t even know it. I worked with the sales rep from Cisco and was spending over $1 million a year on their product. The sales rep was always friendly, supportive and willing to help with any problem that I had. He even regularly worked to help identify new ways that I could use the Cisco hardware at the high discount of 40% off list price which was much better than his other customers.
A wise mentor suggested that I should consider issuing a request for proposal (RFP) for the next large purchase and we did. We issued the RFP to three hardware vendors leveraging each vendors top business partners. Cisco still won the business from us but at a nice discount of 60+% off list price. I had been giving money away to Cisco when they were willing to lower their price. Ouch!
Since that day I’ve learned to issue an RFP for all large purchases and came away with these key points each time.
1. Identify the top vendors you want to respond to the RFP. Do your research and identify the best vendors and their partners. Create a short list of companies to receive the RFP. These companies already know each other well and they will respond more aggressively when they realize who they are competing against.