Facebook is good for business, and it can be very good for YOUR business. This social media platform is a valuable channel to market your business, generate leads and connect with your potential customers — BUT, only if you use it the right way. For most businesses, it’s necessary to have a separate account, one that is not connected to your personal page. Using your personal page for all things business related has the potential to annoy your friends, and it will likely get you “unfollowed”. Instead of marketing to no one or to an audience that is no longer listening, launch a page that is specifically for your business.
Keeping your personal life separate from your business is not only healthy for you, it’s better for your bottom line. Facebook business accounts are specifically designed for use by corporations, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and salespeople who are attempting to increase exposure for their business and increase website clicks. When used the right way, these Facebook accounts can reach thousands of people, even if they don’t “like” your page.
Keep the personal stuff personal. In most cases, politics, controversial subject matters and other such topics should be left for the reading pleasure of people who are friends with you on your personal account. Special sales, information about your products and other business-related posts are for your business account. With a professional approach and a bit of coaching regarding when and how to post on your business page, you will amazed at how far your posts can go and what they can do for your business.
With a business account and the right content, Facebook may just be the best thing that ever happened to your business. Let us help you use it the right way and educate you on how to leverage social media for growth and profitability — you cannot afford to leave this valuable tool on the table.
Do you ever skip lunch? Do you ever find yourself scarfing down a sandwich at your computer while you frantically try to catch up on email? For many of us, the lunch hour is optional and often used as an extra hour to squeeze in more work when we need to catch up.
You may think that you are saving time by working through that hour of the day, but it will eventually catch up with you. Your body is designed with a need for rest, and not just your physical body, but the mind as well. The lunch hour should be a mental retreat from work, not a time to squeeze in even more work. If you feel stressed, are navigating a particularly stressful or busy phase in your career or simply function better when you are mentally refreshed, keep your lunch break to what it is meant to be — a break.
Not everyone has an hour to devote to lunch, but, chances are, you have some time that you can set aside for a meal and a break. If you aren’t able to completely get away from things during your lunch break, at least attempt to treat yourself to a small, 15-30 minute escape as close to halfway through your work day as possible. Take a walk. Read a few chapters of a book. Eat your lunch in peace and quiet. Make a phone call. Go to the gym. No matter how busy you are or how much you have on your to-do list, you must protect your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The habit of taking a real lunch break may be hard to start, but it is a worthwhile and valuable practice. You don’t have to escape to the islands or quit your job to get away, you just need an hour and commitment to a better, more productive you.
In our busy culture, it seems everyone wants to know how to work less, but still get everything done. By now pretty much everyone I know has either read, or at least heard of 4-Hour Workweek. When I work with clients concerning productivity, they often ask me whether or not I can teach them how to work less and help them achieve a 4-hour work week — or anything close to it.
The short answer is ‘yes,’ BUT not for every client, and even for those who get the ‘yes,’ it comes with a few caveats that must be explored before they get all gun-ho about working a handful of hours and somehow making more and accomplishing more than ever. There is so much more to it than that.
What are the caveats you ask?
Well, the truth is that very few – very, very few successful people can earn the income they want and only work four hours a week. Why? Because not everyone works in a field that allows self-management of time and resources, not everyone is called into a career that lends itself to automation, not everyone WANTS to be an entrepreneur or to run their own business, and certainly not everyone is only in it for the money —
In fact, I usually speak against it in full support of figuring out your calling and your passion and working in it as long as it remains your calling and your passion. I believe God designed us all for something specific (which may or may not be career related, but will still have a huge bearing on task management).
As much as I appreciate some of the ideas in the 4-Hour Workweek book, I am not a 4-Hour Workweek advocate for a number of reasons. But that’s neither here nor there. Today we’re going to talk about how to work less and accomplish more, the practical way — the way that will work for EVERYONE — by calculating our most productive time of day, and restructuring our ‘lists’ to ensure we’re doing the tasks that NEED to be done during our most productive hours.
Let’s start with the math (I know, I know – math, ugh. But, I promise you that you won’t have to do the math. I have included a pretty cool little tool that will do it for you).
The math we’ll tackle involves ultradian rhythms. An ultradian rhythm is a 90-120 minute cycle that occurs inside a circadian rhythm (or a 24-hour circadian day). Science has revealed that our days are driven by these cycles and that the cycles determine our level of alertness and productivity at any given moment in a day.
Early in a cycle, we have heightened energy and ample focus, but by the end of a cycle, we are likely to feel scatterbrained and fatigued. The end of these cycles (or valleys if you look at an ultradian diagram)
Image reference: MentalHealth.com
You can calculate your ultradian rythyms in the day the same way you would at night. Hyper-dedicated people will appreciate that, to truly do this the right way, numbers should be tracked for 4 full weeks, or 30 days – one month). The reason it is recommended we track these rhythms for a month is because circadian days and ultradian rhythms can compile into something called infradian rhythms (in humans, this refers to cycles that are longer than a day that can impact the ultradian and circadian experiences within the body). Infradian rhythms can included hormonal changes that occur in cycles over a certain period (obviously, of particular interest for women) or even season changes and the impacts they have on the body.
It’s especially helpful to start this process on a day that you’ve been able to wake up on your own, unassisted by an alarm clock and unpressured by an early appointment. To get started with the tracking process, note the hour you wake up on your own, on your day of choice, and make note of the hour you went to bed the night before. Your daytime rhythms will be influenced by your sleep patterns and if you’re not getting good sleep, you could experience fewer peak performance hours in the daytime.
Using a spreadsheet (in fact, you can find loads of these online – one of the best I’ve used can be quicklydownloaded for free courtesy of Chris Bailey) rate your energy, focus and motivation, on a scale of one to ten, at the top of each hour in your waking day (meaning, while you’re awake – don’t get up earlier or wake up in the night just to do this, duh). The spreadsheet will calculate your averages and allow you to pinpoint your most productive time of day.
Remember, your numbers will be skewed if your sleep patterns are off your norm, so do your best to get adequate sleep, normal amounts of sleep during the rating time. Don’t over do it, and don’t under do it.
Don’t take more than 30 seconds to record your numbers. This should be an insta-record of your feelings; no agonizing over the rating, no overthinking it, just pick and move on.
If you’re dedicated to the process, you’ll have a daily score, a weekly score and finally a monthly mathematical score based on your personal assessment of your energy, focus and motivation during each hour of the day.
You can use the averages to determine what time of day, what day of week and what week of the month you need to schedule specific tasks and projects in order to get more done and you’ll also learn what times of day you SHOULDN’T work. To wit, you’ll learn how to work less because you’ll be working when you’re good and working and not working when you, well, suck at working.
Trying to work through your LEAST productive times is usually counterproductive. I personally walk away and do something relaxing or restful during those times, because I know anything I did produce would be total crap.
But, there’s also a balance to consider. When you’re feeling the most energetic, you might be less focused. Finding some middle ground in your averages will give you your true sweet spot.
Consider filling your most energetic times with things that require less focus, like cleaning house or working out.
When your energy, focus and motivation are all humming (but not too high), you’re in the zone. The zone is a very good place to be when you’re trying to get more done, make more money, and have time left over to enjoy your life.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with this experiment and answer your questions on this subject. Reach out to me on social media and tell me all about it. And if you have any tips on how to work less that you can share with the rest of us, we welcome your wisdom!
Offline Marketing seems to be a thing of the past. Everything is online these days. From networking to ordering your groceries, it’s all at your fingertips on your phone, your tablet — even your watch. For some, this is ideal, even exciting, as more and more aspects of our lives and businesses can be managed from a computer.
For business owners, the last few years have seen enough changes in the way that social media and the internet are used for marketing and business growth that it makes your head spin. While learning to tap into the benefits of search engine optimization and online marketing is a key component to growth, there are many who long for the days of offline marketing, where a handshake and face-to-face meetings were still the best ways to get things done.
Yes, there has been a distinct and undeniable paradigm shift in the area of marketing. However, there are still plenty of offline and “old fashioned” ways that you can grow your customer base, connect with potential clients and network effectively. For the times when the internet is just not enough, the following suggestions are still beneficial and effective:
• Distribute business cards
• Set up in-person meetings when possible
• Go to events, meet people, shake hands
• Send mail-outs
• Revamp your branding; boost your company’s visual appeal
• Make phone calls
• Participate in community events
• Run in-store specials or set up at local events as a way to meet people
In today’s world, you simply cannot ignore the benefits and practicality of online marketing, but this is not your only option. A carefully maintained balance of the internet and a personal touch is not only a way to humanize your marketing campaign, it will boost appeal and visibility across a wide range of age demographics.
The “old ways” of marketing worked for our dads and granddads, and they can be just as useful today. Use all tools at your disposal to build positive growth and exposure, whether it’s a smile and a handshake or your Facebook account.
Did you know that undone tasks can “haunt” you? Research indicates that tasks or jobs that are left undone can actually have a negative impact on your thought process. Human nature is designed to finish what is started, so why do we struggle with procrastination?
In many ways, procrastination is a form of deception. Instead of completing the task at hand or being honest about our capability to finish a job, we tell ourselves, “I will do it tomorrow.” Most of the time, tomorrow never arrives, the job remains undone and we keep assuring ourselves that we will do it…tomorrow. To fight procrastination, we must resolve to be completely honest with ourselves regarding what must be done.
The best remedy against procrastination is action. Taking action is so simple, but, sometimes, it is the hardest thing in the world to actually get started. When your to-do list is a mile long, it’s tempting to put off things that need to be done, but this will lead to the same results you always have — self-doubt, stress and unease. By breaking down your list into smaller, more manageable tasks, it can be easier to find the will to tackle them.
One small accomplishment or one task knocked off the to-do list will generate positive feelings, driving you to accomplish more and complete more. Effectively dealing with the desire to procrastinate begins with just one completed task. You don’t have to do everything — you just have to do something.