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You’re busy but are you actually growing your business?

This blog might come as a bit of a shock to some of you. But I’m all about honesty and integrity, and my job is to help you grow your business, so I need you to read this, answering the questions and be honest with yourself. And hopefully the chance for reflection will be the impetus for change!

Firstly I want you to ask yourself if you’re being productive, or just “busy” all the time?

Next, I want to know: are you actually growing your business?

How does that make you feel? I asked this of one of my clients and she cringed a bit, because she feels she is a “busy” person and says yes to far too many things.

And she’s not alone by any means! I meet so many business people – men and women – who tell me they’re “busy”, but I’m going to throw it out there and question whether they’re actually being as productive as they could be.

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I’ve spent years working on becoming more productive and less busy, so I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve adapted my behaviours and been able to grow my businesses because of them.

Structure your day properly.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? I know it’s easier said than done, but honestly if you nail this, you’ll see your productivity soar!

If you’re limited to school hours, break your day into hour-long chunks and allocate those hours to tasks. Stick to it! And ensure you give yourself enough breaks to hydrate and have lunch.

Manage your distractions.

As humans, it’s unfortunately in our nature to be curious, which means we’re easily distracted. And because of technology it’s getting worse and we often struggle to manage that. So what I’ve found works is learning how to minimise the distractions around me.

Try logging off your email, switching off your smartphone notifications and only clicking your web browser if a task truly requires it. Doing this regularly has really helped me focus on growing my businesses.

Stop responding immediately

This one was a biggy for me. And it took a little while to crack, but now I’ve got there, my workflow is so much better and I’m not creating a rod for my own back! So, if you’re the sort of person who responds to emails and DMs as soon as they pop up on your phone, take heed!

If you reply quickly, people become accustomed to it and they’ll begin to expect it every time they send you something – and then they get annoyed if you don’t always respond as speedily as before.

There’s absolutely no need to respond in real time to the messages you receive. Set up an Out of Office response, and allow messages time to breathe before replying.

The art of “no”

Some cracking books and blogs have been written on the art of saying “no” so if this is one of your issues, keep reading! You hate saying “no” and disappointing people, right? But flip that around: by taking on every single task, you’ll never complete them, or if you do get some done, it won’t be to the best of your ability.

Productive people know how to say “no”. They’ve mastered politely turning work down because they know that it can’t be done to a high standard. Be direct, and gracious. Try saying, “Thanks for asking, but I can’t.” No excuses needed.

It definitely gets easier, and when you respect your own boundaries, people often begin to respect you more. Before saying yes, ask yourself: is it worth it?

To Do Lists

Most people have some sort of to-do list (some of the “busy” ones have Post-It notes stuck haphazardly on or around their desks, or scrawlings on scraps of paper – which they can never find!) but if your list is a long one, and you’re not feeling productive, you might want to try these next tricks.

Productive people have one simple to-do list, whether that’s in an app on their iPad or in a notebook. My advice is: keep it short and only put realistic tasks on it. Writing and maintaining an effective to-do list takes some getting used to and requires some introspection but it’s absolutely worth it.

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By saying no more often, and focusing on our own challenges and not getting distracted or worrying about pleasing other people, we are going to build our businesses and see our productivity rocket.

I hope you’ve found this helpful and it’ll lead you to becoming more productive when it comes to growing your business.

Let me know if you’d like any more advice. I’m always dipping in and out of my free Facebook community, Brilliant Business Builders, so feel free to tag me in a post if you’ve got a productivity question.

Speak soon,

Niki x