The Implementation Coach
What stops people getting more done?
Ash ran a survey and found the main reason was distractions with 70% of respondents!
Ash pointed to several reasons for not getting things done in the podcast…
- You have no clear direction
- You say yes to things too easily
- You have no structure to your diary
- You fail to plan ahead
- You’re looking for the big win
- You multitask (stop that)
- Not understanding the difference between being Efficient and being Effective
- You place very little or no value on your own time
- You allow people to interrupt you
- You work too many hours
- You delegate poorly
- You don’t have any accountability
- You’ve never seen success so it seems out of reach so what’s the point anyway?
Ash has turned over 20 years of tennis coaching into coaching small business owners so they get better results. Ash walked us through the things he sees repeatedly in his one to one consultations.
One startling revelation was 7 or 8 people out of 10 do not have goals!
Here’s how Ash describes his approach.
- Set goals (meaningful goals)
There is a very simple reason that I am as effective and productive as I am. I set goals. I have a long term vision of where I want to be in a year’s time and that is further broken down into smaller goals for each quarter, month and then each day. I know exactly what activity is required to achieve those goals and prioritise on that activity. It’s incredibly liberating being able to just ask yourself “is what I’m doing right now moving me towards one of my goals?” and if not STOP IT.
I am assuming you have clear written goals and therefore should have a good idea of what activities are required to achieve these goals. If you don’t have goals, go set some.
- Plan your day in advance
I always plan these activities into my dairy each day on the night before. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that every minute of planning can save you 10 times the amount of time in execution. That’s a 1000% return. Just spending 6 minutes planning your day the night before will therefore save you a full hour the following day. Make sure you plan the things that are important to you for first thing in the day.
Planning the night before is essential for a number of reasons
- It allows you to review any accomplishments whilst still fresh in your mind.
- It gives you an opportunity to download any thoughts you might have which will
- enable better quality sleep
- It lets you start the following day without any time wasted in planning or
- You can sit down, open your planner and start work
- You can diarise the imperative activities into your schedule first before anything else
- disturbs you.
- It creates focus for the day ahead
- Get organised
Two thirds of people spend up to 30 minutes every day looking for stuff in order to complete or start tasks. This is the same as 15 hours a month or two whole days just looking for things! Disorder has also been proven to have a negative effect on focus and therefore productivity.
It’s the little things such as:
- Having a tidy desk or at least knowing where everything is
- Keeping most used files to hand
- Having a storage system that you know works
- Organising the files on your computer
- Planning any travel routes in advance as part of your planning the day before
- Having your wardrobe organised and laying out clothes the night before
- Always keeping your keys, wallet/purse, phone in the same place
These are all small things but added up can make a big difference and just knowing where things are will take away much of the stress that surrounds you.
- Eliminate interruptions
It can take you up to 20 minutes to get back into an optimum productive flow every time you are interrupted. Even if you are only interrupted three times a day that’s 60 minutes or 1 hour just lost in interruptions. If you’re anything like most business owners I know then you’ll be allowing yourself to be interrupted far, far more than three times a day.
When you’re focussed on getting important stuff done try to make sure you’re working in an environment that is distraction free.
- Shut the door
- Tell staff not to disturb you at these times
- Leave your phone in another room
- Turn off your emails
- Go somewhere else than your normal place of work and pay for parking – it’s
amazing how much you get done with a deadline
- Wear headphones with ambient music in a public place whilst you work. People
won’t disturb you with headphones on. It’s like wearing a sign that says “leave me
Doing these little things is a challenge but it will make a difference.
- Turn off the internet
You spend anything between 2 and 10 hours a week online for personal reasons. You could be taking photos of your lunch on Instagram, Tweeting about your football team, catching up with life on Facebook or watching excerpts of X Factor on YouTube. Whatever it is, stop it. Put aside chunks of time for your social media downtime and if it’s part of your marketing, schedule it and don’t fall into the trap of just checking that page you like.
- Take Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and emails off your phone.
At the very least turn off the notifications and remove yourself from all the groups you don’t need to be in. Items for sale in valley – by – sea… Really….?
All you’re doing is procrastinating – STOP IT
- Don’t multi-task
This is something we’re all guilty of. In fact whilst you’re reading this you’ve probably got 2 or 3 internet tabs open, your emails are on and you’re possibly in the middle of doing something with a deadline. Don’t deny it…..
This can be even worse if you work from home. There’s washing up to be done, popping to the shops, hanging the washing out, doing some cleaning or trying to carry on a conversation with your other half whilst writing a proposal.
Research shows that trying to attempt multiple tasks simultaneously drains your mental energy by 40% for each task. So, you’re not dividing your attention 50/50 when texting and driving for instance but reducing concentration levels for each by 40%. This then reduces by 40% again for each task you add. Do ONE thing at a time. When you plan your day ahead, make sure you allow time to focus on one thing at a time and stick to it.
- Say No
We all spend far too much time agreeing to do things for other people and then fretting over how we’ll find the time to do when we’re already so busy. Before agreeing to anything go back to the earlier question from tip one… “Will this move me towards my goals?” If it doesn’t, be polite but firm and don’t add it to your never ending to do list.
Understanding what the important things are that will move your business forwards makes it so much easier to say no. It doesn’t mean you need to be rude about it. Just explain that it’s not something that fits in with your current plans for the next few months but you’re open to a conversation later.
You can find out more about Ash Taylor, The Implementation Coach on his website: