But working hard for the rest of your life is not necessarily the answer. This can lead to burn out, disillusionment and even illness. Your body and mind needs down time. Sometimes you need to go slow to be able to go fast – you need time to rejuvenate and to re-energise – so that you can bring your best to the table. And be super effective.
“Work smart. Get things done. No nonsense. Move fast.” ― Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
We would like to reframe the conversation… work less and make more money. Essentially what we mean by this is to learn to work smarter.
Working smarter does not mean being lazy. It means finding the most effective ways of doing things, not spending time and energy on things that don’t matter and building out a team to help you get stuff done. So that you can build an effective business while still having a life.
Here we outline some handy tips on how to work less and make more money.
- Better working habits. Plan out your week carefully. Spend an hour on Sunday mapping out what you have to achieve and scheduling that in your calendar. What are your high payoff activities and what do you love doing? Make sure you are responsible for these tasks and delegate everything else to others (more on that soon). If you are one of those people that wakes up late on Monday morning not knowing whether they are coming or going, then it’s time to get super structured and organised. Trust us, we were there once. Being organised is probably the single most important change to make, to free up your time and become more effective.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. If you are a solopreneur build out a team of external consultants who can support you in the everyday tasks. “But I can’t afford an assistant” we hear you saying. You need to rethink this. You can leverage the use of virtual assistants internationally now for a relatively small investment. What is your time worth? That’s what you need to ask yourself. We have Post It notes on our computers that say… “can I delegate this?” Free up your time for the important money making activities.
- Focus on highest income generating goals. If you haven’t yet mapped out the very specific income generating goals, time to get that happening. How are you going to become more effective in less time if you don’t know exactly what will create the most value? Set your goal and then those weekly or daily tasks you need to do to reach that goal. For example… you want 3 new clients a month. What is it you have to do to bring in those 3 new clients? 20 phone calls, 2 networking events, 1 speaking event? Whatever you define as the plan to achieve that goal, then schedule it into your calendar and make that happen. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN and then plan some more. Consciously design your weeks so you are focused on income generation. It’s true what they say… 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. So best to focus your energy on those 20% efforts that will make you more money.
- Stick to your schedule. So it’s all very well to get organised for the week by scheduling things into your calendar, defining how much time to work on each task. But now you need to actually stick to that schedule. Don’t spend more time than allocated on the task, or don’t skip the task because you feel like watching an episode of Schitt’s Creek in the middle of the day. Yep we can do that now so many of us are working from home! Have clear separation between work time and downtime. Work efficiently and effectively as you can in your work time so that there is no work creeping into your very precious family time or you time. Otherwise you fall back into the bad habit of working around the clock and work and life become one big fat work time.
- Surround yourself with great mentors. Yep, if someone has been super successful in business, it’s highly likely if they started a new business they would be successful in that too. You know, those serial successful people. Annoying aren’t they! Ha ha, no, they are awesome and these are the people to surround yourself with. Why? Because they have worked out the formula for success. Learn from successful people. Invite them into your life.
- Challenge yourself to be continuously learning. Spend the first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes of every day reading something positive that will expand your mind and enhance your skill set. There is always something to learn, that will help you reach your goals faster.
- Create a ‘while you sleep’ revenue stream. Think about what it is that you do for a living. If you offer a service or you’re a consultancy, think about what you can create that adds value to your clients… something that you generate once, and then it continues to sell. And then you automate the sales process. It becomes a volume play. One big exertion to create a continuous revenue stream.
Your time is precious. Start wrangling it today.
Change things up so that you are working smarter not harder, so you can build the success you deserve while still having a life.
We like to call it consciously designing your life.