The One Day Rule

Few of us go for long at work without feeling completely overwhelmed. Whether it’s a never-ending to do list, or a mountain of paperwork to go through, we all have constant demands on our time that can occasionally clash to create a perfect storm of stress.

While there might be very little you can do about the amount of work you have physically come in, there are ways you can ensure you are handling it all a lot more effectively. While people talk about “managing time”, what you actually need is a way to manage your approach to the use of your time.

Unless you make a conscious effort to schedule your time, you are probably not being as productive as you’d like, or need to be. It’s this which leads to feelings of being overwhelmed and out of control.

One way to try and combat this is to utilise the one day rule.

Remember what it was like in your office just before Christmas? Everyone knew they were going off work for a few days (maybe longer if they were lucky) and a sense of panic ensued. So much to do, and a very finite amount of time to do it in before Santa arrived.

We’ve all seen the meme’s doing the rounds on social media stating you get more cleaning done in the ten minutes before someone comes over than you do in a week. Work is the same. That period before you go on holiday, or shut down for a few days, is your most productive.

Why? Because you become more ruthless with your to do list. Through the pressures of time you are able to see clearly what must be done, and what can be done – everything else can legitimately wait.

When you are feeling totally bombarded, try behaving as though you genuinely only have one day to get everything done. You will be far more focussed and efficient, and will be able to tick a lot of things off your to do list.

That’s one way of getting back in control, for everything else, there’s a VA!

If you want to find out how a virtual assistant can help reduce your work load in the first place, just give me a call on 0161 883 2024, drop me an email to lu@timesavingheroes.co.uk or contact me directly on LinkedIn.

I don’t care how big it is, what can you do with it?

When we first speak to people about their social media, many of them are concerned with the number of people following them on their various channels. We’ve had clients embarrassed by their lowly 100 fans, and envious of a competitor boasting over 1,000.

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again – when it comes to social media, size does not matter.

The same is true when it comes to things like LinkedIn and your other networking activities.

You will no doubt have noticed that when you get over 500 connections, LinkedIn stops specifying precisely how many you have.  As a result 500 becomes this wonderful number many aim for, because to have that 500+ next to their name makes them look impressive.

If you know that many people, you must be really well connected.

Apart from that’s not the case.

As I’ve already mentioned, I’m conducting a little experiment with LinkedIn at the moment, and part of that means I’m just accepting invites from anyone.

A quick scroll through my last 20 connections (added over the last five days) and I find:

  • 1 person I’ve met once at a networking event
  • 2 people I’ve heard of, have mutual connections with, but have never had a conversation with
  • 13 complete randoms that haven’t even taken the time to start any communication beyond sending a request
  • 4 people I actually know (two of whom are previous clients)

I don’t think there’s anything particularly unusual about that, many of us if we take the time to look through our network will find numerous names we don’t recognise, and faces we can’t place.

That’s not a network.  That’s a directory. And it’s pretty useless.

The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect with people you know and trust.  Countless times I’ve asked a genuine connection for an introduction to someone else on their list, only for them to reply “I’ve no idea who they are”.  Great.

Well, plus side they just add people so at least I can introduce myself, but it’s still quite frustrating.

There’s whole swathes of the LinkedIn community that are out there collecting names and numbers, and then, for some inexplicable reason, doing absolutely bugger all with them!

Not only that, but the bigger the network, the harder it is to do anything meaningful with.  When you have over 500 contacts how do you begin to manage that?  How do you code people so you can immediately pin point your history, interactions, commonalities, their potential as a customer, supplier or collaborator?

You have no idea who most of them are – so explain again why size matters?

Everything is better when we stop and take the time to actually connect. I’m not saying for one second you have to delete everyone you can’t sell to (how egocentric is that?), but at least identify who these people are you’re now sharing your cyber space with.

The virtual world will be a better place for it.

 

 

 

Every small business should do this to gain new customers

Last month we wrote a blog about how being a small business can actually be an advantage when it comes to social media marketing, specifically when it comes to building relationships.  It seems to have resonated with a few people, so we thought we would follow up this week looking at another advantage – collaboration.

As a small business you are well placed to make strong connections with your local community.  This can include your consumers and potential clients, but also other businesses based within the area.  When that happens you open up the possibility of combining efforts and therefore potentially reducing your spend, whilst increasing your reach.

For example, I have a client who sells travel insurance.  Following a few meetings with a local spray tan company they struck up a fantastic deal whereby if you purchased a course of spray tans, you could obtain a discount on your travel insurance for your next holiday.

My client saw an increase in enquiries (which he was able to convert) without having to do any additional advertising himself. Equally, the offer went the other way so as one partner isn’t putting in all the effort.

It’s a very simple and effective way of getting more bang for your back – and it helps remind you, as a solopreneur that you’re not actually alone in this big bad world of business.

Larger businesses and corporations are unlikely to strike up such relationships, if for no other reason than there’s a lot more to consider and the legal department is likely to scrutinise any suggestions put forward.

Think about what you have to offer, and if anyone in the local area sells something that could enhance or compliment your product and service, and reach out to them.

The worst they can say is no.