Episode Summary:

In this episode, we delve into the topic of time management and efficiency. We explore strategies to be more productive, leverage your time effectively, and prioritize tasks for maximum results. Discover how to conduct a time audit, implement themed days, create systems, increase pricing, scale your services, and build a team. Learn the importance of focusing on one task at a time and utilizing the Inspired Ideas database to prioritize projects. Improve your time management skills and unlock your potential for success.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:

Conducting a time audit [04:20]
Being more efficient with themed days [09:15]
Leveraging time through systems [13:45]
Structuring your office suite for better results [18:32]
Prioritizing tasks and increasing pricing [23:10]
Scaling services and creating an ascension method [27:45]
Building a team to increase output [31:58]
Using the Inspired Ideas database for decision making [36:12]

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Lifestyle Business Income Calculator – Calculate the ideal pricing for your services [24:35]

Inspired Ideas database worksheet – Prioritize your projects effectively [38:05]

Episode Transcript:

 Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but why is it that some people seem to be able to achieve so much more than others? Even though they have the same amount of time and the same amount of ambition. In today’s episode, I’m talking about how to be more efficient with your time, how to leverage your time, and how to prioritize your time better.

Because as a business owner, time management is a huge lever, something that you need to be really good at, and it’s something that you actually have a fair bit of control over. If you know how to use it or manage it effectively, it’s a big part of determining the results that you’re going to get, or especially how long it’s going to take you to get the results that you want before we can go into being more efficient, leveraging and prioritizing your time better.

You really need to know where your time is actually being spent right now. One of the best ways to do this is just to get the real data and do a time audit, so look at where you’re spending your time over a five to seven day period. This activity can be so, so confronting and revealing, but it’s incredible how much time you can find.

Just by being aware of how you’re spending it, and it gives you the opportunity to look at that data and to make some changes in your lifestyle, your life, your habits, and the way that you work. I did this activity a couple of years ago and I was able to find about 30 hours of free time. By tracking my time over that five day period, looking at where I was spending it, and then deciding what I was going to dump, automate, and delegate because they are the things that weren’t really conducive to the results that I wanted to get, or what I felt was a best use of my time.

If you haven’t done this before, it is actually really, really simple, so, You just track in 15 minute increments, everything that you do throughout the week. So what I do is have an alarm on my phone that goes off every hour that I’m awake. And um, when that alarm goes off, I note down exactly what I was doing in the 15 minute blocks for the 60 minutes previously.

At the end of the week, you should have a range of different things and the amount of time you. Spent on different things and you should be able to categorize all of those things to know how much time you’re spending on certain things throughout the week. So this could be, um, social media, scrolling, replying to emails, creating content, um, managing your team, project management, client communications.

It could be going to the gym, driving, cooking. You know, you do a lot of things throughout the week, but you’re probably not aware of how much time each. Task is actually taking. So at the end of the week, you’ll know exactly how much time you’re spending in different areas of your life and your business.

It may seem quite tedious, but I can tell you it is so effective and it is a really important step that you need to take. Um, just have that level of understanding before you go in, try and be more efficient. Try and be more leveraged and try and prioritize your time better as well, because almost everyone would be able to find at least 10 hours of time by removing, dumping, delegating, or automating things that are not that important.

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about how to be more efficient with your time. When it comes to being more efficient, I really believe it comes back to proper planning and what’s really helped me in my life and my business is having themed days and then time blocking those days with the work that I need to be doing.

This keeps me focused and accountable on what really matters and what is going to help me make progress in my life and my business. And how it works is every day throughout the week, so Monday to Friday, I am either working on client work or Shannon Bain digital work. Now, when I’m working on client work, I might be doing things like client meetings, project management, design and development work.

Um, all of the different tasks related to working on my client’s projects and helping my clients. On the days I’m working on my business, I’m doing things like content creation, sales, marketing, team development, product development, um, recording this podcast for example. And this ensures that I actually have the time allocated to do these things, but it also ensures that I’m accountable to what I need to get done by having those time blocks.

Throughout the days where I know that I’ve dedicated that time, like an appointment that I need to be working on that part of the business. This has also really helped me in being able to prioritize my business as well, so as a service provider and agency. And consultant. I have a lot of client work that I need to do, and what happens with a lot of people in my space is that they don’t have any time to work on their own.

I didn’t wanna be like that, and I do think that every business should have those allocated days and times to work on their own as well, because it is just as important. It’s hard when you like absolutely love what you do and you love your clients and you do prioritize that work. But having some time and space to do your own thing as well just helps balance things out a little bit more.

And essentially you’ve got like a two to four hour block in those allocated or dedicated client work or own business work days where you are focused on a certain area within that theme. So like I mentioned, with all those different tasks that happen for my clients or for me, Um, I know that there’s certain times of the week and certain days that I’m doing or completing those tasks, so I can remain focused and accountable and, um, progressing in all of those different areas by knowing it’s in my calendar and knowing, knowing I’ve got that structure and that routine every single week to get the most important things done.

You may not do your theme days this way. It really depends on the structure of your business. You may find that, um, there’s specific days that you are just dedicating to sales and marketing or just team management, or just project management, or just client work. It can be completely different. But the point is just to have those theme days, um, allocated so you know what you’re working on.

Another big benefit of using this method is that it minimizes how much you are jumping around to different things in your business and different departments and different projects, and that just never works. Like trying to multitask and jump back and forth from different things is not going to be effective.

You’re not going to make as much progress, and I see this all the time with. People jumping from their own business to their client’s, work to their team, to something else, and then they’re being really reactive. Um, this helps you be more proactive with your time. It helps you be more efficient because, um, it has literally been proven that multitasking may seem like you’re making progress.

But if you just focus on one thing, you’re going to move forward faster than if you are trying to focus on 10 different things, because there is that time switching back and forth. Where your productivity and your efficiency drops, um, your brain doesn’t work that way. You cannot focus on multiple things at once, even if you feel like you can just try focusing on one thing and having those theme days and having those blocks of time where you’re just focused on.

One area or one task, and it’s going to definitely decrease the amount of stress and overwhelm you have in your business, but it’s also going to make you more efficient and more pro productive when you are working on those things. Now that you’ve got efficiency sorted, let’s talk about leveraging your time.

There’s a couple of things that I wanna cover here, but. The first and foremost is my favorite topic, which is systems. So just like I mentioned in the time audit, you can automate and delegate things that you really shouldn’t be doing for whatever reason that may be, they may not be a high priority task, they may not be a highly profitable task.

It may be something that you can easily automate and outsource, so why wouldn’t you? But in order to do this, you need to create systems. You need to have a step-by-step process of how something gets done. The best things to systemize first are the things that are relatively repetitive, and these are the things that you can use technology or your team to get the tasks off your hands, and this is going to free up so much time for you and enable you to leverage your time.

Better. Everything can be systemized in your business, but not everything can be automated, and that is when you have to consider delegating it. So if you are automating something, you’re going to be putting the system into a technology or software that can do it hands off. If you are delegating it to your team, you have to provide them with the system and show them what needs to be done.

Creating systems allows you to improve your overall output because in the same amount of time, you are able to complete a much higher amount of work. So systemizing things, automating it or delegating it is going to help you leverage your time more because you can get more work done in that same amount of time.

Another area that we can look at to leverage your time better is your office suite. So how your products, programs, and services are structured. So, If you are a service provider, a coach, or any type of business, and you are putting a huge amount of time and energy into projects and you’re not charging accordingly, you are doing your yourself and your client a disservice.

So, Don’t feel like you are doing them a favor by undercutting yourself, because what’s going to happen is that you are going to be dissatisfied because you know that you are putting so much more value into the project than what you’re getting compensated for, and the client’s going to end up dissatisfied because you are gonna be burnt out and not be able to get them the results that you want.

So if you end up being in this really vicious cycle of. Having a really low ticket offer that you’re spending a lot of time in, I really would encourage you to look at how you can increase your pricing to really align to the value that you are putting in the time and energy and the results that you are getting your clients.

But also remember that you’re not doing anyone favors by undercutting yourself. It’s really. Going to come back around as something that. Is not going to improve your life or your client’s life either. You don’t wanna get burnt out and the client isn’t going to be happy with the results if you are burnt out.

So just analyze and adjust your pricing accordingly. And if you aren’t too sure about how to do that, I actually have a great tool called the Lifestyle Business Income Calculator. It literally gives you the exact amount you should be charging per client based on the number of hours that you take to provide your service or program.

So you can kind of get a really good idea about where you are in your business right now and how much you should be charging. Um, so I’m gonna put that in the show notes. Also, another thing you can look at is how to go from a one-to-one to one to many. Kind of structure. Now, this isn’t for everyone, but um, it’s definitely worth considering.

If we are talking about leveraging our time, then this is definitely a great way that you can do it. So if you have a program or a service that can be scaled into a one to many structure, then that is going to help leverage your time also. Another thing that you can look at with your office suite is creating an ascension method.

So what that means is instead of always having to, um, work on getting more clients, more leads and trying to sell new business, how can you serve your current clients on a higher level or sell seldom? That next thing because. Converting a current client into an upsell offer is going to be a lot easier, um, than selling a new lead into a new service.

So improving the ascension. Of your clients within your business by creating more products and services or potentially a subscription offer of some sort, where we can continu continuously, provide them value, is going to help leverage your time because you’re not going to have to be always out there searching for new clients all the time.

The next way you can leverage your time is by building a team, so even a small team can make a difference. Now, I know I’ve just talked about delegating tasks. But if you don’t have anyone helping you in your business right now, or you’re kind of like uncertain about, um, whether you should be building a team or not, I think everyone should be hiring a VA to help with like admin or marketing tasks, especially those, um, repetitive tasks that you would’ve created systems around or even to bring in junior staff members or contractors, depending on your business model to assist in delivering your services.

So, Building a team will definitely help increase the output of your business and as a result, leverage your time. So now let’s talk about prioritizing your time. I hear from business owners all the time that they have so many things that they want to do, but they don’t know what they should be working on.

And what this results in is they try and work on multiple things simultaneously and they never make progress. They can’t decide what to work on first, so they either do nothing or they try and do everything. So what I’ve actually done is created a method for decision making and being able to prioritize your time.

So that you know what you should be working on to get the best results in the time that you have. I’ve got a worksheet in the show notes, of course, that you can have access to. It’s called the Inspired Ideas database, and basically it includes a formula, um, that is essentially suited for more bigger projects or tasks.

They’re not your everyday tasks, so think about things that you really wanna work on or projects that you wanna start. We just haven’t really had the chance to do them yet. This worksheet is going to give you a place to firstly put your ideas, but prioritize your ideas as well. So the way the formula works is obviously into the worksheet.

You put the name of the project or the idea that you have. I. How much revenue it could make you, how long it’s going to take you to build it, and how inspired you are on a scale of one to 10 to work on it. So the formula itself is how much revenue you could make divided by how long it’s going to take you to build it, and then times how inspired you are.

For example, let’s say you’re launching a new course and it’s going to take you a hundred days to create, but you’re estimating it would make you about $5,000. On the inspiration scale, you feel like you’re about an eight out of 10 to do it. So what the formula would be would be 5,000 divided by a hundred.

So $5,000 divided by a hundred days, which is 50 times by eight, your inspiration level, and that results in a number of 400. If we compare this to another project or task that you wanna complete, let’s say for example, you wanna create a. Automated email sequence and you’re estimating it would make you $200, but it’s only going to take you two days and you only feel like you’re on a three out of 10 inspired to do it.

So $200 divided by two days equals a hundred times by three, which is your inspiration level, equals a number of 300. So comparing those two, we can see that the email. Automation would not be the right thing to work on first, because it’s not gonna make you the most amount of money. It’s not as inspiring to you either, even though it’s only gonna take two days.

So I think this is something that a lot of people get caught up in because they’re like, oh, well that’s only going to take two days to get done. I’m just gonna get it done now. And those bigger products always get pushed to the side, but if you don’t work on those bigger things, you won’t achieve big things either.

And instead of, you know, getting distracted by the smaller things that need to get done. Maybe it’s time to consider those bigger, more inspiring and more profitable things that you could be working on as well. So, like I said, I’m going to put the Inspired Ideas database into the show notes, so feel free to download that and use it to be able to prioritize your time better and know what you should be working on.

So I hope this episode has been really helpful in knowing how to understand where your time is being spent right now. How to be more efficient with your time, how to leverage your time and how to prioritize your time better.

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