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Take time off to get more done

There’s a big difference between being effective and efficient. And you need to know when to switch between them.

Your left brain – being effective

Your brain is the most powerful computer in existence (at the moment anyway). And it has two different processors. The left part is more effective, it doesn’t care about anything except getting the job done. It’s more calculating and less feeling.

The left brain is like a laser. It can do only one thing at a time, and if disturbed it will need a few minutes to find it’s place again.

Your right brain – being efficient

Your right brain is the power house. It can get multiple things done at the same time and it’s much faster then your left brain. The main difference is that your right brain works when you take a break.

Notice that the best ideas come to you in the shower, or when you’re taking a walk. It’s not something that just happens, it’s the way your brain works.

How to use this to you’re advantage?

When you’re effective you left brain focuses on the problem at hand. And when you’re efficient you right brain figures out the missing variables. So you’re goal should be to activate the right brain as much as you can.

Steven Kolter calls this process “Flow”. One of his recommendations is to focus on a problem, get to all the things you can’t figure out. Then take a break and go for a walk. Make sure to have a recording device with you, because the ideas will just come to you.

So what is the difference between being effective and efficient?

When you’re effective you get stuff done. But you don’t really think out of the box. You just do what you know, like check your email, create presentations or do the dishes. When you’re efficient you think big picture. Should I even be doing what I’m doing? Or is there a better use of my time.

If there’s a problem you can’t solve you find the best way to approach it. Next time you run into a problem you can’t solve, test this system out. After you try everything you can think of, let it go. Take your dog out for a walk, meditate or exercise and see what you come up with.

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Don’t just do more, do what’s important

We like to feel like we’re getting stuff done, so we keep ourselves busy. So busy that sometimes we don’t do what’s important. We do things like check our email, over analyse charts and attend unnecessary meetings.

 We don’t focus and What’s really important for the day. Meaning, if there are two or three things that if we got done today it would be considered a good day. Those are the important things And they need to be done first.

 Don’t be afraid to take long breaks, or Just seem available in the office. As long as you get the important things out of your way, you win. To make sure you do them start off your day journaling. Write down the three most important things you have to get done today. Rank them from the hardest to the easiest.

 Until you achieve those three things nothing else matters. Your emails, charts, reports and meetings we’ll have to wait. Start from the hardest first. Your willpower is limited just like any other resource. If you get the hardest things done first it’s all downhill from there. Trust me you don’t want to be fighting an uphill battle throughout your day.

The hardest thing is not necessarily the thing that annoys you most, like doing your taxes. I’m talking about the project it has the most components and will take up most of your time. Maybe it will require assistance from other people. Just get it done, when you already have a win doing the rest will be much easier.

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You are the prize

You have a lot of competitors, but very little competition. Most businesses Will do anything to satisfy the customer. Sometimes to a point where their not profitable anymore.

 If you’ve done your homework and made sure that your product or services scratch your customers itch, the roles are reverse. The customer is no longer the one with all the power. I’m not saying you should take advantage of this situation. Just understand he needs you more than you need him.

 There are billions of people in this world, and you can’t possibly serve them all. What you can do is serve the clients that you would like to work with. Allow yourself to fire clients that have a bad influence on your business.

 For instance, if there’s a client that likes to leave horrible reviews and just complains about everything you do. This type of client is sucking way too much energy out of you. Energy that could have been used help a few others. And that’s what you do you help people.

 If somebody doesn’t want your help, wish them luck and find somebody who does. Remember you choose the client, you’re the prize.

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Don’t set the standards, meet the needs

This horrible disease usually infects big companies. Trying to create a new standard every few months, and driving customers mad in the process.

 Many software companies implement this way of thinking. Causing you to have to learn every version of their software all over again. I’m sure you’ve run into this before so there’s no point dragging it on anymore.

 Instead of trying to set the standard, Focus on meeting your clients needs. Keep in touch with them, ask them what improvements they are looking for. Don’t assume to know what they are thinking, this always backfires.

 The main difference between you in the big companies, is that they corner the market. People are just too lazy to learn how to use other products. Adapting yourself to clients needs rather than having them adapt to you. Would increase your sales faster than you can ever imagine.

 Having said that, make sure to find a good balance. Meaning, don’t go too far out of your way to meet their needs. That it is no longer profitable for you. Just make sure the transition to your products is as easy as possible. If it makes scene to change convincing people to use your products will be much easier.

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What would it look like if it was easy

If you took the leap and open your own business you’re most likely a very competitive person. One of the drawbacks of being competitive, is perfectionism. You tried to outdo yourself every time. And while that is a good thing, it’s time consuming.

 Try to make your project as simple as possible for you. What does that mean? Depends on what kind of person you are. Your business should reflect your personality.

 If you like to be to the point, let your business reflect that. And do only what’s necessary to get the job done. I recently heard a Podcast with Tim Ferriss. And an important take away from that podcast, is it that a lot of pod casters stop shortly after starting.

 To make sure he won’t stop Tim decided to structure The podcast in a way he won’t have to waste needless time. If you want to hear more, here’s a link to the podcast.

 Now you have to ask yourself, what would it look like if it was easy?

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Set your goals lower

The feeling of freedom when you open your own business makes you feel like you can accomplish anything, and you can. But it will take some time. The problem is we set such high goals for ourselves the we demoralize ourselves as soon as we start.

 Not achieving those goals can add more stress to an already stressful situation. Instead, Focus on the minimum you need. Figure out what’s the minimum you have to do to keep your head above water. And by that I mean just cover your most basic expenses. Not losing money is a win in itself.

 I’m not saying to give up after you reached your goal. What I am saying is if you’re goals are low and you can easily achieve them, you won’t be intimidated to start. You won’t defeat yourself mentally before you talk to your first client.

 Now get out there and get your first win for today.

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If you can do it once you can do it a million times

I know many of you would like to start but just don’t know how. Whether it’s what to do, acquiring the skills you need or just confidence building. It’s just a matter of having a process.

 One of the keys you have to master when starting a new business is the process. Whether the process means getting new leads, selling the product, creating a product etc. You first has to develop that process then scale it.

 One example I keep repeating is the point I was fixing computers. I needed to find new clients. There’re a couple of processes I used to do that. The first was flyers in the mailbox. I started writing down how many flyers I gave out and how many clients I got in the process. The second process used was customer referrals.

 I gave each customer one free hour of my service, for every new customer he refers to me and pays for at least one hour. This process got me three clients that never had to pay for my services. Those three clients built up most of my client base.

 Once you have the process in place, once you know what works you can start to scale it. Scaling it just means doing the same thing over and over to get the same results. And  controlling how much money you make in the process.