Quick tips to get you and your business ready for fall

Colourful autumnal leaves illuminated by the sunFall is an important time of the year for entrepreneurs and small business owners. No matter what kind of business you’re in, summer has likely given you a reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle. That’s not to say you haven’t been busy serving your clients, it’s just the atmosphere has been more relaxed.

As you gear up for fall, it’s natural to feel a little anxious. You know from experience that September typically arrives with a jolt. Just the thought of it makes the stress creep up the back of your neck.

How do you make the transition easier?

Here are some quick tips to help you boost your productivity and keep you in control as you move into autumn. [Read more…]

3 ways to turn Google Calendar into your personal assistant

Google logoSome days, managing your schedule can feel like a full-time job. Scheduling appointments, rescheduling appointments and keeping track of important days can eat up a lot of time in your day. If you think you need to hire an assistant to manage your schedule, think again. Google Calendar makes it easy for you to automate all these tasks.

Here are 3 ways to get Google Calendar working for you. [Read more…]

3 procrastination-busting strategies to get your work done

Chalkboard drawing - now or laterImagine this …

You get a call from your most important client. They need a project completed. You have 48 hours to get it done.

What would you do?

Push it to the side so you can cruise Facebook, respond to some emails and go work out?

No.

You move mountains to get it done.

You’re a professional. Your clients come first. So you rearrange your schedule and get to work.

The question is this: why do you approach this scenario differently than when you have our own projects to do?

It simple, because you can. As business owners, we’re only accountable to ourselves for our own work.   And when it comes to our own work, we’re usually more flexible with delivery dates. What happens is we get really good at procrastinating.

But procrastination only leads to overwhelm. And who needs that when we’re running a successful business?

So let’s change all that. Follow these 3 simple steps and you’ll beat the procrastination bug once and for all.

[Read more…]

3 ways to create a beautiful inner business

PaintingThere once was a boy named Steve. He was painting the fence around his house. When his dad came outside to inspect his work, he said, “Steve, you did a great job on the front side of the fence, but you didn’t do such a good job on the back side of the fence.”

Steve said, “Dad, that’s because no one will see the back side of the fence.”

To which his dad replied, “We will.”

Powerful message.

The Steve in this story is the late Steve Jobs. He took this philosophy of excellence and made it the cornerstone of Apple. He instructed his technicians to build a computer that was just as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside.

Why should your business be any different? [Read more…]

5 habits that are secretly killing your productivity

Wasting timeHave you ever reached the end of your work day feeling like you didn’t accomplish anything? You worked eight solid hours, skipped your lunch and only left your desk when nature called. Still you feel worn out and deflated.

How is that possible?

Well, my friend, you’ve become a victim of a productivity killer. These are habits that are preventing you from being efficient and effective at work.

Often you don’t even know you’re doing them. They seem innocent enough at first, but left too long, they wreak havoc with your time and energy.

If work leaves you feeling unfocused and overwhelmed, check to see if any of these habits sound familiar. Then, follow the action steps to lead you back to a place of control and calm.

[Read more…]

5 ways to ensure “Doing Lunch” doesn’t kill your productivity

lunch_timeI love to eat.

This makes me an ideal candidate for going out for lunch. I find Doing Lunch is a great opportunity to take a break from my office and feel the vibe of the outside world. It’s also an important way to network.

However, there is a down side to taking this kind of break in my day. If I don’t make the most of it, it can be a big, fat waste of time.

The reality is this: Doing Lunch is a commitment of time, money and energy. These are three resources that are vital to your personal productivity. [Read more…]

Using Boomerang for Gmail

I came back from Australia with a boomerang in my Gmail.

I’m not talking about the boomerangs the Australian Aboriginals developed for hunting. I’m talking about another kind of weapon … the one I use to attack my email inbox every day.

It’s called Boomerang and it’s a plugin that you use in Gmail to control when you send and receive emails.

In this week’s video, I’m going to show you how to get the Boomerang plug in and how to use it to help you save time and energy when dealing with your email.

[Read more…]

How to overcome the power of distraction

No SoundThe other day my husband was watching one of our favourite movies on television. I was wandering by and when I saw When Harry Met Sally on the screen, I quickly joined him on the couch. It was just getting to one of my favourite parts … when boom … a commercial comes on telling us about a new laundry detergent. Talk about ruining the mood.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with the title of this blog post. The answer is, a lot. Stay with me here. [Read more…]

5 ways to stop multitasking

When you ask people how do they get so much done in a day, many will proudly respond it’s because they are great multitaskers. However, research suggests this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is this: multitasking kills productivity.

Researchers continue to find that multitasking decreases your productivity by decreasing your ability to focus and increasing your stress level. Technology has added to the problem by tempting us with email, texting, social media, etc.

So why do so many of us brag about multitasking? And if multitasking is impairing our efficiency and wasting our time, what can we do about it? [Read more…]

5 simple steps to start your paper-based task list

Last week I wrote about how to CLEAR your workload so you can stay focused and accomplish your work. In that blog, I referred to using a digital task manager. Since then, I’ve had a bunch of people ask me if they can apply my CLEAR formula to their paper-based task list. The answer is, definitely.

While I’m all about using technology to work smarter, I acknowledge that sometimes you have to use the system that works for you. And for many, that means a paper task list. So, here are five simple ways to start and maintain your paper-based To-Dos.

[Read more…]