“Focus On Being Productive Instead Of Busy”
On March 12 I was on day six of a seven-day football recruiting trip with my son, Daxon. We were having lunch, waiting for a football practice later that afternoon that we had been invited to at Southern Utah University. That practice never happened. While we were having lunch, we got word that the governor had just implemented new rules and guidelines around COVID-19. That meant the rest of our trip was canceled, so we headed home. At that time, I had no idea that I’d be sitting here nearly three months later having gone through everything that we have.
It has been interesting to watch and hear different stories about how people have dealt with quarantine. As we try to get things moving again, we know that this story is long from over. There is still a lot of uncertainty and unknown surrounding Coronavirus itself. But there is still a lot of uncertainty and unknown with our lives, our businesses, our jobs, the economy and so much more. What I do know, is that whatever the new normal is once this is over, it won’t be the normal we knew before.
For me, my time in quarantine was actually very productive. As I watched everything start to unfold in March, I knew that there was going to be a lot of things change in the business world, and I believe a lot of it is a permanent change for many. Everything from working remotely to doing more and more business online. I saw a need for many business owners to get a better knowledge and understanding of effective marketing tools and strategies they would need to survive and continue to grow during the pandemic, and once it is all over.
I began developing my Marketing Accelerated course. Quarantine brought a lot of challenges as I worked on this course. Quarantine had some challenges. With things such as the entire family being at home and kids homeschooling, it created trials with productivity, filming modules for the course, and just getting things done.
But I was able to implement some things into my routine that helped me to be productive, stay focused, and get a lot accomplished. These have been productivity habits that have been very beneficial during quarantine, but they are also habits that I’m going to continue with even once we get to our new “normal.”
Get Up Early
“Create the life you can’t wait to wake up to.”
Getting an early start on the day has always been a habit that has helped me with my productivity. Back in my days as a bank manager, my most productive time was early, when I was the only one in the office. When I was there early, I was able to focus on what needed to get done without having any distractions. Once my staff arrived and the doors opened, I never had the opportunity to stay laser-focused on a single task.
For years I’ve been getting up early and going to the gym to workout. Before quarantine, I would be up at 4AM and then be home in time to help get the kids ready and off to school. When we went into quarantine, the gyms were closed and the kids were not leaving the house to go to school. The easiest thing to do would be to enjoy those extra hours and get some quality sleep!
But to stay productive during quarantine, I made the decision to keep an early morning routine. Since I was developing my Marketing Accelerated course, this was often a necessity. Most of the video made for the modules was done very early in the morning so that I could have it completed before anyone else in the house was awake. Like at the bank, the early mornings also gave me time to get laser focused on a project without having any distractions.
The early mornings also included exercising. The best part has been doing it as a family. We all started a running routine together each morning.
“Every day is another chance to get stronger, to eat better, to live healthier and to be the best version of you.”
It doesn’t matter the time of day you do it, but exercise should be part of your routine. Everyone is different and you should consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, but your overall success and productivity will improve if you implement the right exercise program into your life.
I’m not going to go into all of the details, but it has been proven that exercise will improve your health, focus, anxiety, stamina, and a lot of different areas of your life. As I mentioned, my exercise routine was interrupted when our gym got shut down because of quarantine, but there are always options to keep going in one form or another. Make some form of exercise part of your daily routine and it will help you in your overall productivity.
“By taking just 20 minutes out of your day to prepare for your day, you prepare your mind.”
A new practice that I started during quarantine was daily journaling. I’ve always been one who keeps a personal journal, but this is a different kind of journaling.
I’ve heard Brendon Burchard, Darren Hardy, Michael Hyatt, and others all talk about daily journaling and the benefits to your productivity. I decided to give it a try with Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Planner. This is a practice that I quickly grew to love and appreciate. The process helps me to be more intentional with my weekly and daily plans. It’s also an incredible tool for me to start and end the day with because it helps me to be in the right mindset.
First thing in the morning I sit down and plan my day. I determine my top goals and priorities and figure out the “must-do” tasks for the day. But my favorite part is going through a list of ten questions every day and my answers set me up for a powerful day. They are questions such as:
- One thing I can get excited about today is…
- A situation that might stress me out or trip me up today could be… and the way that my best self would heal with that is…
- One thing I could do today that is a little outside of my comfort zone is to (try, ask for, express something, take a big step, etc.) …
- I would know that today was a great success if at the end of the day I did, said, or felt this…
I end the day the same way it began. I go through a list of questions and reflect on my day. Questions such as:
- A moment that I really appreciate today was…
- Something I realized or learned today was…
- I could have made today even better if I…
However you set yourself up, if you will take the time every single morning to intentionally plan your day, and then every single evening to reflect on your day, your productivity and results will soar. If you are skeptical, I challenge you to try it for a month. If at the end of the month you don’t see the benefit, stop. But by then, I know that you have seen an amazing impact on your life.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
In my morning journaling, I look at my top priorities for the day and block time to focus on them.
Blocking the time means that you need to remove all distractions so that you’ll be able to focus on that one thing and nothing else during that time.
No emails. No social media. No phone calls. No interruptions whatsoever.
You need to train yourself to do this effectively. Our phones and computers are always notifying us with noises or pop-ups to distract us. Shut them all off during this blocked time. The text can wait. The phone call can wait. Believe it or not, even Facebook can wait!
The challenge during quarantine is that you not only have to train yourself to properly use block time. You need to train your family. They need to understand that if they need you, it will have to wait until after block time. They can’t just come into where you are working and ask a question. You don’t want any distractions, so you’ll have to establish something that makes it so they are aware when you are in a block session and they can’t disturb you.
It’s very important how much time you block. Don’t block hours on end and think you’ll just put your head down, get to work, and get things done. Your body and mind need breaks. Set an alarm so that you are taking a break at least once per hour. Clear your mind, move your body and drink some water. It will refresh you and enable you to be more productive than if you tried to work straight through.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
“Don’t blame the distractions, improve your focus.”
My wife gave me a pair of Apple AirPods Pro in January for my birthday. I had no idea that they would end up being one of my best, and favorite tools during quarantine.
The AirPods Pro are noise-canceling headphones and I love them. My home office doesn’t have a door on it, so distracting noises throughout the house can be heard from my office. But when I put my AirPods in and activate the noise cancellation, I enter a world of my own. It is perfect for my block time when I want all distractions eliminated. They are also great when you are reading.
Wherever you work, if you are going to implement block time into your day, I suggest getting a pair of noise-canceling headphones. I love my Apple AirPods. I also have the Bose Hearphones, but I prefer the AirPods over the Hearphones. There are a lot of options available. Do some research and find the ones that will best suit your needs and give them a try.
We’ve never seen anything like this before. COVID-19 has forced the world to change and many of those changes are going to be permanent.
Life after COVID-19 will not be the same as life before COVID-19.
I watched many people use quarantine as an excuse to be mediocre in all that they do. I also watched others push forward and be more productive than I’ve ever seen before.
Those who make the choice to be disciplined in their actions and act with intent can make the very best out of this situation or any situation we face in the future. Create habits that you are willing to implement into every day of your life that will enable you to live the life you desire and achieve the goals you dream of. If you would like to learn more about creating a clear path that will help you create that future, get my free Momentum Series.
In the last post we started our series on word of mouth and talked about how to make your customers purchasing experience a short, easy one. We are going to continue with that theme a bit today. We’re going to talk about the power of word of mouth and how to mold it to your advantage.
The reality is everyone needs an advisor to guide them to make a decision. We rely on the expertise of others to make the right decisions as they are explained to us. When you take the time to understand exactly what and how word of mouth works, you’ll see all the great advantages it has to offer you. Remember this path when working to understand word of mouth:
- Accelerate the decision-making process for increased profits.
- You can accelerate product making decisions by making the process easier.
- Instead of low-ball advertising and the used car salesman approach, try delivering on your word of mouth promises.
Traditional advertising draws about one response for every thousand ads and most of those are to ask for more information before the customer even considers purchasing. When you get information from a friend, you are more likely to take their word for it and act. On average customers purchase two out of every five recommendations their friends make. That’s a HUGE difference.
So, what exactly is word of mouth? Well, we know how powerful it can be, but to define it: Word of mouth is a communication that happens between a customer and a potential customer. There is usually a relationship of some kind between these two people with an established level of trust.
Now, compare this to advertising where you are providing a message to a potential customer where they have not established relationship with you or level of trust. Who are they more likely to take advice from? The answer is clear!
We talked above about the benefits of word of mouth now let’s take a look at some reasons why it works. Some of these are:
- The information is custom tailored to the potential customer because of the friendly relationship of the referrer.
- It’s more personal, relevant and believable.
- It,s customer driven.
- It’s self generating and can take on a life of its own, especially with the information age of the Internet.
- It becomes part of the product’s description.
- The source of word of mouth can be important and more effective when coming from an expert.
- Word of mouth saves you time and money.
To fully utilize word of mouth you need to understand:
- Where is your word of mouth coming from?
- What products are being affected by word of mouth?
- How is your word of mouth traveling?
Once you know these things you can work out a plan on how to trigger more word of mouth. This wraps up this lesson on word of mouth. If you need help understanding word of mouth and how it can impact your business, try our GUIDED TOUR to access our wealth of resources and tools.
Next time we’re going to dive into the nine levels of word of mouth. These levels help you understand which word of mouth is positive and which is not.
Don’t miss out on our new course for entrepreneurs and business owners. Take a look at Marketing Accelerated today.
Episode 030: Daily Success Strategies Podcast – The Multi-Task Myth
Daily Success Strategies with Jeff Heggie
Episode 030: The Multi-Talk Myth
There’s a backstory to my episode today. This morning I received a text message from my mom. It said, “Just read this, do you agree?”
Attached was a photo of an article that said, “truly the brain is wired to do only one thing at a time. When you feel like you are doing two things at once, you’re actually doing two individual things in rapid succession. Multi-tasking doesn’t expand the brain’s capacity to accomplish both; it simply increases the amount of mental effort it must put out. The result is that we simply reduce the attention we give to each of the tasks.”
In short, YES I agree…
I talk about my thoughts around this issue and also point out some of the negative things that come from trying to multi-task, such as:
1. Lower productivity on both tasks
2. Stops you from getting into a state of flow
a. U of California Irvine study says that when we are distracted, it takes 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task
3. UCLA Study – impacts short term memory
4. Leads to increased anxiety
5. Inhibits creative thinking
How do we solve this? Refer to Episode 014 – Success PlanningPlan your day List your tasks in priority (Long term list, short term list) List top 3 priorities for the day List the tasks that MUST get done that day Block your time – NO DISTRACTIONS Take breaks Optimize your work environment
Get the MOMENTUM TRAINING Free!
Today we’ll start a new series talking all about Word of Mouth and how it can make or break your business in an extremely short amount of time. In this first lesson we’ll get a feel for what exactly word of mouth is.
Word of Mouth is easily the most powerful form of marketing and is absolutely free. People talk about ads they see, experiences they have and the products they purchase. If you treat people right and spread the word about your new products/services in a positive way, you’ll attract the right customers and client who will sustain your business for a long time.
Now, as positive as word of mouth can be for your business, the other side of the coin is how negative it can be as well. Bad news seems invariably to travel faster than good news and if you have a less than high-quality product or weak customer service system, then your customers will tell everyone they know to not buy your products and services.
The age of technology has proven to be an amazing benefit in the world of word of mouth. With blogs, podcasts, online marketing, forums, social networking and all the other online mediums available and making it easier and easier for consumers to share their experiences. And, remember this is all free advertising for you.
Let’s take a minute to talk about the importance of shortening the customer decision cycle to help customers/client choose more quickly and easily. There are three great ways to increase sales by shortening the decision cycle. They are:
Increase the overall dollar amount customers spend on each purchase
Increase your number of customers
Increase frequency of purchases
Let’s take a deeper look at decision speed. Offer simplicity, ease and a fun purchasing atmosphere and you’ll help your customers make their decisions quicker and more confidently. When this happens your customers will buy more frequently, spend more money than usual, refer friends and make the decision to purchase more quickly. This can raise your market share by over 100 times.
The time it takes your customer to decide and purchase far outweighs any other component of marketing. When you focus on customer decision speed it forces you to take a hard look at your company and brand image, positioning, value, customer service, guarantees and product quality.
The next area I want to talk about quickly is how to minimize the friction, or stress, involved with decision making. No matter how easily people find decision making there is a certain amount of anxiety we all experience when making a purchase, especially from a new source or for a large amount of money. When you help to minimize this emotional response, you will soothe your customers’ anxiety and they will make their decision quicker and more confidently.
There are a few secrets to accelerate the customers decision making progress:
Your benefits, features, claims, and promises must be obvious, clear, and concise.
The information you offer must be complete, easy to understand, credible, and balanced.
Use comparisons that show a marked difference.
Your guarantees must be rock solid, and more than the customer expects.
Make trial periods easy.
You must have simple evaluations of your products or services.
Testimonials need to be relevant and positive.
Your support, delivery, and other operational systems must be perfect.
Your website can be as good as you make it. You can offer more than information; you can offer an experience that guides your customers gently through the decision-making process to make it easy for them to buy. Take it a step beyond by offering toll-free support numbers, software downloads to help with the process or other classy and informative ways to reassure your customers that you are there with them every step of the way and have nothing to hide.
This wraps up the first post in our series on word of mouth. If you need help identifying your target market and the issues they experienced in their purchasing experience that is making their decision time long, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our coaches to come up with the best way to smooth out your purchasing experience.
Also, make sure to check out our new course, Marketing Accelerated, if you’re looking for ways to increase your leads and conversions in addition to making your website and online marketing significantly more effective.
Next time we’ll move forward with word of mouth and talk about the power of word of mouth and what exactly this powerful tool is and can be used for.
The last few posts in this series have talked about how to multiply the resources that you’ve worked hard to maximize. So far, we’ve covered:
- Call in the Troops
- Bring ‘Em Out of the Woodwork
- Black Sheep Clients
- Olympic-Size Sales Staff
- Open Water Fishing
- Call for Back-Up
- Go Big Online
- Bartering with the Best
- Give Away the Farm
Today we’ll finish up this series with the last three ways to multiply your maximized resources. We’ll cover:
- Finding Your Pot of Gold
- Stay at the Top of Your Game
- Wealth from the Inside Out
These areas are all key to keep up the momentum you’ve found in making what you have work harder for you.
Finding Your Pot of Gold
You must always have a goal you’re working toward in order to stay on course. Your goal needs to be something you can attain and utilize your full potential. Don’t be afraid to aim high, just make sure you are clear on what your goal is and exactly what you need to do to get there. You need to continue to hold yourself accountable to your goal and raise the bar as you accomplish the steps to your goal.
Stay at the Top of Your Game
Once you’ve mastered these areas, you need to make sure you are staying competitive and constantly coming up with new ways to use your new tools. Don’t rest on one success when there are more on the horizon. To continue to be successful your business must continue to learn and revolve.
Wealth from the Inside Out
Wealth and riches are defined within yourself, not by your profits or the world beyond. You can use all these strategies in both your business and life to find a greater level of success. When you naturally reflect who you are and what you mean, you will automatically attract the right people to you. This will happen in life and in business.
You are capable of reaching your goals as long as they are well-defined, and a solid road is built to them.
Throughout the last seven lessons we’ve talked about how to take a hard look at the resources you currently have right in front of you and maximize them to get the most out of what you already have. Then turning around and multiplying those maximized resources to take them to the next level.
If you need help with any of these areas, steps or processes, try our GUIDED TOUR to gain access to our resources, tools and business coaches-All there to help you succeed.
Also make sure to check out the FREE Momentum Series, which will help you to gain clarity on where you want to go, WHY you want it, and how to get there!