Archive for July, 2012

With a ton of things on your plate as solopreneur in addition to all of the other hats that you wear in life, it’s important to know how to get from “to-do” to “done”.  There are of course tools that can support you, but you also have to incorporate habits and rules that support you when it comes to getting things done.

First of all, you have to know what’s important and how to prioritize things so that unimportant things don’t end up on your list of tasks to complete.  If a task isn’t directly related to a goal that you’ve created or running your business, then chances are that it’s not important.  If that’s the case, then it doesn’t deserve your time.  If it’s something that has to get done, delegate it so that you can focus on the important things.

Next, you have to understand how you operate.  For instance, what happens when you’re working on a project?  Do you get off to a slow start, get stuck in the middle of things or does your challenge come at the tail end of things?  Know how you operate and you make it easier on yourself when it comes to getting to completion with your projects.  Create the momentum that you need to keep things moving throughout the entire process to get it done. Learn what works for you and continue to use it.

As you work your way through your projects, be sure to keep track of the time that it takes to complete them and for the individual pieces as well.  Compare your actual time to the time that you estimated so that you’ll be able to better estimate the amount of time that you need to get things done.

Finally, you have to be in action around the things on your to-do list.  If not, you end up with a ton of tasks that aren’t even started.  Take each project and break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces so that you can work toward completion one step at a time.  When you face those things that you just don’t like to do, delegate them or jump in on them and work for shorted periods of time and keep plugging away until it’s complete.  Keep control of the things on your plate to keep them from controlling you.  When you stay at the helm you stay in control, which makes it much easier for you to get from “to-do” to “done”.

Earlier this year a friend mentioned to me that she and her partners were using Evernote to support them and said that it was working quite well for them.  In case you haven’t heard, Evernote is a nifty app that allows you to capture anything, access it from anywhere and find things fast.

Let me give you a quick overview.  Evernote can be used to store different types of content.  You can write yourself a note, save a portion of a web page or an email you’ve received that you want to remember.   You can customize your notes by adding tags, choosing the destination notebook, etc.

You can use Evernote to saving all kinds of information, not just text. You can save pictures, that stack of business cards you collected at your last networking event that you haven’t done anything with yet.   Whatever image you want to save, it’s simple to add them and keep them for as long as you want.  You can also save information from the web with Evernote Web Clipper.

All notes–text and others, are synchronized to Evernote on the Web automatically and from that point are accessible from anywhere you’ve install Evernote — your laptop, tablet or your smart phone.  Evernote gives you the
ability to synchronize your notes to the Evernote on the Web. This allows you to create and find what you’ve saved on virtually any computer, web browser or mobile phone.

Additionally,  Evernote constantly updates all of your computers and devices with the latest versions of your notes, so you’ll always have the right information, wherever you are.  This means that whenever a new note is created or edited on any of your Evernote capable devices, the note is uploaded to the Evernote on the Web where all of your other devices will download it the next time they sync.  There are also Evernote compatible products and services to help boost your experience that you’ll find in the Evernote Trunk.

This supportive platform now has more than 10 million users, which is a serious increase from 6 million back in January.  75%  of Evernote users access it on two or more platforms: 46% use the app on two devices, 18% on three devices, 7% use it on four devices and 4% are using the note-taking apps on five or more devices. Pretty impressive stats and I think it’s safe to say that Evernote users are happy with the application.  If you’re looking for a platform like this, it’s definitely worth a visit to the Evernote website to check it out.

First things first, you must have a clear vision before you can do anything else.  Without it, you’re spinning your wheels.  That vision gives you clarity.  Your vision starts everything rolling in the direction of what you want to create and everything else is born out of your vision.  This is why it’s so important.  Visioning it’s a crucial part of the planning process.  Once you have it, you have the key to everything.

The next step is to create your goals.  Make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound).  Once you create your goals in written form, you can get to the written plan, which includes all of the details.  This is when you start to think of “how”, and “what”.  I cannot stress the importance of planning.  Some will say that it just takes too much time.  The truth about planning is that, yes, it takes some time, but for every minute you spend planning, you actually save yourself at least 4 minutes of your time.  So for those of you who might have thought that planning was a waste of time, or don’t like or want to do it, it’s time to give it up, roll up your sleeves and get your plan done.

How are you going to get there?  What milestones will you cross on your way to that major accomplishment?  What action steps are going to get you there?  Your plan is your road map.

As you create that plan, you have to prioritize those action steps, determine what items are top priority and the level of priority of all the other steps in the process.  Determine what resources you’ll need to carry things out—people, budget, tools–everything that you need.  Making the time to go through the planning process also helps you identify possible obstacles that you might encounter and determine how to deal with them should they arise.

These particular things—all the fine details, are what come into play once your vision is clear.  Many plans, unfortunately never get executed.  This happens with many solopreneurs because they’re challenged in making the transition from the planning phase to implementation.  If you see that implementation is going to be a challenge for you, part of your plan should be to have someone help you with implementation and include them in the planning process.  After all, what’s the point of creating the plan if you’re not going to execute it. Planning is a two fold, very necessary process that your business won’t survive without it.  If you challenged when it comes to planning or ready to breathe life back into what you’ve created, I invite you to take a look at P3, my Power Planning Package™.

Do you think about vision before you start to plan?  Before you do anything, you have to know where you want to go and have a very clear vision of that.  Now, when I say “vision”, of course, I mean picture, which translates into following a specific process to creating a picture in your mind of what you want, writing it down, translating it into a written plan, continuing to picture it in your mind, and developing it even further into specific action steps to carry it out.

Everything that I mentioned in that sentence might seem like a mouthful and may start the overwhelm conversation for you, let me stop you right there.  Overwhelm is simply a conversation.  It’s a conversation that you have with yourself.  There isn’t anything that you can’t accomplish if you take things step by step and persist.

When you create your vision, you’re using your own personal tools.  You’re using your mind and body to create thoughts and carry out actions to create and actualize your goals.  Believe me when I say that there is power in defining exactly what you want, declaring and committing to it, then taking steps to carry out the plan.  Clear vision leads to a clearly defined course of action.  This is what’s missing most of the time when it comes to business and usually why most people don’t get where they want to in business or in their personal lives.

Visioning is the starting point of your planning.  That’s where it all begins; it’s what leads to your plan to carry it all out.  Without it, the rubber can’t hit the road, and nothing comes to fruition. So, if you’re in a space where you haven’t created your vision and you’re ready to step out of it, what do you do?  Once again, it’s a step by step process.  Write down what you want things to look like; what do you want to accomplish inside of your business?  What’s the best thing that you can imagine for your business?  At this point, you’re visioning, so you aren’t focusing on the “how” or “who”, just on what you want to create, and be specific so that the picture is really clear.  For example, if you’re still working a regular job and running your business on the side, think about how long you want to continue to do that.  When are you going to step into your business full time?  How much money are you going to make?  Who are you serving?  Get real clear before you do anything else!

Without vision you’re spinning your wheels.  Vision gives you clarity of thinking and purpose.  It starts everything rolling in the direction of what you want to create.  Everything else is born out of your vision, which is why it’s so important; it’s a crucial part of your business.  Once you have it, you have the key to everything.

Okay, people, half of the year is up. That’s right, it’s gone.  Never to return and with it goes all of the precious time that you wasted.  What have you accomplished so far? If you aren’t even close to where you expected to be or if you haven’t done much it’s probably because you’re fighting that losing battle with procrastination.

If you’re like most people, you have been challenged at some point when it comes to procrastination.  You may even be struggling with it on a regular basis, which we both know is not a good thing.  You might even want to take the next step toward something that you want or a goal, but have something inside that’s keeping you from it.

If procrastination is holding you and your goals hostage, it’s time to eliminate that nasty habit and move forward with not only the things that are on your daily to-do list, but to move forward in your business. You may be at a point where you’ve started to put off the doing the things that will get you to that next level that you desire so much.  Because of that you’re confused; wondering how, if you want that next level so badly for yourself and if you’re ready for it, why you continue to procrastinate and struggle.  You’re doing it silently, thinking that no one knows where you are in your head and your heart.

People struggle at this point because there’s something else going on inside; the procrastination is just the outcome of the internal stuff that’s going on.  Procrastination takes away your personal power and it takes control, leaving you in the back seat. You can’t really get results and reach your goals from the back seat, even if you created them along with a plan for achieving them.  Instead of struggling every day to beat procrastination, take a step back and start to look at what you’re putting off and what it’s costing you.  Make a list of the things that you’ve been putting off.  Then go back over the list and make a quick note about why you think you’ve been procrastinating on each item on the list.  This won’t be the real reason that you’re procrastinating, but beginning to think about why you might be putting it off starts the process to uncovering the root cause of your procrastination.

Next comes the scary part.  Look at the time that you’ve wasted because you’ve been procrastinating.  Then multiply that amount of time by your hourly rate.  So, if you’re a coach your hourly rate might be $150.  Multiply the number of hours that you’ve wasted by that rate.  See what I mean by scary?  If you were able to spend that time with clients, that money would be in your pocket.  You won’t be able to have that and more in your pocket until you break the habit of procrastination and, more importantly, what’s causing it.  To get back your personal power you’ve got to delve deep to get to the root cause of your procrastination.  Until you do, you’ll continue to pay the cost to put it off.

Just think about it. What would your life look like if you stopped procrastinating? How much more productive would you be? How much could you get done?  How would it feel? Wouldn’t it be great to get results?!!  What if you had a way to get the big picture of your procrastination and uncover the real reason that you procrastinate?  Well, there is a way for you to do just that and get back in the driver’s seat.  It’s called Procrastination Annihilation.  This program will take you through the steps to get that big picture view of your procrastination and then guide you through uncovering what’s going on beneath it all; the real reason for your procrastination so that you can eliminate it and be on the road to accomplishing your goals and making good use of the remaining half of the year.  The best part is that right now this 12 week program is deeply discounted by almost 70%.  All you have to do is click the following link to get it.  Don’t put it off.  The time is now!

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