Are You Working Smart or Working Hard?

That’s a good question, isn’t it? We get so wrapped up in what we do day in and day out to grow our business that we forget to stop and take a look at what we’re doing from time to time. Think about everything you’ve done today that’s been work related. Get out a piece of paper or open a Word document and write it all down.

Now that it’s in front of you in black and white, read through it and ask yourself: Was this the best use of my time? It’s an eye-opening exercise. If you’d like, go back to what you did yesterday or keep a log for an entire work week and then come back and take a look at it from a different perspective.

There are a few different questions you may want to ask yourself as you look through your list:
 

  • Is This The Best Use Of My Time?
    Do you keep sticking with things because that’s the way it’s always been done? If you keep going through your regular routine, step back and reevaluate it from time to time. If you’re tracking your numbers, you know what activities will get you the most visitors to your website, the most subscribers to your list and the most sales. Look at each item on your list and ask yourself if that was the best use of your time or if you would have seen better results doing something differently? Do you get more traffic from YouTube videos than articles? Then focus on video production instead of article writing.
     
  • Does This Give Me The Biggest Bang For My Buck?
    Do the same for your spending. Is that $500 you are spending to send out a press release each month getting you the results you’re looking for? Or how about the Yellow Pages listing? Would that money be better spent in well targeted Facebook ads? Try it and track your results. Then allocate according to your best ROI (Return on Investment).
     
  • Is There A Way To Make This Faster or Easier?
    Look into tools to automate processes in your business. I’d much rather spend a little extra cash or some time setting something up that will save me hours each month than doing things manually.
     
  • What Will Happen If I Stop Doing This?
    Here’s an interesting question. What will happen if I stop publishing my weekly newsletter for example? Are sales dropping significantly? Give yourself permission to stop doing things that are no longer effective.
     
  • Can Someone Else Do This For Me?
    We are all working with the same finite amount of hours in our day. Would your time be used better by outsourcing things like customer support, content creation, social media management, etc.?
     

A review of how you work every so often is a great way to ensure you’re doing your best work. I’m not suggesting you turn your business upside down each time, nor do you need to (nor should you!) implement every change you identify all at once. Baby steps, otherwise known as incremental changes, provide improvement with the least amount of stress and anxiety. And really, do any of us need more stress?

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