The big picture – it will eat us alive.

When we attempt to focus on everything, we get lost in the details.

We easily become overwhelmed with objectives, goals, to-dos, musts, needs, and indirectly create a “do or die” mentality.  There is so much to get done!  We convince ourselves that there are not enough hours in the day and if we remove sleep, well we can get even more done!

Enter consistent minimum.  Consistent minimum is a concept of consistently doing the minimum but staying productive.  The key ingredient to consistent minimum is focus.  Without focus, you allow the big picture to creep back in and corrupt our to-do list, your productivity, and your concentration.

There are five simple strategies you can do to managing your productivity.  These strategies will allow you to put in the minimum (not maximum) amount of time need to sustain your business with the same pay-off!  Remember, while big leaps show progress faster, small steps often mean you continue to work towards your goal and meet them.  If you recall – the tortoise did beat the hare.

Strategy One – Time Management:

Yes, I know.  You have heard this a million times.  Everyone has told you the importance of managing your time, prioritising your responsibilities, and minimising distractions.  Unfortunately, you are about to hear it again.  Time Management is important because without it, the rest of the strategies are irrelevant.  If you are not able to manage your time, focus, and stay on track – does anything else I say here matter?

Strategy Two – Training:

Train yourself that every phone call does not need to be answered immediately, every text doesn’t need an instant response, and every email does not need to be read as soon as it is received.  Create a break to allow yourself to shift your focus; however, do not become side tracked when asked a question, offered an opportunity, or when provided information that relates to a previously worked on task.

For example; I have found one way to manage my email inbox is to set two time slots during the day to check emails, respond to those which take only a few minutes and allocate others, by level of priority.

Strategy Three – Set reachable targets:

Create a daily goal to do list.  If anything urgent comes in, remember – you have already set aside a time during the middle or at the end of the day to take care of these tasks.   Understand what you want to achieve that hour, day, week, month and/or year.  Start from the longest duration and work backwards, a many of your know, I refer to this as reverse engineering..

What do you want to achieve this year?  Now, break that down into 12 months.  Look at each month and break down your goals into 4 weeks.  Now look at each week and create your daily goal list.

Strategy Four – Allocate your time as a resource:

Some would ask, “Doesn’t this fall into time management?”  Yes and no.  With time management, you are managing your time as a whole, prioritising your day, setting up your goals, and focusing on the task at hand.  Allocating your time as a resource, you are deciding how much of your time that day you are spending on each task.  It is easy to start writing a blog and three hours later, you are still writing and nothing else has been done that day.

Sure, you can stop at the designated break time and check emails/attend to urgent issues, but you would go right back to writing that blog, right?  By allocating time as a resource, you force yourself to segment your time.  You would allow yourself one hour to work on your blog.  If you were not finished in an hour, you have a stopping point (even jot down a few notes) and move on to the next thing.  This way, everything gets “touched” that day and you are taking steps (even small ones) to completing your goals.

Strategy Five – Delegate:

Delegating will allow someone else to take the less important task so you can focus on the more important objectives that help your company grow and build revenue.  Do you really need to spend 60% of your day answering emails, returning calls, updating social media, creating marketing ideas, implementing marketing ideas, troubleshooting your website, posting to your site?  No!  There are so many companies out there that can, on a task-by-task or monthly contract basis, complete these remedial tasks for you.

Give this five strategy process a go, and see how consistently doing the minimum, brings amazing success and rewards.