Have you ever got to the end of your week and thought, ‘Wow that went fast…but what did I actually achieve?’
We all have 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to achieve a lot more than others! Here’s what I’ve noticed most successful business people do…
1. Successful business leaders limit their choices
Multiple studies now confirm that to increase our happiness, stamina, and by extension productivity, we need to reduce the number of choices we make every day.
A leading researcher in this area, Psychologist Roy Baumeister, has compared the willpower required in decision making to a muscle that weakens with use. And by reducing the number of choices you need to make, your energy increases.
President Obama told Vanity Fair writer Michael Lewis, “you’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits, I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Look at your personal and business life. How many times a day do you get bombarded with options or choices? Now consider how much easier your life could be if you could eliminate a number of those decisions!
2. Successful business leaders prioritise
Getting to 11am and not having a clear idea of what you need to achieve is a sign that you need to prioritise. I know about this as I used to be like this! And I must admit, sometimes slip into the old habit. But more often than not I sit down first thing in the morning (or even better, the night before) and write 3-things I must do that day for my business.
As you list your priorities, visualise yourself actually accomplishing the tasks and how good you will feel once they’re completed!
3. Successful business leaders have a routine
The third way to increase your productivity and boost your business success is to notice what top CEO’s like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Jack Dorsey (Twitter) and the late Steve Jobs (Apple) have said is one of the secrets behind their success – they all have habits, rituals and rigid routines.
Steve Jobs is rumoured to have had a collection of 100 black turtleneck jumpers that he could wear everyday. Mark Zuckerberg has identical grey T-shirts, jeans and runners. And Jack Dorsey takes the idea of routine into his working day where he designates separate tasks for separate days of the week.
Recent research by Harvard business school has indicated that routine and repetitive actions can help alleviate stress so energy can be used to focus on business development, planning and most importantly innovative solutions. What routine and rituals could you introduce into your day to make it run smoother?
4. Successful business leaders know who their ideal customer or client is
If you know exactly who you want to do business with it’s easier when people approach you. If they don’t fit your criteria, you can say “no”.
The time wasted on trying to make sure a new customer or client is right for your business growth is wasted energy. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, has this analogy,
you need to get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus!
You need to make sure you don’t take on clients that either you can’t deliver the right service or product to them, or they can’t meet your requirements – like payment terms or mindset.
5. Successful business leaders know where they’re going
Completing a business plan prior to the start of each year (or financial year) will help you stay focused and improve your productivity. Having a clear business plan including your goals, your long-term vision for the business, and what training and development you want to attend will help you avoid wasting time and energy.