Well, good ole’ Punxutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday morning, which means another six weeks of winter (allegedly). But don’t let those winter blues get you down! This simply means you’ve got six weeks of kicking ass left before the urge to get outside and enjoy the sunshine will lure you away from your ever-growing task list.
I like to use this time of year to reorganize, recalibrate, and restructure my chaotic world. As you think about how you can get your business moving this year, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Conduct a Technology Audit
Pop quiz – How many applications are you using to conduct day-to-day business? Think about it. Top five might include: Your CRM, email platform, marketing systems, order management system, and productivity tool(s). Do these applications talk to each other? Should they? CAN they? With all of these apps operating in silos, you’re likely wasting valuable time and duplicating efforts across the board. Take some time to determine what a utopian technology scenario looks like. Then figure out how you can best streamline these tools to make your life less cluttered, more productive, and highly efficient.
Make a Marketing Plan
Don’t freak out. I’m not talking about a full-blown, detailed plan here. But at the very least, sit down and determine where you need to focus in order to move the needle for your business. Do you need to communicate more with your existing customers? Are leads getting colder by the minute in your CRM? Is your website in need of some serious TLC? You don’t have to solve all of these problems before your first meeting of the day, but getting it on paper, prioritizing your objectives, and determining a plan of attack are the first steps. Once you’ve got these pieces outlined, you can work on a more detailed plan to check some of these off the list.
Clean Up Your To-Do List
If you’re like me, you’ve got an endless to-do-list. I swear, I think mine is an evil plot to drive me insane! I’ve noticed that we often leave things on the list that simply have no need to be there. Take a look at that list and categorize your tasks into three groups:
- Quick and Easy – take less than 20 minutes to complete.
- Calendar Block – take more than 20 minutes.
- Take the Day – take many hours, multiple people, or complex to accomplish.
Once you’ve got them categorized, make a plan. I try to get at least 3-5 of the easy tasks out of the way every morning. For those tasks that take a little more time, schedule time in your calendar to work on them. Be diligent, and don’t book calls or schedule meetings during that time. Use it to focus on the task and get it off your list. For that third category, I don’t expect that you can (or should) take a whole day to get this completed. But chances are, if it’s going to take you all day – it’s a project, not a task. Take another look and see if you can break it up into multiple quick and easy or calendar block tasks. Bite size tasks are way easier to manage and will save you the feeling of defeat in the long run.
There you go! Just a few helpful tips from your friends at Carve Digital to help you stay on top of things for the next six weeks of winter!