My husband is an avid fan of the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and figuring out the minimum effective dose for getting something accomplished well.
Over 10+ years of being an online business owner in the audio industry and now as an online business coach to other aspiring business owners, he has learned how to 80/20 just about every aspect of life (including how much of my plant-based dinners he’s willing to eat).
He has a popular and controversial piece of content where he calls out business owners who elevate “hustling” and makes the bold claim the “Hustle is laziness in disguise”.
Think about it for a minute.
If you give yourself open ended work hours you are highly likely to lazily fill it in with all kinds of time sucks like social media scrolling, inbox monitoring and Facebook rabbit trails and somehow still get to the end of the day without having completed your ever growing to-do list.
Parkinson’s Law argues this point another way and says that work expands to fill the amount of time allotted to it.
Give it 40 hours and it will take 40 hours to complete. Give it 16 and somehow you will get it done in 16.
Graham argues that it takes no real effort to just try and push and push and do “all the things” we see everyone else doing in business, filling up our days with work-for-work sake. It’s actually harder (initially) to stop, think, and assess what activities are actually strategic and generate revenue/growth in your business - and then ONLY doing those things.
Not only will it take you less time because you are actually doing less (but more strategic work) but by adding shorter deadlines and false time boundaries, the power of focus is on your side and you become ultra-productive.
Here’s the secret sauce that you came for...There are three reasons why I am able to run a now multi six figure business in 16 hours a week. You ready?
This last one is the one that we are going to focus on as we wrap up this series today.
The reason being, that it is the most powerful and effective way to grow your business and maintain balance and sanity and is absolutely essential to having work boundaries that still enable your business to be wildly successful.
You HAVE to discipline yourself to spend your time doing your most critical work and ruthlessly cut, outsource or delegate the rest.
This is true at almost every level of business.
Sure, in the early days you wear ALL of the hats out of necessity but the difference between businesses that grow out of this season and those that just get stuck in endless overwork with little profitability to show for it is business owners who learn how their time is best spent and do just that.
I can’t over emphasize this enough. It doesn’t matter what level of business you are at right now - You can start this TODAY and see improvements in profitability AND your sanity.
Prioritize your workday with a specific block schedule
Raise your hand if you have ever had a workday upended because a child needs to be picked up from school sick?
Raise your hand if you have ever felt so overwhelmed with the to-do list that you just clean out your desk drawers and answer e-mails instead?
Raise your hand if you feel like you are always working on the urgent things inyour business and never get time to get to the big important work ON your business?
I’ve been there to. Many times.
This year, one of the major things that I needed to work on was my work-day schedule.
I have such limited windows of work time (6 hours on Tu/Thurs and 4 hours of Fridays) and I run two businesses and manage multiple employees and contractors in that very small window of time - not to mention needing to actually create the stock images that we sell!
What I found was that I was spending all of my time doing “desk” work and very little of my time doing creative planning, prep and creating art direction for my shoots - the things that actually brings in the money.
It is essential to the survival of my business that my stock images for small business owners continue to be aesthetically current, thoughtfully designed and meticulously propped and styled, and yet that was the area of work that I was allowing to slip the most!
A friend, fellow artist and business mentor, Megan Gonzalez, worked meticulously with me early this year to finally commit to creating a firm schedule for what I thought I was already sort of doing.
BONUS TASK: Set alerts on your phone to transition to the next task and to wrap up for the day!
You can download my current block work schedule as an example. This is a schedule that took months to work out and that I am STILL working hard to be disciplined to stick to.
Click the button below to get today's freebie:
Do you use time blocks already? If so, has anything in this post made you want to reallocate and rearrange them? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
With this transaction Buyer acknowledges that the purchase comes with a non-exclusive limited use license so that the Purchaser may use the image for personal or professional use in the normal course of Purchaser's business.
Purchaser may crop the image and overlay the image with text or pdfs of product designs as fits Purchaser's needs, but Purchaser may not otherwise alter, edit or manipulate the image.
Shay Cochrane remains the sole and exclusive owner and holder of the copyright in the image and the Purchaser may not sell, lease, loan, transfer, assign, or give away the image or a derivative thereof or otherwise allow a third-party to use the image in any way.
The Purchaser may not use SC Stockshop images to promote styling related workshops, webinars, classes, how-to-style blog posts or newsletters, or any styling related training.
These images have been designed to become a part of your branding just like a logo or font choice.
As an entrepreneur yourself, you know how frustrating and discouraging it can be when people misuse, steal, giveaway or alter your work. With that in mind, please don't change the colors or move the props around - it just doesn't look as good (and infringes on the usage terms)!
Feel free to crop the image any way that you want and overlay it with text or designs to help you to promote your brand and sell more products!
By purchasing the image you are agreeing not to give the image (or a part of the image) away to anyone else in ANY way even if you turned it into a beautiful free e-book cover, or snazzy desktop screen savor.
It would also be just plain wrong to re-sell the image in any form such as turning it into an art print or including it in a website or other template design.
Lastly, using an SC Stockshop image to sell your styling course, webinar or other styling related training is sort of false advertising. Show them the styling that YOU have done so that they know exactly what they are in for and can get excited! This is not meant to scare you.
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