Help your business to be more productive by slowing down with these top tips
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Slow your team down to speed up

This month we explore how to get things done better and faster by actually slowing down. Speed has many benefits but also some drawbacks in that speedy decisions can be less thought through and have unintended consequences that can take you by surprise, wasting time, money and energy later. This month consider trying out some of these strategies:

Health Perspective by Karen Meager

Action only takes you forward if it’s in service of some goal or outcome. This can be something you want, or something you want to avoid - both are useful motivators in certain contexts. If you feel something is urgent, your brain will feel pressure to come up with an answer ‘quickly’ rather than focusing on a good answer. They are not necessarily the same. Lots of people become ‘busy fools’ running around ticking things off list that don’t achieve very much (I hold my hand up to this one!). If you or your team are action focused, slow down - just a little bit - before taking a first step or making a decision and check it out with yourself. It will guarantee better results. You can do this by:

  • Thinking up 2 others ways you could achieve this, to make sure your first one was the best or quickest. This often throws up other alternatives or choices.
  • Give it a break before actioning, even an hour or two gives your mind the opportunity to mull it over and avoids those things that spring to mind ‘when it’s too late’
  • Visualise your action or goal clearly in your mind, does it look right? Is there anything missing? Does this take you towards your goal or outcome?

Download John & Karens Guide to Goal Setting here

The Business Perspective by John McLachlan

Many businesses focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, they lose focus on the ‘why’. In all my years helping businesses with their strategy, the most common problem people have with implementation is that they haven’t spent enough time thinking about the ‘why’ of any strategy. The reason is understandable, getting things done and creating actions feels productive but can be a real time waster in the long term if not thought through properly before those actions are agreed. Getting a good, clear ‘why’ often needs a strong facilitator to ask the right questions and avoid people getting lost in distractions, here are some good questions though you can as yourself to get you started:
  • ‘Why are we doing this/ not doing this?’
  • ‘How is doing this linked to our mission and purpose as a business?’
  • ‘Why is this important to our customers/ shareholders/ employees?’
  • ‘If we decided to not do this, what would happen?’
  • ‘Are there any untended consequences of doing this we need to consider?’
  • ‘What are we trying to achieve with this?’
  • ‘Are there any other ways we could do this?’

If you can brainstorm these questions honestly and openly, it should give you a good solid base from which to design the next steps, and yes, those actions….

John and Karen’s book Time Mastery; Banish Time Management Forever will help you to lead in a way that gets everyone moving at the right pace and get you better business results in the process. You can buy it from Amazon in paperback or e book version here.

Case Study by Eleanor Shakiba

Write attention grabbing blog posts

Are you super keen to get more subscribers to your blog? Well, don’t rush straight to your computer. “Why?” I hear you ask. Because slowing down now just might speed up your success. Heather is a great example of how this works. She believed that blogging simply meant writing whatever came to her head. The problem was, this tactic didn’t seem to be building her subscriber list. A quick review of her blog posts revealed why. Her writing was haphazard. There was no predictability at all about what topics she was likely to cover. This meant her blog had no theme. Which of course, made it hard to sell. 

To solve this problem, Heather had to stop rushing. Instead of going straight action mode, she needed to plan. This involved:

  • Assessing what her ideal subscriber would find interesting to read about
  • Developing a well-structured sequence for her articles
  • Researching and investigating the content of her articles
  • Writing in a format that would suit her target audience
  • Finding appealing graphics to capture attention and get people clicking on her posts

At first Heather thought all this planning would be energy-consuming and time-wasting. But it didn’t take long for her to find that planning speeds up writing. And, an added benefit was that the more she planned the more readership she gained. If you want to be successful a building your personal brand, you too, need to slow down to speed up. 

Next Month - Three signs you need to upgrade your negotiating skills

Until then,

Karen, John and Eleanor 
Click for more from Karen and John
Click for more from Eleanor
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