Today, we’re conditioned to believe that we should be busier, do more, and work harder. Most motivational speakers give well-meant advice that makes you believe that you aren’t doing enough, and that’s why you aren’t successful. But productivity is more than getting more tasks done and scratching items off your to-do list. Productivity and how to get more done is all about doing what’s important, not just what’s next.
But the belief that “doing more = accomplishing more” isn’t as effective as it sounds. Doing less actually helps you achieve more because you are more focused and able to concentrate on the task at hand instead of the fabled “multi-tasking” that really leads to less progress. This can take some time to realize, though, as many of us are conditioned to believe that we should do more.
By forcing yourself to do less, you unexpectedly end up with more. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out…
How to get more done is simple – by setting limitations on your work and forcing yourself to do less. This causes you to focus on your most important work and you drop the non-important tasks or shift them to another team member. This is the best shift you can ever make to improve your productivity levels. Use most of your time to focus on the most important things, instead of doing everything that happens. When you use the focused time to really complete the tasks, you get more done of your most critical work.
How To Get Things Done: Only a Few Things Really Matter
In reality, each person has only a few tasks that really matter. And in business, it’s only a few tasks that significantly move the needle. All the other tasks are “good” to do but they’re distractions from your most important tasks. “Good” isn’t worth your valuable time and energy. It’s only the most important tasks are worthy of that. This is true for every member of your team. The receptionist has a few important tasks that help them accomplish their goal, and the rest is just fluff. So does the CEO.
You need to focus on what’s important and train yourself to avoid anything else. This will help you become highly productive and it’ll accelerate your path to growth and success. While not all of your staff can stop doing certain tasks, you can work to eliminate the less important tasks and move around workload so that the “must” tasks are completed and your staff is working on the top items that help move the company forward.
How To Get Things Done Using The 80/20 Rule
The phenomena that only a few things matter comes from the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle. The 80/20 rule states that 20% of the inputs account for 80% of the outcomes. Or said another way, this means that 20% of your tasks are responsible for 80% of your desired outcomes. This might feel depressing, but it’s actually a great revelation. You can focus on less and make more progress with your business. Think about how far you get working on 8 tasks for an hour a day, over a week you don’t even spend a full day on that task. But if you work on 2 tasks a week, you can spend 20 or more hours really digging in and focusing on what needs to happen in that area and really make progress. As long as those are the things that make the most difference in your business, you can make a lot of progress in a week.
If you want to be successful, you need to focus most of your time and energy on the most essential tasks. If you focus on the most important tasks, you’ll make the greatest impact with fewer resources spent. And imagine what it will feel like to make that progress and see the results.
It doesn’t seem like it’s that simple, but it is. Look at your sales channels, your products, and your website traffic. I would be willing to be that one channel is responsible for 80% of your sales – focus on that channel. When I started to consider selling on other channels like Walmart.com and eBay, I worked to set them up so they could be managed using little effort because they don’t drive more than 10% of my sales. I want them to work properly because I don’t want to waste money, but the area I need to focus on for my brand is Amazon because it brings the majority of the revenue. This same idea is true for your products and website traffic.
Why Doing More Doesn’t Work When You Are Working On Being More Productive
Productivity isn’t about doing more, working harder, or working more efficiently. Instead, productivity is about aggressively identifying what’s important, focusing your valuable time on those tasks and doing them as efficiently as possible. Isn’t that a relief? You can focus on getting more done and making more progress without burning yourself out. And you should do the same with your staff. Help them identify what they contribute to the bottom line and make sure they are focused on working on those tasks for the majority of their time.
But many people focus on quantity over quality. They focus more on the number of tasks they can do and the number of hours they work, instead of focusing on the actual value they can produce at any given time. When you do this, it leads to a lot of busywork that doesn’t make you more money.
It doesn’t matter how much you can do if you don’t create real value with those tasks. Actually, it’s more productive to only work on 1-3 important tasks that create value for you, your business, or your customers, instead of doing 23 low-value tasks each day. If you are the buyer for your business, and if you don’t buy items, your sales go to zero fairly quickly because you don’t have product to sell. That seems obvious, but many people look at it as a bunch of tasks instead of trying to get the process dialed in. What products are driving 80% of your sales? Make sure you keep those in stock and don’t run out. Replenish those first, and then move onto the next most popular items. This ensures you are making money even if you can’t afford to restock all the items on your inventory.
It doesn’t matter how many hours you work or how many things you do. What really matters is the value you create. This should be your productivity measurement.
Having too much to do takes away your valuable time, energy, and focus from things that truly matter. This is because you won’t give the most important tasks your full attention when you have too much to do. The unimportant things will distract you from important tasks; this is the number one productivity and success killer. Spending time on too many things only leads to “incremental” progress or no progress at all, but if you spend your time on the most important activities, you’ll have “significant” progress. Remember to plan it out for the week, and that will show you how to get more done by identifying what is making the most difference in your business.
So, stop trying to do everything and having less time for the most important tasks. Do only what’s important to you, your business, and your customers. This will boost your productivity and it will help your business to grow fast.
If you want to stop doing too much busywork on Amazon but you still want to grow that channel, schedule a time to talk to us about managing your account and keeping it up to date. We can optimize listings and handle your customer service needs while you get back to making more money.