What Do People Think You Do And Are They Right?

When running a business, it’s essential to be able to explain what you do as easily and quickly as possible. Being able to describe your business in 40 seconds in an interesting and engaging way is important, especially when meeting new people at 4Networking meetings.

When you’re in a room with 10, 20, 30, 40 or more people from local, national and International businesses, it can be difficult to stand out. It can be harder to stand out if you are in the same industry as someone else in the room. It’s not uncommon for two web designers to attend the same event, or two electricians, or two accountants.

Preparing to give my 40 seconds
Preparing to give my 40 seconds

Occasionally, you might be in a room with representatives of the same company running your own businesses but selling the same services. You’ve all had access to the same product training and learned the same strategies to discuss and sell the services.

So, how do you tell people what you do?

A good test to start with is to ask a friend or colleague to describe to you what they think you do. This gives a great starting point to find out what people think and then compare it with what you think they think! You might be surprised at what this reveals. It gives you a starting point to review and refine your 40 seconds and your elevator pitch.

The way you say what you do makes a big difference.

It’s your posture, your voice, your expression and your enthusiasm that makes the difference. If you’re promoting the same product as someone else or are competing for the same customers, the difference in the delivery of your 40 seconds can make or break someone’s first impression of you.

Even if you don’t feel confident, stand tall, look people in the eye and smile. Be positive about yourself and your products and services. I attended a 4Networking meeting recently and someone stood up and said, “you’ll probably hate me but…” then at another meeting someone started their 40 seconds with “I’m another one of those annoying…” and it influenced my decision whether I wanted a 121 with them, or not.

If you don’t believe in your products and services, why should anyone else? Why would I want to buy something from you? Our interaction has begun on a negative step when it would have been easier to be positive from the outset.

A little repetition never hurts.

In a busy 4Networking meeting you may find repeating your name, company, product or service during your 40 seconds helps the details stick in people’s minds. Think about the people you remember from 4Networking meetings and the chances are they will have repeated their message several times. They may have a prop, a branded mug, company t-shirt, roller banner or other subtle marketing around them reinforcing their company name and brand.

When networking in a room, there’s a school of thought that you should sit by your banner so people can see you and your banner at the same time, giving double the message. It also comes in handy when photographs are taken as your company name is prominent afterwards, even if someone has forgotten your name.

In 4N Online meetings, having a branded background is another great way to reinforce your company, products, services and special offers. Everyone is encouraged to take screenshots and these pictures with your company branding will be online within minutes of the meeting closing.

If you’re concerned about the impression you’re giving at face to face meetings or in online meetings, then I highly recommend you head over to the Networking retreat App and start engaging with the content Stefan Thomas puts out there, for free!

I offer Focus Guru Power Hours covering general administration, streamlining processes, and uncovering new methods to save time and money within your business. As well as how to stay connected using Mailchimp.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Focus Guru Power Hours – How To Write Outstanding Content For Your Email Marketing

Keeping in touch with your customers and prospective customers using emails is one of the best marketing strategies available today. Your messages can be written and sent as and when you want, or you can schedule messages to be delivered at set times of the day or night.

This is perfect if you have a special offer to announce, or a new product launch to promote. You can write the content and it can be delivered on your unique timescale. This is where you can “write it and move on” or “set it and forget it”.

Top Tip: Contacting customers on a regular basis keeps your company at the top of the list when they need the services you sell.

Content, subject line & Consistency is key to your emails being opened
Content, subject line & Consistency is key to your emails being opened

Writing the Right Words

How do you know what to write? How do you choose the words to keep your reader interested? What are the “trigger words” to make sure they read your message? How do you encourage customers to click and buy from you and not one of your competitors?

These are some of the many questions I’m asked, and I can share with you my advice on how to make sure your emails are read and not deleted. Many people read their emails on a tablet or mobile device. This means they are making split second judgements to read or recycle your email based purely on the sender, subject and first line of your message.

Sender, Subject, First Line

In my “Unlock the Secrets of Mailchimp Success in 5 Easy Steps” Focus Guru Power Hour, I show you how to set up your Mailchimp email campaign with these key details. Having a properly formatted sender name and email address elevates your company above those who don’t take the time to check for spelling mistakes, grammar errors or missing punctuation.

Look at the difference in impact between using “Focus Guru Power Hour” and “focus guru power hour” as the sender name. Using capitals elevates the impact. It stands out more than using all lower case. Having a bigger and bolder presence in someone’s inbox helps your message to be seen. It also demonstrates attention to detail and shows value in the service being offered.

The same is true for the subject and first line. If these are potentially the only words between your email being read and being binned, it’s vital to make sure they are interesting, informative or entertaining.

Eye-Catching Images

There’s the saying how “a picture tells a thousand words” and with many email programs supporting HTML content and images, there’s no reason why you can’t add relevant images into your email campaigns.

You may wish to use your own product images, or images showing how your services can be used. Alternatively, you can find images (royalty-free or paid-for) from websites such as Canva or Unsplash. There’s no excuse for sending a plain-text email anymore!

Create Engaging Content

This comes back to writing the right words, using pictures and creating the informative, educational or entertaining content that will keep your readers interested and motivated to follow the links to your website, or to pick up the phone to speak with you.

I can help discuss the aims of your email campaign. What do you want to achieve? What do you want your customers to do? What’s the next step? If you need help creating the content for your email messages, I can help with this too.

Through the Focus Guru Power Hour “How To Write Outstanding Content For Your Email Marketing” you’ll learn how to use these steps to make your email campaigns come to life and achieve great results. You’ll learn how to set up your Mailchimp account and run successful email campaigns all year round where your customers actively read your messages and take note of your call to action.

Book your Focus Guru Power Hour here. I run 121 workshops via Zoom on many, easy to use, business tools, including Mailchimp, online calendars, networking tips and much more. Let’s get started! Book your Focus Guru Power Hour today!

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Could You Benefit From Collaborating With Your Competitors?

Does the thought of collaborating with one of your competitors make your blood boil? Is the mere thought of chatting with someone who does what you do make you want to run a mile? We’re often taught to be wary of competitors and to keep them at a safe distance.

Create space, time for you by working with competitors
Create space, time for you by working with competitors

Are you concerned if they know too much they’ll poach your customers? It’s possible they could steal your business and take away your turnover. You might worry they’ll undercut your prices or include extras you haven’t thought of. Maybe you’re worried they’ll drive you out of business?

Changing Your Mindset

Of course, it makes sense to watch your back when you encounter a competitor. You might meet at a networking event where you’re pitching for the same business from the same people. If you’re an independent consultant representing the same company, offering the same products, at the same prices, you might think it can leave little room for differentiating yourself. You might think, “how can I compete?”.

But, that’s where changing your mindset from competition to collaboration makes a big difference. Instead of stressing, you can relax. Rather than racing to be first to follow up each potential customer, you can take a step back and see the bigger picture.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

There genuinely is enough business for everyone and working together to achieve a common goal can be extremely satisfying. To be able to say to someone – “I can’t help with that, but I know someone who can”, or, “I’m fully booked this month, but have you tried speaking with…”, puts you in a powerful position to be remembered as the person who went out of their way to be helpful, rather than the person who wouldn’t share information.

Being able to outsource surplus work is another good reason to have names of competitors in your address book. Attending 4Networking meetings always generates fresh leads for me, and my competitors. Yet, people in the same industry can and do work together. I have realistic expectations and I’m always looking for ways to collaborate with others.

Realistic Expectations

Unless you’ve invented something revolutionary, the chances are someone else will be doing what you do, or something similar to what you do. This happens in almost every industry across the world. It’s unlikely you’re the only plumber in town, or the only car salesperson, utility company, marketeer or life coach. If your business is network marketing, you’ll almost certainly meet a competitor at events. They may be from the same company or offer a similar product. Remember, there really is enough business to go round.

Having realistic expectations when meeting a competitor can open many doors to new customers and new opportunities. Instead of running them down, ignoring them, or being fearful of them, is there a way you could work together? Being open-minded to collaborating rather than competing gains respect and forges lifelong friendships.

I work with people who run businesses in many different sectors, from accountants, to IT companies, to freelance tradespeople, network marketeers and many more. Everyone has a common goal, to earn money to feed their family, provide a roof over their head, to afford nice things, and to grow their business.

I run Focus Guru Power Hour workshops via Zoom for individuals and teams to explore collaboration opportunities within your business sector. It all starts with an easy conversation about what you’d like to achieve. I’ll give you the tools you need to be confident in meetings when you meet someone who does what you do. Contact me on 07756 772950 to find out more.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Unlock the Secret of Mailchimp Success in 5 Easy Steps with a Focus Guru Power Hour

Even with today’s variety of instant messaging systems, sending emails is still one of the best ways to keep in touch. You can send instructions, entertainment, information, product updates, special offers, vouchers and more, directly into your customer or prospective customer’s inbox.

Your customer doesn’t need to remember to visit your website or Facebook page to find out what’s happening and you don’t need to phone them. They can read your emails at their leisure at any time of the day or night.

MailChimp Power Hour to get you understanding MailChimp
MailChimp Power Hour to get you understanding MailChimp

Some of my clients use emails to generate new business and others use emails to send topical information. It’s possible to send your latest blog by email, or an extract encouraging people to visit your website to find out more.

Several clients have asked for my help setting up a mailing list and showing them how to make it work for them. I’d like to share some of the steps with you now and if you’d like a 121 training session via Zoom, please click this link and book your Focus Guru Power Hour.

Rachael has been amazing helping me set up mailing campaigns for my Sammy Rambles books and dragons! She walked through all the steps from creating the account to importing contacts and sending a test email. I feel confident I can send my own mailshots after my Focus Guru Power Hour.” – Jenny Leggott, Transcend Zero

Step 1 – Creating Your Account

You may already have a Mailchimp account, but if you don’t then I will walk through the steps to create your own account where you can manage all of your mailshots and contacts. This takes just a few minutes and you’ll have your own dashboard set up to manage your campaigns. If preferred, I can manage a Mailchimp account on your behalf if you’d like to outsource this aspect of your online marketing.

Step 2 – Adding Contacts

If, like me, you’ve been to lots of 4Networking meetings you’ll probably have collected contact details for customers and prospective customers from all around the world. Hopefully you’ll have followed up with many of these new friends and contacts and, if you have their permission, they can be added to your “Mailchimp Audience”, either one address at a time or imported using a CSV file. This ensures you meet GDPR requirements. When adding addresses, I recommend setting up “tags” which can be used later in your campaigns send relevant mailshots to targeted groups of people.

Step 3 – Setting Up A Campaign

This is the exciting part! You’ve set up your account and imported your contacts. Next, it’s time to create an email to send to your chosen recipients (using the tags we set up earlier). There are two ways you can do this, either by sending a one-off email using “Create Email” or using “Campaigns”. If you’re anticipating sending regular emails, I recommend using Campaigns as this will save time in the future. In the Focus Guru Power Hour I’ll also make sure you’re confident creating engaging HTML or Text emails using the built-in design templates where you can add pictures and use different fonts, colours and text sizes.

Step 4 – Scheduling Mailings

Have you got an upcoming product launch? Or would you like to send a mailshot at a particular time on a particular day? You might want to send your mailshot at 3am so it can be opened during early business hours in America. There are many reasons why it makes sense to schedule a mailshot and Mailchimp has this facility. I call it “using your time twice” where you can make the best use of your time with multiple activities taking place at the same time.

Step 5 – Analysing Your Results

This is my favourite part where I show you the direct results of your mailshot. It’s where you can view the success (or limitations) of your campaign. Are you curious who has read your correspondence? Do you want to know if they clicked on an image or a link in your message? The real-time reports give you the information you need to measure the success of your mailshot. You can drill down to individual subscribers and follow their progress from opening the email to clicking a link to ordering a service or asking for more information.

I was really impressed with Rachael’s knowledge of Mailchimp and how she helped make it easy to keep in touch with my customers. I’d definitely recommend the Focus Guru Power Hours to anyone who wants to learn more about Mailchimp and set up their own campaigns.” – Jenny Leggott, Transcend Zero

If you’d like to book a Focus Guru Power Hour to set up (or review) your Mailchimp mailing lists, please click this link to book now. I run 121 workshops via Zoom on a number of different business tools designed to free up your time to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. Let’s get started! Book your Focus Guru Power Hour today!

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

You Don’t Always Know What You Know – How Your Skills Can Help Others

How many times have you watched someone do something and it’s like they’re performing magic? In a matter of minutes, they’ve effortlessly solved a problem that would have taken you hours or even days! Maybe someone has helped you with something you’d given up on, or fixed something you’d written off as a lost cause?

How did you do that so quickly?”

Achievement list is more productive
Achievement list is more productive (picture of a Penguin because it’s cute!

I believe everyone is good at something and that we are all good at different things. Sometimes we don’t appreciate how often we know things that others don’t. Maybe we just take it for granted that we can install a complicated piece of software, re-tune the car radio, bake a delicious cake, write an blog, organise a sell-out seminar, do a Facebook live, or anything else you find easy but someone else would find impossibly difficult.

Will you show me how to do that?”

When you’ve solved someone’s problem, taken away their pain-point, and given them the ability to get on with their task, take a step back and see whether you can show them how you did what you did. Have a look at the task from their perspective and see if you can explain it in a way they can easily understand.

Can I do something to help you?”

Often our help is reciprocated, the law of “what goes around comes back around” kicks in. You’ll soon find sharing your knowledge and expertise pays back many times over. Helping others releases a “feel good factor”, we feel valued and appreciated, which plays a key part in our overall wellbeing.

On a personal level, it’s very satisfying implementing systems and processes to make life easier for people. I work with individuals and teams, streamlining procedures and making life run smoother both at home and in the office. Initially, this was based around helping friends locally, then I realised the potential to help people further afield and today I’m working with clients across the world.

How can I do that?”

Turning your skills into a business service is easier than you might think. I recommend starting with a list of ten things you think you’re best at. Then ask a trusted friend or colleague to do the same. I can almost guarantee there will be differences between the two lists! Other people are great judges of your skills and the reason for this is simply because you will almost certainly be taking some of your skills for granted. Perhaps you think “everyone can do this” or “everyone should be able to do that”, but they can’t.

Already this month, I’ve helped my 4Networking teams create ways to find new visitors for our meetings. I’ve worked with my Arbonne consultants to promote our products and generate new sales. I’ve worked with clients on accountability, time management, motivation and goal setting. Plus, I’m excited to be offering Mail Chimp training, including software set-up and creating targeted customer lists.

You don’t always know what you know.”

Remember, everyone is good at something and we are all good at different things. I’m offering a free 15 minute call to help identify your own key skills and strengths. You might be surprised what this uncovers. Once you know what you know I’ll help with strategies and suggestions how you can make the most of your unique abilities. Let’s chat! Please call me on 07756 772950 to get started.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

How A Time Intensity Grid Will Help You Choose What To Outsource

Are you feeling overwhelmed at the moment? Do you wish there were more hours in the day?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The last few months of lockdown have been hard for many people for many different reasons. It’s also been a good time to stop and take stock of what works in your life and what can be changed or dropped altogether.

One of the tools I use is a Time Intensity Grid. It’s less complicated than it sounds, and it simply means I divide items on my Achievement List into sub-categories, based on how much time or energy I estimate they will take. I can show you how to do the same and in just a few minutes you will see exactly where your time and energy is going.

Know the Source

Knowing the source of what’s making you feel overwhelmed is part of the solution. It’s a lot easier to solve a problem when you know what the problem is. Identifying your “brain drains” and “time thieves” is the first step. It will make you think and re-evaluate whether the task is important or necessary. But it may also prompt you to think whether the task is best achieved by someone else on your behalf. How much time could you save by outsourcing a troublesome task?

A client recently said to me how stressful they were finding it to choose a new car. They admitted spending hours on car websites, looking at manufacturers, models, specs, interior and exterior trims and features, safety features, fuel economy and much more. They had spun themselves into such a muddle that the idea of buying a new family car, which should be an exciting achievement, into a spiral of stress. Guess what, they were still driving their old car two weeks later.

This made me think about how much energy we use thinking through problems. Things we find incredibly time consuming, difficult, and stressful, other people consider a breeze. I phoned my client and recommended outsourcing the search for their new car. They created a brief list of the features they wanted and their budget. Suddenly, the list of thousands became a shortlist of a handful cars available on the market. A couple of test drives later and they have their new car. A great result!

Outsourcing Works

The simple step of outsourcing this task saved time, effort, energy and potentially a couple of family arguments. Outsourcing can be applied to almost anything. If you stop and think about the tasks you dawdle over, the things you procrastinate and put off, the “tomorrow tasks”, you’ll know the ones you need to look at.

When chatting with clients about outsourcing, some of the most popular tasks to delegate are:

  • Finding sales leads and booking appointments
  • Sending quotes and answering common enquiries
  • Invoicing, sending statements and debt collection
  • Filing and putting receipts into the accounts

By outsourcing these tasks to a Virtual Assistant (VA), the cost of hiring someone for a few hours per day, week, or month, can suddenly free up your time and brain to focus on what you do best. I can help with all these tasks and more. Please call me and we can chat about saving you time and stress by delegating tasks like these.

At home, some of the popular tasks my clients said they wish they could outsource were tidying up, cooking healthy meals, washing clothes, cutting the grass, buying birthday presents and checking utility prices for the best packages.

The good news is that all these tasks can be outsourced as well. It might feel strange at first letting someone else come into your home, cook your meals, or make changes to your filing system. But by changing small things now, you’ll find you have more time to spend with your family and friends and more time to expand your business.

What works for you might be different to what works for someone else and that’s why the best way to start is with a Time Intensity Grid. Please contact me and I’ll help create your Time Intensity Grid and show you how to put it into practice. You’ll be surprised how much time, energy, and money it will create for you and your family.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru | 07756 772950

Top 5 Tips To Achieve More From Your Zoom Meetings

Since the beginning of lockdown many of us are using virtual meetings to keep our businesses running. We’re hosting meetings with clients, suppliers, colleagues, friends, and family. We’re attending conferences and networking online with other business owners and decision makers.

Zoom meetings have opened up a whole new way to connect and interact. We can chat with people in the next room, the next town, across the country and the other side of the world. For some people it’s the new normal. They enjoy the possibilities of networking without geographic boundaries, without hours of travel and without additional expenses such as fuel, restaurant food and hotel accommodation.

Zoom meetings have no geographical barriers
Zoom meetings have no geographical barriers

For other people, it can be a bit daunting. It can be scary to download and learn a new app. It can be unsettling to see colleagues in their homes and out of the office environment. Equally, it can be nerve-wracking to turn on your webcam for the first time. Are you embarrassed about the clutter on your bookcases, or your lockdown hair roots showing? Are you worried about having a sip of coffee, scratching an itch, or looking bored? You may feel like you’re on show but really it’s no different from when you were in face to face boardroom and networking meetings.

I’ve compiled these top 5 tips to help reduce any worries or fears you might have about online networking. I attend dozens of meetings each week and I’ve seen the good, the bad, the funny, the serious and everything in between!

Tip 1 – Check How You Look

It might seem obvious but use Zoom’s preview window to check how you look before you join a meeting. It only takes a second and you can check for spinach between your teeth or if you need to move into or out of the light. For best results, face a window rather than having the light behind you as this can cause your face to be in the shadow. Think of it like checking yourself in the mirror before leaving the house.

Tip 2 – Arrive Early

Many of the 4Networking meetings open 10 minutes early. This is so the host can check everything’s working and so they can greet people as they join the meeting. As an attendee, you can treat this as an extra networking opportunity. You’re getting an extra 10 minutes of free networking time. Lots of people use this time to say hello to people they already know, to give testimonials and recommendations, or simply just to observe and settle into the meeting.

Tip 3 – Use The Group Chat Feature

When arriving in a Zoom meeting remember to introduce yourself. This could be with a smile, a wave or saying hello. It will let the host and other attendees know you’ve arrived and, if appropriate, you can also advertise your business in the group chat with a short description and contact details. At the end of 4Networking Zoom meetings everyone is encouraged to save the chat. This means your contact details will be seen again by the attendees. You could consider putting a free download link or details of a special offer in the chat to encourage follow ups.

Tip 4 – Enjoy The Meeting

Being in a Zoom meeting is a great way to connect with people from all around the world. There are brand new 4Networking meetings connecting people from the UK with business owners in America and Australia, and many new groups emerging in the near future. Remember, while the meeting is taking place if you need to make a call, get a drink or take a toilet break, you can always switch your webcam off temporarily while you leave the room. If you’ve set a custom background this can continue to advertise your business until you return.

Tip 5 – Always Follow Up

Just as I advised to write your own details in the Group Chat feature, I strongly encourage you to read through the chat and connect with people after the meeting has finished. This works equally well after virtual meetings as it does after face to face meetings. It can be as simple as “great to meet you today” to “would you like to meet for coffee”.

Bonus Tip – Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation.

You never know who knows who or who will recommend you further down the line. Ask questions in your 121s. Be interested in the other attendees. Remember the golden rule, “Meet, Like, Know, Trust” and enjoy your Zoom meetings.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru | 07756 772950

Are You Experiencing Overwhelm In Your Life Or Business Right Now?

Overwhelm doesn’t usually happen overnight. It can creep up on you over days, weeks, months or even years. It comes in tiny layers of stress, building in your mind and showing itself sometimes in physical form. That stiff neck and shoulders you’ve had all week. A recurring headache. General lethargy and loss of interest in your favourite hobbies.

Left untreated, overwhelm can lead to more serious physical and mental conditions. So, if you see signs of overwhelm in yourself or in your family, friends, colleagues or customers, then you may have an opportunity to act, intervene, assist or remove the cause of the stress and overwhelm.

It's easy to stop overwhelm
It’s easy to stop overwhelm

Remember, it’s ok not to be ok.

Everyone has different tolerance levels. What seems easy to you may be difficult for someone else. While you learn how to do something new quickly, it might take someone else lots of practice. This can vary from social skills to practical tasks. It might be daunting attending a networking meeting, or filing your tax return, or driving on a motorway.

Everyone is different and we are all good at different tasks too. Overwhelm can cause us to doubt ourselves. A task you could do with your eyes closed suddenly seems complicated, you’ve forgotten the steps, or the directions, or the system or process. This can cause anxiety, stress, and panic.

Symptoms of overwhelm can include an increased temperature, sweating, quicker heartrate, shaking, irritability and insomnia. One of the key symptoms is our susceptibility to distractions (otherwise known as “Squirrels”). You might call it procrastinating, deferring, postponing, or messing around, but these are all side-effects of overwhelm.

Ban the Squirrels, take back control
Ban the Squirrels, take back control

There’s often a logical reason behind why you haven’t jumped at sending that email, or made that phone call, completed that purchase or done the next task on your achievement list.

I recognise my overwhelm when I am scrolling aimlessly through Facebook or find myself watching daytime TV. If I was mentally ready to do the tasks on my achievement list I wouldn’t stop for half an hour to scroll through what my friends had for dinner or where they’re going on holiday after lockdown. Online quizzes and polls wouldn’t catch my eye and I wouldn’t look at the clock and wonder where the last hour had gone.

Make time for yourself.

If you need to watch an hour of TV to unwind and relax, that’s ok. If you want to have a blitz of news from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram, that’s ok too. It’s when your list of important tasks gets set aside that you might feel overwhelm creeping up on you.

Perhaps you had a deadline to meet and now there isn’t time to get that report in for your boss. They won’t be happy and you can imagine their reaction when you have to tell them. This adds a layer of stress. Or maybe you had a client appointment to prepare for and now you’re winging it. You may be thinking you could have done better or worrying about what the client thinks of you and this could cause a layer of stress.

Tips to avoid overwhelm.

  1. Allow plenty of time to achieve tasks on your list. Can you ask for more time if needed? The idea is to remove the layer of stress brought on by unreasonable deadlines and unexpected delays.
  1. Keep an eye out for symptoms. Are you feeling rushed? Any physical signs? Do you need more skills or training? Could this task be delegated to someone else? Is there anyone you know who seems stressed, angry, tired, or tearful? These are common signs of overwhelm.
  1. Look after your body as well as your mind. Simple suggestions include homecooked meals, drinking more water, having a good night of sleep. Making the time for seeing friends, exercising, and learning new skills is as important as meeting that deadline.

I know how overwhelm can cause short term and long term problems and I work with people from all over the country to help them recognise their symptoms of overwhelm. I can help put steps into place to reduce overwhelm in your business and personal life. If you’re juggling too much something will give.

Don’t let overwhelm run your life. If you find you’re bouncing from one task to another with no time to rest or relax please get in touch with me. I will help identify where you can carry on with what you’re doing and where it makes sense to outsource or delegate tasks. No task is too big or too small and if you feel overwhelmed, please give me a call.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru | 07756 772950

Why Your To Do List Isn’t Getting Done

For many of us, having a To Do List is our way of remembering what we need to do and crossing items off the list once they have been achieved. Your list might be the top three things you want to achieve this morning, or it might be a list of everything you want to do today.

Achievement list is more productive
Achievement list is more productive

When working with clients, I’ve seen To Do Lists which include items that can’t possibly be achieved in a day. Sometimes people show me their To Do Lists spanning weeks or months with a bottomless pit of items.

There comes a point where a To Do List becomes more of an Ideas List, a brainstorm of items you’d like to get done, maybe, sometime, one day. You might have a list like this that never seems to get done.

Scrap Your To Do List

My advice is to bin your To Do List, that’s right, to scrap it completely, and start again. But, this time, I’d like you to create an Achievement List with all the things you’d like to get done. The simple act of changing the name of your list from “To Do” to “Achievements” mentally reinforces the good feeling you get when a task is done.

Then I’d like you to look at all the items on your Achievement List and group activities where possible. You may need to rewrite your Achievement List a few times to put things in groups to start with, but this becomes easier over time.

For example, I like to make phone calls on my walks with Missy. We have about an hours walk twice a day and this enables me to use my time twice. I still take in the scenery and fresh air and get to play with Missy, but I’m also crossing off items on my Achievement List at the same time.

Another example would be to post letters on the way to the supermarket. Both tasks need doing and if I combine them into one journey it becomes an efficient use of my time and my petrol.

Order Your Achievements

I also try to prioritise items on my Achievement List. To do this, I use a Time Intensity Grid and allocate a value to each task, whether it is a high or low intensity task using lots of energy, strength or brain power, or a high or low time task using minutes, hours or days of my time. It can help to annotate each task with HIHT, HILT, LIHT or LILT so you can prepare yourself for how long or how intense each task will be.

For example, my trip to the supermarket and posting my letters would count as a LIHT task, because although it’s easy, it takes time, especially at the moment where there are sometimes long queues to go into the supermarket.

Add Times For Your Achievements

If you have a lot of tasks on your Achievement List it can be helpful to divide your day into blocks of 15 minutes and allocate blocks of time to each task. For example, my walk with Missy takes about an hour, so that’s 4 x 15 minutes blocks of time.

I can add to this by allocating a time of day to this task, for example Missy likes a morning walk, so I can allocate 9am to 10am for our first walk. To use my time twice, I will often pre-prepare some phone calls to make during this hour as well.

Our second walk usually takes place just before an evening meal and we often meet friends on this walk to share our day and catch up on news, socially distancing of course.

Try This For Yourself

At the beginning, I encouraged you to bin your To Do List and change it into an Achievement List. I’m pleased to say my advice and tips have worked for many friends and clients over the years. I recently gave a 4Sight at a 4Networking business networking meeting talking about Achievement Lists and Using Your Time Twice.

The 4Sight was very well received and I had a 121 with one of the attendees who commented, “If nothing else, that bit (about Achievement Lists) has made this 121 worthwhile”. So, I encourage you to try this for yourself and turn your To Do tasks into Achievements.

Rachael Chiverton, Focus Guru – Giving You Your Time, Your Way

www.getfocus.guru

Summer Holiday Advice – Using Your Time Twice

Running a business in the summer holidays can be quite daunting for many of us. With the sun shining outside and temperatures rising, it can be hard to get motivated to get the work done. Sometimes we even drag out the tasks in an act of self-sabotage. We dawdle and faff about when we could be focussed and efficient.

Summer Holiday Advice - Using Your Time Twice
Summer Holiday Advice – Using Your Time Twice

The summer heat seems to have an effect on us, both physically and mentally. The warm air seems to slow things down. It can make life sluggish and lull us into feeling that time is going slower. Perhaps that’s why things seem to take longer than they should.

However, whether we like it or not, clients still need work finished and bills still need to be paid. Given the choice of staying inside working, or spending the day at the beach, I guarantee most of us would prefer the latter.

So, how do we fix this? We all have the same 24 hours in the day.

The answer is simple.

We must use our time twice.

We can’t magic 48 hours in a day, so therefore we must make the hours that we have count and take positive actions to be as productive as possible.

One of the key examples of using your time twice came up in a recent conversation with a client. They mentioned their frustration at losing time travelling to and from appointments. Sometimes this added up to hours at a time. Over the course of a month, it turned out that a whole day had been consumed by travelling hours.

We came back to this later in the conversation and I asked what they did while travelling, was it listening to music, or a podcast, or the radio?

I suggested using this time to connect with clients, to phone them informally and see how they are getting on. The phone call could just be to check in and see if they need anything, but also extending this to a genuine interest in them individually and personally. How is life going for them? Are they ok? Then listening with full attention and responding appropriately.

This is a great example of using the same time twice.

By making a point of scheduling these phone calls into driving time and calling existing clients on a regular basis often proves to have many far-reaching benefits.

  • You’ll find chatting makes the journey seem to go faster.
  • It gives a client the opportunity to compliment you on your products or services.
  • Equally, it gives a client the opportunity to complain or raise their concerns.
  • Chatting regularly enables you to reinforce your position as a key supplier they can trust.
  • It offers a forum to discuss new projects and come up with new ways of working together.
  • If they’re busy, phone calls can lead to face-to-face meetings and “coffee catch-ups”.
  • If you have similar interests, it can lead to social opportunities as well.

Although the phone calls can still be carried out when travelling by bus, taxi or train, the background noise and/or client confidentiality may prevent some topics being discussed. However, this leads to a great opportunity for you to make a quick call to arrange a face-to-face meeting.

This is just one example of how doubling up your activities and using your time twice can increase your efficiency and your effectiveness. On a regular basis, using your time twice can save many hours in the long run. It can free up your day so you can spend more time with your friends and family as well.

If you’d like to find out how you could use your time twice, the answer is simple. Book a 15-minute exploration call with me and I’ll help find those extra hours to help you achieve more.