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Business Reading: Do You Do That One Thing?

This has become one of my favourite books and I simply had to share it. business consultant london The important learnings from this business reading:

  • A single domino can topple many things – if you prioritise one important thing that has a knock on effect to bring you greater, wider success. Success is built sequentially.
  • There are 6 myths that are keeping you from focusing on the one thing: everything matters equally, multitasking, living a disciplined life, willpower will get the job done, living a perfectly balanced life, and that big is bad.
  • There are 4 thieves of productivity: not being able to say “No”, the fear of chaos, mismanagement of your personal energy, a poor environment that doesn’t support your goals.
  • You can stay on track by continually asking yourself one simple question: “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

I cannot recommend it enough for any business owner – whether you feel like you are already productive or not.

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The Biggest Productivity Lie

When you end the day, do you ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” Even when you have a list written out clearly, with all the things you need to do, somehow you end up unable to complete all those really important tasks.

You sit down the next morning and wonder how you’re going to get through it all. Then your team members asks you for a minute. Then you’ve got an email coming in. Are you multitasking to be “more efficient”?

 

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is multitasking. I was sitting down with one of my clients recently and we were going through a job description for an Admin Manager and I noticed that he mentioned “multitasking” as an important attribute. Now this isn’t uncommon in business owners and their businesses, where they expect their team members, as well as themselves, to constantly try to multitask at any given time.

In fact it’s pretty much possible that while you are listening to this video you are also trying to check your emails, you are maybe looking at some business papers or gesturing to your team members because maybe you believe that multitasking is the way to be more efficient and more effective. You just want to achieve a lot more in a given time, right?

Multitasking is a Lie

Now straight to the point: Multitasking is a lie. In fact it’s just an opportunity to screw up more than 1 thing at a given time. And I didn’t say that, Steve Uzzell says that and I completely believe, I completely agree with this concept – it’s just 1 of the ways to be more inefficient and not efficient.

Not Meant for Human Beings

In fact you won’t believe that multitasking was not even a word meant for human beings. In the 1920s, around that time, psychologists were studying human beings and their capability, our capability of doing more things in a given time. But the word ‘multitasking’ actually came on the scene in around 1960s. That was the time when 10 MHz computer speed was absolutely mind-boggling and the word was for devised, not for human beings but for computers.

And the literal meaning of that concept of that word was actually multiple tasks alternately being processed by one resource and that resource was the CPU. Then the context flipped, it all changed and multitasking started being used for human beings and what it really meant was multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource which is the person.

Human Brains CAN Do Multiple Things At the Same Time

Now what you need to understand and really internalise is our human brains, our brains can actually do multiple things at a given time, can do things at a given time – we can walk and we can chew gum, we can watch telly and iron our clothes, whatever. But our brains are not designed to actually focus on 2 things at a given time. It has to switch back and forth to pay attention to that 1 thing at 1 time.

But What Does This Matter in Reality?

What is the implication of this way of working for the effectiveness in our day-to-day business life? Think about it like this – so you come in to your office and you decide that this is task A is the most important thing that you need to be doing at this time. So you start at a point and you focus on that task A and say around 30 minutes later you’ll finish that task A. This is the focused approach – no interruptions, no distractions. You just focus on 1 thing and you get it done.

Now think of very distracted scenario in your office – you start task A and you get about a quarter of the way through. All of sudden there’s a distraction: somebody knocks on your door and says, “Boss can I have a minute with you?” Now your mind has to switch, it has to reorient for that distraction, then you will spend some time on that distraction, your brain has to again switch and reorient for the task A and maybe after another hour or so you will actually complete the task. What should have taken you 30 minutes, has taken you more than an hour. And what researchers in proper studies have found out – is that in this unfocused approach, the extra time spent on the task genuinely goes up by 25% for simpler tasks and for more complex tasks sometimes it goes beyond 100%.

So Ask Yourself, Should You Multitask?

And you need to therefore think about when you finish the day, do you ask, “Where did the time go?” Do you ask yourself the questions, “Did I actually manage to achieve the things that I had to achieve today?” “Did I do them?” and the answer is “No,” then you need to go back and ask yourself, are you really trying to multitask because you think that’s the way to be more efficient? Because let me remind you multitasking is a lie. It doesn’t help you become efficient, it is a way of inefficiency.

I just want to leave you with this question: as a business owner when you decide that this is the most important thing at this particular time then why would you choose to do something else along with that most important thing at that given time? 

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Obstacles Aren’t What’s In Your Way

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“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” – Robert Bault

This is your thought for this week. Are you staying focused on your ultimate goal? Are you allowing yourself to dream big – and take actions on those dreams? If you think it’s worth pushing forward, past all those lesser goals, then consider signing up for our online workshop – designed to give you business advice that will help accelerate you and your business to that greater goal. Click here to learn more.


You are a Boat!

Do you feel like your team isn’t working the way you want them to? It could be that you aren’t looking at your team the way you should be. You see, you and your employees are not the same vehicles. Employees are like trains, and business owners are like boats. In this video, I’ll explain this analogy and how it can help you think more carefully about how you manage yourself and your team:

 

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text: Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to cover today with you is the difference between an employee and a business owner. And the analogy that comes to my mind is that employees are like trains and business owners are like boats. Let me explain what I mean by that. Your Team Are Trains If you think about it, a train is a very powerful engine, right, it’s a solid mode of transportation. Now if you want this train to reach its destination, we need a few things in place.

  • First – we need to know what is the destination.
  • Second – we need to have a set of very clear tracks for it to reach from point A to point B.
  • Third – we need to make sure it’s the right driver who’s on the train.
  • Fourth – we need to have the right kind of junctions and the right space to make sure that there’s refuelling of the train happening – that the driver is getting proper rest and is focused on the track.

It doesn’t take too long for this train to get derailed. Lack of track, lack of fuel, like of direction, lack of junction – can cause massive derailment or stalling of this engine. So that’s straight. Now if you think about employees in the business world, the questions that should be coming into your mind are:

  • What level of clarity have you given to your team as to what is the destination? How clearly are the tracks laid out for them in terms of systems and structures that they need to follow to reach from point A to point B?
  • How much training is given to the driver so that we make sure that he is capable or she is capable of taking this straightforward at the right speed to the right place?
  • What kind of junctions and what that really means, what kind of reviews, what kind of mid-reviews do you have in your business with your tea? Where you sit down, you guide them, you motivate them, you make them unstuck, you refuel them basically and get them focused on where they need to go.

These are the questions you need to seriously ask to get your team more effective, to make this machine, this engine work with the right efficiency level – that’s how I see it.

But YOU are a Boat

Now let’s talk about the boats – business owners are boats. If you think about the boat and its tracks, the whole sea, the whole ocean is its tracks. There is no set path, right? We don’t know what track this boat is on and therefore the boat does not really have a direction until or unless you as a business owner give this boat a direction, right?

Now if you want this boat to move from point A to point B in this vast ocean with winds and with waves and all kinds of climates and external factors, the first thing again is that you as a business owner need to be very clear as to what’s the destination. Where do you want to take this boat to? Otherwise, it can just bob up and down in the sea, and you can enjoy it for some time but after a point, it will get very boring. It’s just there for a long, long time and you don’t want to be there for a very long, long, long time. You want to move forward.

And the second thing is that for the boat to move forward, what we need to do – we need to harness the external factors – the opportunities that we have, for which we need to get our sales up. And sales in a business sense is your goals, your dreams, what is that that you are trying to achieve – the bigger the sales, the better it is, the more opportunities we can harness. The third thing is, sometimes I’ve noticed that lots of boards get stuck at one place. They’re just up and down and to and fro – because of the anchors that they have.

These anchors are the past experiences – you have some failures or some experiences or baggage that sometimes business owners have which actually hold them back. So very consciously you as a business owner need to let go of most of the anchors which are holding you back and have just a few anchors. Because yes, you will need some rest, some pauses and some relaxation and that’s good but let go of the anchors because that’s what will make you move forward with the right kind of sales.

At the end of the day, it’s about being in the sea, being in the unknown world, enjoying that adventure but also moving forward with harnessing the winds and the waves and letting go the anchors.

So Ask Yourself a Question

So ask yourself a question – how much are you enjoying your business at this point? What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing, as far as your trains are concerned and you as boats are concerned? 

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Business Reading: Start With Why

In this book, I have picked up some really great nuggets on how to inspire clients and team members to take actions. business strategy consulting London The key learnings to pull from this piece of business reading:

  • Start by identifying your purpose, cause or vision.
  • A great leader move through the rings of the “Golden Circle”: establish the mission (“Why”), then move outwards to get to the “How” and “What”.
  • What’s the reason you “get out of bed in the morning” – that’s your “Why”.
  • The “How” is your unique selling point, or what makes your audience want to buy what you’ve got to sell.
  • The “What” is the more literal aspects of your product.
  • The key is the order: leaders who go the other way around, starting with “What” and moving down to “How” and “Why” find less success.
  • The reason: “people don’t buy What you do, they buy Why you do it.”
  • You should aim to do business with customers who share your core beliefs – so they can become fans and recommend others to you.
  • When hiring, you should also consider how they fit into your values: your best employees and future company leaders will have to share your passion.

Happy reading – and implementing!

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