Five down to earth ideas for staying sane in 2017

We’re hurtling faster than a speeding bullet towards the end of the year. It’s terrifying.

So what do we have to look forward to? A world where Donald Trump is president, and a HARD Brexit (whatever that means). We may not be able to do anything about the madness of politicians, but there some small things we can control in our business lives. Here’s a mishmash of thoughts.

1. Stop obsessing about your competition

It’s the fastest way to drive yourself to drink. The simple fact is, there will always be people out there who can do something better than you can. Keep an eye on them from time to time, but don’t stalk them. Focus on what you do, and the value you offer.


2. Stop pussyfooting around - just ask for what you want

Move on from the ‘slowly slowly catchy’ monkey’ approach to sales. You don’t want to ask for what you really want, so you start small and build up. Just ask for what you want right up front and use your ‘small things’ to add value to the big ticket item. It doesn’t make you look pushy or brash, it makes you look like someone who is in control and who knows what they want.


3. Give yourself a break

This will revolutionise your life. You can’t do as much as you think you in a single day. Cut whatever you’ve got on your day’s to-do list in half. Then cut it in half again. Most of us never complete any more than 25% of things we plan to do in a day. Yet we keep on filling our daily workload targets like an over-stuffed Christmas turkey and then beat ourselves up when we don’t get even close to half of those tasks done.


4. Set start times

We’re all used to deadlines. My top tips for making sure you meet deadlines is to plan start times. For every task that has a deadline, plan a time in your schedule to actually start it. I give myself a set amount of time work on it, say 2 hours. Then if I haven’t finished it by that point, I stop anyway and then re-schedule it. If I keep going longer than the 2 hours, I become less productive. If I re-schedule it for either later in the day or on another day, I return to it fresh and productive.


5. Be specific in your marketing wherever and whenever you can

Specific messages trump (no, did I really say that) general messages every time. I can transform the ugliest room in your house for less than £500.00 - will perform better than I can transform any space.

 

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