Bite-sized lessons in building an online business that feels good.
The Digital Product Kickstart Kit: Your guide to creating and launching a digital product that sells.
I help online entrepreneurs (like YOU!) launch and relaunch digital products and podcasts to reach more people, grow their audience and become the go-to geniuses in their industry
One of the challenges in business is understanding what to focus on and what not to. In today's episode, I'm sharing the common time-wasters that may be slowing you and your business down and what you can do instead.
– How getting caught up in the little things won't make or break your success—like software, email platforms and podcast hosts.
– Why sitting and waiting for inspiration to strike is not going to get you where you want to go.
– Why most busy tasks that feel productive are not a great use of your time *and* they don't actually grow your business.
– The hidden hazards of procrastination, perfectionism and making tasks unnecessarily overcomplicated.
Seven things that are wasting your time in your business. Seven-time wasters that are slowing down how quickly you are growing your business.
So today, I'm going to share seven things that are potentially taking up your time that aren't the best use of your time.
By that, I mean, getting bogged down in figuring out the little details like, Oh, which email marketing platform should I use? Where should I build my email list? Should I be on YouTube shorts? Which podcast host is the best? I see that one a lot. And there's actually not a whole lot of difference between all of the different podcast hosts.
All of the little details don't really matter so much the things that aren't going to make or break your success as much as getting the main thing out there. So what do I mean by that? I mean, choosing which podcast host spending days, weeks, choosing which podcast host to host your new show isn't going to make a difference.
Once you get your podcast out there, it feels a lot more comfortable to spend that time researching because there's not as much risk involved in that as recording a podcast episode and putting it out into the world. And once you start recording those podcast episodes, you'll be so excited to get them out there that you'll realise it doesn't matter. I will just figure out which host suits me best. So I guess it's really what I mean by that is making the unimportant things more important than the important thing.
So in other words, what action do you need to take before these little details even matter at all, and is worrying about these details just a form of procrastination that feels more comfortable for you than taking that scary action and risking what could potentially go wrong when you put that video out there or you record that very first podcast.
Now if I only recorded podcast episodes when I felt inspired or when I thought I had something worthwhile to share, we'd be at probably episode 12, not 725, right? It is now just part of my routine.
I have this task on my to-do list that repeats where I need to record a podcast episode and the episodes don't get skipped. We haven't skipped an episode in probably well over a year now and that's how we got to 725 episodes, that's how it all grew. But I'm not talking about consistency. I know consistency is important and I've talked about it a lot on this show.
What I'm talking about is this kind of waiting mode that we can get into where we're like, Oh, I will start that, but I can't start it just now because I'm not inspired. And that ends up wasting a lot of time. It ends up wasting a lot of mental energy. You could have put it to much better use if you just started taking that action, you would be a lot further forward than if you were sitting there thinking, planning, and waiting for the right time.
Things like checking your emails five times or more every single day. I deliberately tell people that I'm bad with emails. And I think I even have an autoresponder that says this. I reply to my emails in batches because it is so much quicker than context switching. Then doing one task and then quickly checking and replying to an email and moving to another task takes up so much more time because you're constantly having to change what you are focusing on rather than sitting down and replying to one batch of emails in one go.
I also generally will work with my phone on do not disturb so that if notify notifications come through, cool, it doesn't derail my focus and it doesn't waste my time. I guess a big question also to ask yourself around this is could somebody else do this thing? And if the answer is yes, then consider delegating that task. Another thing to ask is, does this task need to happen? Is this producing a measurable result? And if it's not, then I would consider deleting the task.
Honestly, once it is out there, then you can see what works. Then you can see, Oh, this is successful or this is not successful. And then we can iterate from there rather than waiting for it to be perfect and never getting it out there in the first place. You won't know what works until you have it out there. And you can get that feedback loop, right? I love to think of this as, you know, a digital camera versus a film camera.
A film camera, you could point, you could shoot, you could take a photo, but you won't know for weeks whether the photo was any good because you have to wait for it to come back. And then you can see, Oh, it was out of focus or it was underexposed.
Whereas a digital camera, you take a photo and you can see instantly, Oh, the horizon's wonky. Let me take that again. That is what taking action is like. It's like having that instant feedback of something's broken.
I used to spend an hour creating a single podcast episode, outlining it, recording it, and editing it so it was perfect and it would take up so much time, three episodes a week, right? But then I've realised, my audience doesn't care whether I say like or um or uh, but they do care that I'm producing good content and for me to produce good content, I can't be spending an hour.
Now I don't edit my episodes anymore, but back when I did, I realised, Oh, I could save a lot of time by just leaving in the filler words. Now, the other thing where I see people getting stuck is editing captions, making them perfect before they can publish that post to Instagram, recording their course content and it ends up becoming this thing that takes so long. It never gets out there into the world.
I love Tim Ferriss's example from his book, Tribe of Mentors, where he talks about how, when he sat down to write the book, he kept overcomplicating it. And he came back to this question, what would this look like if it were easy? And in that situation, the easy version was to interview a bunch of people who had been successful in their field and compile that into a book.
What would this look like if it were easy? So often I see this with online business owners, especially when it comes to something like creating a course or launching a podcast, I see them trying to go from zero to a hundred instantly, trying to add all of the bells and whistles into their first launch.
And then they get overwhelmed because there are so many different things to do and it never ends up happening. So rather than that, what is the minimum viable version of this?
For example, if you're creating an online course, could you potentially teach that online course as a live workshop first to test the idea and to test the content before you go and spend six months outlining, recording and creating all of it?
Could you potentially teach it as a group program instead where you're teaching it week by week instead of spending 12 months outlining some kind of course that you've never taught before?
Coffee catch-ups. Oh, I used to say yes to all of these and you know, it felt like just 30 minutes in my calendar, but then it was 30 minutes of driving and then finding a park and I'd get back and I'd have to try and get myself back into the flow of work.
So generally I say no to coffee catch-ups now. I say no to a lot of collaborations that come my way because they don't excite me or I don't think that they're going to be the best use of my time. All of these things fill our calendars, they make us feel like we've got some purpose and we're busy and all of that. They don't necessarily move the needle. They can be a massive time waster.
I'm a big fan of deleting things that are not lighting me up, not moving the needle, and getting them off my plate. If you're considering working with a client that you don't want to work with, maybe they're a painful client or they're exhibiting some red flags or you're just not that excited about working with them, you can say no. When you say yes to the wrong client that takes up space that could be filled by the right client. And I know it feels really scary because you're saying no to potential income but by opening up that space, you're allowing something better to come into its place.
So chasing all of the shiny ideas, being scattered, working on whatever you feel like working on, but not really moving forward on anything in particular. Focus gets you there a lot faster. And I say this as somebody who has ADHD, who struggles with focus, unfortunately, focus is incredibly important.
And if you are like me, where you struggle to find that focus, that is where having external structure can be helpful. Having systems, having a team to support you, having external accountability like I would not be able to focus on.
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