On Jan 21, we had the pleasure of learning about productivity and planning from expert leadership consultant Jodie Willmer, co-founder of Happy Changemakers. Jodie lead us through many tools and frameworks that can help us be more effective, better organised and less stressed. Our key takeaways from Jodie’s session were:
Start with your WHY
Knowing and understanding why you’re in business is not only a great motivator for you when times get tough, but it can also help you to inspire your staff and customers. Simon Sinek explains this concept really well using Apple as an example. Apple is world-class in communicating their ‘why’ – it’s synonymous with their brand and customers buy their products because they feel it aligns to who they are or want to be. If Apple were communicating their ‘why’ it would be “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly”. So why does your business exist? What is your passion, purpose and values?
Take care of the Big Rocks first
Often we fill our lives with so many activities that it can clutter our judgment of what’s really important. Our lives may feel full, or even overwhelming, but is everything we’re doing really aligned to our values, passions and priorities? Jodie shared a great analogy of how we fill our lives with different priorities. Imagine you have an empty jar. You grab the jar and put in some big rocks, followed by smaller pebbles (they fall in between the big rocks), and lastly sand (that falls into all of the remaining gaps). The jar would then be packed full. The big rocks represent your big life priorities (family, health, friendships etc), the pebbles represent other important parts of your life (work, school etc), and the sand represents the remaining small stuff in your life (like material possessions). If you had put the sand and pebbles in the jar first, there would be no room for the rocks. The same goes for your priorities. If you prioritise the smaller less important parts of your life, then you’ll have no room for your big priorities. Watch the full example here and reflect on what your big rocks, pebbles and sand are.
Prioritise your tasks into Do, Decide, Delegate and Delete
For many of us, our ‘to do’ list gets longer rather than shorter. It can be hard to prioritise tasks when everything seems urgent. Jodie introduced us to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix which can help us sort our tasks into buckets based on priority and action. The matrix separates our tasks into 4 buckets:
- Urgent + Important – Tasks we should be doing straight away.
- Not Urgent + Important – Tasks we should schedule to do at a later date.
- Urgent + Not Important – Tasks that we should delegate or outsource.
- Not Urgent + Not Important – Tasks that we should delete or stop doing.
Our most critical learning here was asking honestly ourselves for the Urgent and Not Important tasks, ‘Are we the right and best person to be doing this?’ Often we think that we’re the only one that can do a specific task. But if we dig a little deeper, we uncover that if we set up the right processes and systems, that these tasks can in fact be done by someone else.
If you’re keen to learn more about how you can better juggle all of the tasks and responsibilities of a business owner, then join us for our workshop The 10 Hats of Business Success being held on Tuesday Feb 18 in Morwell. If you’d like to see what other gems Jodie and Happy Changemakers have in their pockets, then RSVP to our workshop Monetising Your Time & Expertise on Monday March 15 in Bairnsdale.