In this episode, learn step-by-step how to identify where the majority of your working hours are going on a daily basis, an essential step to reclaiming more time on your calendar. Plus, get the exact questions you need to ask yourself if you want to spend less time on the busywork in your online business.
In this episode, you’ll learn step-by-step how to identify where the majority of your working hours are going on a daily basis in your online business, which is an essential step to reclaiming more time on your calendar for you.
Plus, I’m going to give you the exact questions you need to be asking yourself if you want to spend less time on the busy work in your online business, and start spending more time in your zone of genius.
This week’s episode is part of our Summer Series of quick tips to help you streamline your online business and improve your business growth strategies. If it inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.
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Courtney Elmer 0:11
What's up, I’m Courtney Elmer! Welcome back to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast. This is Episode 77, and we are kicking off our summer series of quick tips to help you streamline your online business as well as looking at effective business growth strategies. In this week's episode, and in the next several episodes ahead, I'm going to be giving you one super simple, but powerful tool, hack, or system every week, that's going to help you be able to spend less time on the busy work in your online business, so you can spend more time in your zone of genius and all the things that bring you joy.
So, if you are someone who feels constantly overwhelmed by all you have to do and trying to figure out what the best business growth strategies are, and like there's never enough time to do it, then today's episode is for you.
Courtney Elmer 0:54
I taught an exercise last week to our students to help them identify where the majority of their working hours are going on a daily basis. And so often, people complain about never having enough time, but they don't know how to do anything about it. They try all of these actions that don’t work and try testing all of these business growth strategies. And chances are, the time management tools you've tried probably haven't worked. And I'm going to tell you why in just a moment. But first inside each and every episode, in this special summer series of streamlined systems that we're doing on the show, I'm going to give you an exercise. Now, truth be told, the bulk of people listening aren't going to do these exercises, and nothing is going to change in their life. They will be stuck in the same old online business that doesn’t operate like a well-oiled machine.
Courtney Elmer 1:33
But you are different. You are someone who craves growth for your online business, you might not like change, but you're not afraid of it. And deep down inside, there's a part of you that is curious to discover just how capable you really are to discover just how much potential you actually have and how to find the right business growth strategies.
And if that's you--awesome, because I know that you're someone who's going to take the time to do these exercises that I'm going to give you today because you want the growth; you want the change you want to succeed. And you know that if you don't change, nothing changes. But this comes with a word of warning. Because the reason that the time management tips that you've tried haven't worked, is because there's a part of your business that you need more than your business needs you. Let me explain.
Courtney Elmer 3:08
I see this happening all the time in business, online business especially. As long as you continue to do that, you will only ever be operating at your current level at the level that you currently are and you will never be able to move beyond or operate from a higher level. You will stay stagnant because you’ll be using the same business growth strategies that don’t work. Because you've created a symbiotic relationship between the thing you don't want stress, overwhelm, and burnout to be working all the time. But it's actually the thing you need that fuels you.
Courtney Elmer 3:34
I've made this same mistake many times. I've told myself, Well, my students need me. Of course my students need me. They wouldn't be where they are without me. Oh, my business needs me. My team needs me. Everyone needs me and my constant attention.
No, they don't. I’ve learned that they don’t.
Courtney Elmer 3:54
They don't. That's just ego talking.
Courtney Elmer 3:58
I know that I will never be able to scale my online business to the level that I want to until I start to release my grip on my business and focus on truly effective business growth strategies. It's very counterintuitive. But people resist this--I see it time and again. And so we can talk all day long about online business systems and automation and prophecies and tools and all of these things. And yes, those things are great. They're helpful, but they're not the holy grail of online business and they certainly don’t give you what you need in terms of business growth strategies.
Courtney Elmer 4:25
Systems are meant to support you in creating the lifestyle they want, but they're not going to give you the lifestyle that you want. They're not the end-all-be-all. And until you begin to recognize what I just shared about how you cannot build an online business, or any business for that matter, that depends on you and what you decide to do with this information.
Courtney Elmer 4:43
And this is why, when I work with my mastermind students, the number one goal inside of that program is to help them structure and build their online business so that it can run without them so that they can actually truly experience that freedom and not be chained to their online business. I give them all of the business growth strategies, tools, and resources that they need to be successful.
Courtney Elmer 5:35
As you go about your day, you're going to notice and ask yourself, “Where have I created an unhealthy relationship with my online business? Where have I boxed myself in sacrificing the things that are really important to me in the name of growing my brand? What am I afraid of happening, if I reclaim that time for myself?”
Courtney Elmer 6:01
So here's the exercise you're going to do for your online business. I call this The Hour-Glass Exercise.
Step one in this exercise is you're going to get out a blank sheet of paper, and you're going to draw two vertical lines down the page, creating three columns. Then above that first column, you're going to write “My Bliss List.” And over the course of today and the next few days, you're going to go through your day and notice what brings you the most joy. Everything you notice, even the smallest of things, write it down.
Above the middle column, you're going to write “My Time Wasters.” And in this column, as you go about your day, you're going to write down everything that drains you, this soul-sucking stuff, the stuff you do not enjoy, the mundane things you wish you didn't have to do in your online business, but there's nobody else to do them. So here you are doing them, spending your time on that.
And you're going to do this, not just for today, but for the next three days, noticing anything and everything that lights you up, and anything and everything that drains you.
Then in the third column, you're going to label that column, “What’s on My Plate.” In this column, write down all of the duties, all of the activities, all of the responsibilities that are attached currently, to your various roles in life.
So this is not limited to your online business; it's going to include work, but it's also going to also include your family, personal things, your duties, activities, and responsibilities that are related and attached to your various roles in life right now.
Courtney Elmer 7:45
And once you have that list created, you're going to go through that third column and look at these activities and duties and responsibilities. And you're going to notice, maybe you'll put a little symbol next to it, what do I enjoy? Which ones of these take a lot of my time? What's on this list that really energizes me? What's on this list that really drains me? What do I dislike doing the most?
Courtney Elmer 8:10
I want you to pay close attention to which of those duties and responsibilities that are on that list are for you... and which ones are for others.
Courtney Elmer 8:23
Then once you have completed these three parts, you've got my bliss list, you've got my time wasters, you've got what's on my plate, you've got all three of those columns filled out, you're going to ask yourself these three questions.
Courtney Elmer 8:39
Number one, was I surprised by anything that was on my list?
Courtney Elmer 8:46
Number two, what's missing from my list?
Courtney Elmer 8:52
And number three, the most important question, what do I have to eliminate in order to spend more time on the things that bring me bliss? Now in the weeks ahead, I've got some very tangible tools that you can plug in and use to help you clean up your calendar and reclaim time for you. But any and all tools for building your online business are completely and utterly useless until you begin to identify where you are sacrificing your own time, your own bliss right now. And for the sake of what, six figures, or seven, is that really what's going to bring you bliss, joy. No.
Simply expanding the container of time to experience more bliss and joy in your life right now is how you find your way to bliss and joy, and fulfillment. A number on a bank account is just a number on a bank account. And deep down you already know this. So you're going to walk away from this episode, you're really going to think about this. Then you're going to implement these exercises.
Courtney Elmer 10:00
Let's meet right back here next week for our next summer series of systems for you where I'm going to give you three easy ways to streamline your inbox that you wish you knew about sooner. All that's coming up next week. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.