Setting Up New Systems? Steer Clear of These 3 Common System Mistakes

When you listen to interviews about how successful entrepreneurs have built their businesses, you’ll probably hear them talk about the importance of having systems.

A lot of them say they were hesitant to start because they didn’t want to feel restricted, but once they did, they couldn’t imagine their businesses without them.

If you take a closer look, you’ll see that their systems aren’t complicated or technology-heavy. In fact, they’re often just a series of actions that lead up to the same outcome, and above all, they’re designed to fit the needs of that business in the most optimal way.

After hearing that one too many times, you may have finally taken the leap and set your own systems up, but were disappointed when they didn’t work out as expected.

Don’t worry! Making mistakes is normal, and the solution often requires just a simple course correction.

Behind on Publishing Your Blog Posts? Trello to the Rescue

We’ve already established that Trello has a variety of unconventional business uses, including planning your webinars and keeping track of your metrics, and now I want to show you how you can manage your blogging system using it as well.

If you’re not already familiar with Trello, it is based on a Japanese concept called “kanban” boards, which help you focus on status in projects as opposed to due dates. This approach gives you a clear indication of where tasks are stopping, or becoming bottlenecks, and it’s visual, which can be appealing to all you right-brained entrepreneurs. :]

So let’s see how you can use Trello to manage your editorial calendar and help you make sure that you never miss publishing an article.

Avoid These 5 Task Management Practices

So much to do, so little time. Who hasn’t experienced that?

Sure, you could continue to follow the classic time management approach of trying to squeeze your to-do list into your schedule, or you could switch gears and do what your schedule allows.

When you make the mindset shift from time management to task management, you’ll find that you could potentially fit twenty hours of work into an eight-hour work day.

How can you know if you’ve been focusing on time management instead of task management?

Here are five actions to avoid if you want to feel more productive and in control of your day.

I Don’t Wish I Had More Time

Knowing what markers to look out for in order to reach your ultimate goal is imperative, but what about day-to-day?  How do you organize your daily workload so that you hit the milestones you’ve set for yourself? Certainly not by working harder.   As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. Working longer hours is not the way to get more stuff done. Isn’t this ironic? We live in an age of countless communication possibilities, yet we’ve never felt so trapped by the range of choices. This might sound unthinkable, but when I was growing up, I didn’t have a cell phone.  In fact, we didn’t even have a landline.  In the USSR in the 80s, if you wanted to find out if someone was home, the only way to know was if you stopped by.  Phones back then were a luxury. Shocking, isn’t it? I had seen cell phones only in American movies and didn’t aspire to have one—the bulky contraptions didn’t look lady-like at all! I also didn’t care about ever owning a computer.  All I knew was that the stacks of perforated cards my mom would bring home from work, after they were spit out by huge mainframe computers, were great to play with, draw images on and use as bookmarks. Oh, careless childhood! Fast forward 3 short decades and I can’t imagine my life without Apple products.   Each one of them is eager to deliver to me my new communications.  For every commitment scheduled in my calendar I receive 4 notifications, 1 on each device conveniently synced with each other.    How ridiculous is that? But...

4 Ways to Be Creative with IFTTT

Imagine if you could update all of your social media channels, keep tabs on what your competitors are up to, keep your content organized, and make sure you don’t spend hours looking for information buried in your Inbox? IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a tool that has the power to do all of that almost automatically once you set up key “recipes,” or processes, that you want to happen. While IFTTT can’t do all of the work for you, it does set a brilliant foundation for you to do the things that you know will move your business forward. It exists to help you be more productive so you can make the most out of the time you have each day. Creative Recipes to Run and Grow Your Business  1. Build relationships If you want to get on the radar of the influencers or consistently keep in touch with the people who you want to build relationships with, you can use IFTTT in a few ways: Twitter to Google Drive: Using this recipe, you can have tweets that you’ve favorited added to a spreadsheet on Google Drive, so that in the future you can personalize your message to those people. Google Calendar to Facebook: Allows you to automate wishing friends a happy birthday on Facebook.  (And, yes, it’s best if you follow up with a personal note). Gmail to Twitter: Thank someone for following you on Twitter. When you automate these processes using IFTTT, you can build relationships in a more systematic and organized way. However, note that while you can automate certain aspects, meaningful relationships will require you to be...