It's easy to lose yourself--and your business momentum--to daily minutiae. Get ready to break the cycle by working this simple set of goals into your planning.
Make a list of things you need to stop doing so you can devote more time and focus to your business instead. My list includes: Refrain from checking Twitter and Google+ in between tasks, stop saying yes to writing book forewords when my own book's foreword isn't complete and put a halt to my Pavlovian response to e-mail alerts.
The rule of thirds
Start tracking your time. The goal: Dedicate one-third of your day to prospecting for new buyers, one-third to executing business tasks and the remainder to supporting existing customers. Most people tend to focus on one or two of these areas and forget the other. I prospect and execute, but I don't devote enough time to nurturing my community. Which one is your weak spot?
5 people to thank
Who are your top five customers right now? Start sending each one a regular personal note to check in and find out how you can help them. It's just five people; it won't zap too much of your time. If you keep them top of mind, they'll return the favor. (However, if you feel one beginning to shy away, back off. You don't want to hound your customers, either.)
Put it in WritingListhings has a virtual corkboard for pinning to-do lists. You can access the site from any browser and share with other people.Evernote is one of the most powerful (yet easiest to use) note-taking tools online. Even the free version automatically syncs to your phone, tablet and computer.Action Method helps you break tasks down into steps--and, as the name says, take action.
30 minutes of media
Take 30 minutes twice a week to shoot and post a personal video message to your community (or your prospects or employees). It can help drive customer perception of your company and potentially create new leads. The video should be shorter than five minutes. Write a brief dialogue before you start to clarify your thoughts, then look into a camera--even the webcam built into your laptop--and speak your mind. Also, consider interviewing staff members or customers about your company; ask them about their success, not about your products.
10 replies a day
President Obama responds to 10 written letters every workday. It's one of his rituals--and it's just plain smart. Put the practice to work and commit to replying to at least that many e-mails, blog comments or tweets each day. This simple gesture improves loyalty.