You ever heard this quote from Albert Einstein? “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Clear your desk be more productive seems to belie that quote, but it had us wondering, “Do you have a cluttered mnd?” Are you leaving thoughts on the “table” because they are running around, unfettered, through your brain?
How many thoughts, half-formulated ideas, plans and tasks do you have cluttering up your brain? With these thoughts fluttering around, how is that impacting your ability to formulate new plans and thoughts? Do new thoughts go unexplored because you’re spending too much time and brain power and mental energy on those that you haven’t taken the time to corral?
How can you clear the clutter — in your mind and on your desk — to be more productive?
Clear Your Desk Be More Productive
- Write your tasks and thoughts down. Whether you use paper or electronic means, when you remove the clutter you are clearing your mind and desk to allow new thoughts and ideas in.
- Don’t rely on your memory for your daily to-dos or your larger life goals.
- An organized workspace (and mind) helps you get items done. The time you save looking for something is time you can be productive.
- Take a physical break to clear the clutter. Taking a short walk or going up and down a few flights of stairs is like hitting the refresh button on your internal computer.
- Write your to do list for the following day before you leave the office at the end of a work day. When you do this you give yourself a jump start on the following day and you also help prevent the middle of the night freak outs about something you’d forgotten to do or write down.
Clear your mind of mental clutter and you can be more productive. Do you have a clear cut plan for clearing your mental and physical clutter? Has it helped you get more done?
Are extroverts better entrepreneurs? The word “better” may be misleading because introverts are GREAT entrepeneurs, but their business style is different than the business style of an extrovert. The world goes around with extroverts and introverts and you may find your business thriving if you bring in others who balance your innate tendency.
Are Extroverts Better Entrepreneurs?
- Extroverts may be able to cast a wider net for networking opportunities and for potential clients. Simply because extroverts like to be out and about and talk with strangers, they may have access to more clients than an introvert.
- They may find it easier to strike up a conversation with strangers which could lead to business conversations.
- They interact with their team, probably more regularly.
- They just may be more charismatic than their introverted counterparts. You can read this as “life of the party.”
What benefits to introverts bring to the table?
- They are focused. They rarely get off track when pursuing a goal.
- The relationships they build are constructed over the long term.
- They may be more niched and this could enhance their expertise.
When building a team, fill it with both extroverts and introverts and you will have a well-rounded workforce that will benefit your business as well as your clients.
Note that it’s rare to find an entrepreneur who is 100% introvert or 100% extrovert. Most every person is a mixture of both while most people also lean more toward one or the other. Ambiverts are those individuals who can thrive in a crowded networking event for a time, then will head back to the office to recharge their mental batteries.
Which are you? Extrovert? Introvert? A little of both — an ambivert? Do you know yourself well enough to know which spectrum you fall into and what do you do to enhance your natural tendencies and make your business a success? We’d love to know.
As an entrepreneur you need to get out of the office and continue building business connections. Toward this end though you need to make the most of business meetings. If you attend an event or a business luncheon and walk away, hours later, with a sense of “that was a waste of time” you need to sharpen your skills to see if you can determine beforehand just who might be wasting your time before you schedule time out of the office.
Make The Most Of Business Meetings
It’s all about them. This is a red flag you should notice up front. If you meet someone at a networking event and they launch into their elevator pitch without even a “getting to know you” question or two. You can rest assured that if you meet up again, the conversation on your end will not be furthered, but their agenda will be continued. As a side note, make sure when you meet people that you aren’t the one who is monopolizing the conversation.
Future planning. If they say, “well, at some point in the future” or “we aren’t at the point of bringing on vendors” or “we don’t have any plans currently” you will know that it might be a good getting-to-know you time, but you won’t walk away being any closer to a new business deal than you originally were. This is not to say that “future” promises should be discounted, but know that you’re not getting a contract signed any time soon.
I’d love to pick your brain. When someone says this, they KNOW you have a product or service that they would benefit from BUT they are not willing to open their checkbook and invest. Sharing insight and information isn’t a bad thing, but you don’t want to continually accept invitations to, “brain picking” sessions. You deserve to be paid for your expertise. Bottom line.
What raises red flags for you when you’re scheduling a business meeting with a potential client?
Have you ever wondered how can you motivate employees without cash? It’s a Catch 22 for many entrepreneurs; they’re worried about breaking the bank and they also worry about losing great employees. If your employees are being lured away by the promise of more cash at a competitor business, you need to find a way to keep those employees without putting your business in the red.
How Can You Motivate Employees Without Cash?
- Flexibility. Many employees would prefer a flexible work schedule to a raise. Can you offer a later start time or an earlier leave time? What about allowing an employee to work four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days? Could you make that work? What if your employee needs time off for a doctor’s appointment or to go to their child’s school play? Can you be flexible with time off requests?
- Offer autonomy and allow them to “own” their job. Don’t micromanage. Give your employees a task and trust they will complete it at the level of expertise you expect of your staff.
- Offer praise. If an employee goes “above and beyond” make note of that and share that with your other employees. Implement a “refer a colleague” program in which a staff member points out when another does a great job or performs an act of kindness.
- Build community within the firm. Even if your employees are scattered in various locations, build community by fostering conversations across the locations. Host get-togethers if feasible.
- Offer life long learning opportunities. If your employees are always learning — whether job-related or focused on a passion project (knitting, gardening, auto repair) they will be achieveing a work-life balance and will also be pursuing a passion outside of work — that you have provided them.
What do you do to keep good employees from leaving? What incentive programs have you found that have worked? What hasn’t? We’d love to know.