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Stefan Kazakis on 2 September 2017

If you have kids you know this question well: are we there yet? I hear this from my kids whenever we go for a long journey in the car. I also hear this all the time from my clients: how much more? The simple answer to this is that you are never done building a business. There will be some periods where growth is stronger than others, but from the day you start in business to the day you leave you should be trying to make things bigger and better.

If you are a regular reader of our information you'll know that this is not about doing more, it’s about doing less. If you’re doing the right things right you can get more done in less time. It all starts with your strategic plan, which you and everyone in your team must be aligned to. It’s about managing your calendar and your to-do list, and making sure the right things are on them. It’s about getting tighter with everything you do, every day.

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here’s a great exercise that can help you clear the decks a little bit. It’s called the Traffic Light Exercise, and it can be a great productivity booster. For many clients, I find that this is a moment of truth and a moment of clarity. It’s actually very simple, but also very powerful. Simply answer the following questions:

• What three things do you need to stop doing?

• What three things do you need to continue doing?

• What three things do you need to start doing?

You can begin this activity by looking at yourself. Everything you do must be led by you. What do you need to stop, start and continue? Look at your default calendar. What are the three key things to achieve today rather than the 50 trivial things to do?

Then look at your business and then your team and departments. This will have a snowball effect, as your business does away with unnecessary tasks and spends more time on more valuable activities.

For each activity you do, ask yourself if what you are doing is relevant to:

• your customers

• your industry

• your community

• you and your life purpose.

How frequently are you being relevant for these areas? And if something is not relevant, why are you doing it at all? This is another time for brutal truth. If you’re not leading like this your team won’t follow. This is why you start with yourself.

At some point, you become more aware of the stuff you are doing on a reactive versus proactive basis. What are the majority of your activities right now? What is the business leaders’ work versus employees’ work ratio looking like right now for you? What are you doing that should be done by one of your team? Sometimes it’s about stopping stuff rather than starting stuff. This has a massive impact on productivity, growth and breaking through. Less is more.

Stefan

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