Lesson 6 – How to be Much More Effective

Effectiveness for Startups

The New Manager

When you start your business you’ll have so much to do that you won’t have time for everything.  New business owners often concentrate on what they already know – what they’re good at.  But that can be disastrous. You have to do many things that you probably never did before. You have to make decisions about strategy, marketing, sales and much more. You have to learn about many new areas.


Becoming Effective

This video will show how to handle that situation. It will make you more effective. It will steer you away from dangerous but seductive areas – and towards the areas you need to concentrate on. Have a look at the video by clicking on the center of the picture below. There is supporting information below the video. I’ll talk to you there.



If you have any questions about the video, you can leave them using the comment box below. I’ll try to answer as many as I can. Just a few additional points to consider.


The “C” Items

I’ve mentioned in this video, and in the last one, that you should allow the “C” items to drop off your list.  The reason is that these are “nice to have”. They are not essential for business success. If you had nothing else to do you could work on them. However, you should never start them when you have “A” and “B” items on your list.

You’ll find that difficult at times. You’re comfortable with “C” items. They look easy to do and “they’ll only take a few minutes”.  However, once you start you’ll find it difficult to get back to the really important things.


The Greatest Danger

The greatest danger with the “C” items is that, at the end of the day, you’ll think you’ve achieved something. You’ll be able to cross some action items off your list. That’s the problem. It’s like getting a payout at the slot machines. It’s not meaningful but it’ll keep you going back for more. Using the technique shown in the video will keep you on track.


Video Transcript

Here is a transcript of the video for those who prefer to read. You might also be able to use this to help translate the video into an alternative language.


How can you be more effective?

How can you avoid procrastination?

I’m Pat Hough and I’ll answer those questions in this short video


Let’s start by looking at why you shy away from some activities that could be important for your business. You’ve got three primary behavior zones and these have a significant effect on what you do. The first is the comfort zone. This contains most of the activities you carry out on a regular basis. You’ve built up a level of skill on each of these activities – so you’re very comfortable working on them. You don’t even have to think about them. They’re instinctive.


Within the comfort zone there’s a small area called the Pleasure Zone. This is where you’d really like to spend all your time! It includes many of the activities you’d expect – but some you mightn’t. For example, it may include activities like reading emails and texts and browsing social media. If you spend more than an hour a day on these activities, then they’re located firmly in your pleasure zone! Most of the items in your pleasure zone are not adding real value. Some may become an addiction. You should try to minimize them. At the very least, cut out as many as you can during the working day.


Then there’s the third area. It’s called the discomfort zone. This is where all the activities that you’re avoiding are located. You shy away from these because you haven’t developed the knowledge or skills to do them effortlessly. Carrying them out is boring and difficult – and cumbersome.  You have think about them. The discomfort zone is the major reason you’ll procrastinate on some activities. Your brain will offer excuses for not doing them. You’ll spend your time endlessly reading emails rather than tackling them.


Now that you’re starting your own business there will be a lot of activities that will fall into the discomfort zone. If you fail to carry out these activities, you could put your business in serious risk


In the last video we looked at how to use the planner to schedule tasks and we talked about the ABC system to categorize them. Now we’ll learn how to use the system to tackle procrastination. Each morning – look at your list of action items for the day Identify those that you feel uncomfortable doing – the ones you want to put off. These are from your discomfort zone so you categorize all of these with the letter A.


Now look for items that are essential for the development of the business – BUT you are comfortable doing. Mark these with the letter B.  Mark all the rest with the letter C.


Now, schedule the A items first. When you have all of them scheduled move on and schedule the B items. Do not schedule the C items. And don’t work on them – let them fall off the list. They will not add value.


You might be asking why we make sure that the B items are essential for the business but we don’t carry out the same check on the A items. The reason is – you wouldn’t have included them on the list in the first place if they weren’t.


So that’s how to avoid damaging your business by procrastinating. In the next video we’ll look at how to make sure that your strategy is working. Thanks for watching. Until the next time.

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