Category Business Focus

What’s Your Distraction Reaction?

You might be wondering what a distraction reaction is. Despite being a catchy phrase I came up with the other day, it’s actually a real phenomenon.

Think about it. How do you deal with distraction? What do you do when you’re working on one thing and then something else vies for your attention? How you manage this is your “distraction reaction” and it’s crucial to how successfully you manage your time.

Types of “Distraction Reaction”

Some people will stop what they are doing, deal with the new thing and then maybe go back to what they were doing before or get completely distracted and do something else altogether. not a great time management technique but an easy habit to fall into (especially if you are procrastinating about the original task in the first place!).

Others will ignore  the new task, or distraction, entirely, until they have finished what they are working on, and then they will deal with it. Even more restrained people will put it on their priority list and get it to in the proper order.

I’m kind of in the middle.

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Being Available – it’s all about the contact…

I was reading a great post the other day about how to write a great FAQ page – you can see the whole post here. One of the tips (number 6 actually) was about Being Available to your customers. The point in this case was put a link to your contact page if the customer (or potential customer) has a question that hasn’t been addressed by the FAQ page. And the complaint in this blogger’s case was companies who don’t put their contact details on their website.

And I totally agree. If you don’t put your contact details on your site then it screams “don’t trust us!”. Ok you might not want your address on your site if you work from home (like I do) but there are sites out there that provide products or services but do not have any way for their customers to contact them

I find this so annoying and...

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Authentic Networking finally takes shape

You may remember (or may not as it has been a while since I updated this blog – just blame the fact of being Just Too Busy!) that I did a post on how to make networking work for your business. If you don’t remember, and I won’t blame you if you don’t, then here is the full article from last November : “Networking: How to make it work for your business”.

Well, I am delighted to say that the authentic networking I mentioned in that article has now taken shape as an actual, real-live event: the new Authentic Networking group for small businesses based in Horsham, Worthing and everywhere in between.

Now in the context of a potentially (if not actually) global blog, that probably doesn’t sound like much. But for me it is a personal achievement that I have been wanting to do for some time.

I am ...

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Ooh we’re all becoming teenagers…..!

No it’s not a magic trick or plastic surgery on a global scale or even some airborne virus from Fringe, but quite bizarrely we are about to enter the decade of the teens – the 20 teens and we are all about to become teenagers again. Woo…. Hoo?

It’s weird, I used to look at my driving licence after I had just passed my test and think WOW, 2043 – I can drive until then? I’ll be sooooooo old. 🙂 And yes it’s still a way away, but now I am on the ‘other’ side of the divide and the fact that we are about to go into 2010 just drives home the fact that another year has passed us by and time just will not stop! Boo time!

I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, I just felt the need to express my thoughts about this, because like me I just know you are probably sitting thinking – crap that year went fast and I’m soooo glad it’s over over OR crap that year went fast – it was soooo much fun. Whichever it is for you: “Crap that year really went fast!”

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SEO for small business – a ridiculous argument!

That got your attention didn’t it? LOL!

OK I just read the most ridiculous series of comments on a post from a blog I subscribe to (well used to subscribe to) – the original post was a response to another post that raised the question of validity of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for small businesses – but it turned into a slanging match between two obviously diametrically opposed ‘experts’ on SEO. As far as I am concerned there is no question on the validity of SEO for small businesses – it is a must and this post looks at why…

But first, back to the argument. It really annoyed me. Do you know why it annoyed me so much? Because in this slanging match you could tell these two SEO ‘experts’ (yes I use the inverted commas sarcastically because in the slanging match they conducted themselves as anything but) were more interested about trying to out-do the other, rather than discussing the real issue of whether SEO is still important for small business got totally pushed to one side. So I take up the slack and look at that here – without any slanging whatsoever.

The weird thing is I actually agreed with some points on both sides of the argument. Oh and the argument was: Is SEO still important for small businesses? (One said NO the other said emphatically and just a little rudely YES! Oh and at one point to highlight the ridiculousness of it all were arguing about the use or non-use of a question mark! Yep I know – crazy!)

Ok, so let’s forget about the silliness and get cracking…

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Have you got the “Chaos” time?

You know I LOVE this concept.

Clock on Furry CushionsI heard about it at my last Athena group meeting where our guest speaker brought up the concept of chaos time. When she said it I thought, “What on earth is that?” Actually it’s quite simple and something most of us already do – just not in such an organised way.

Chaos Time is a sacrosanct block of time that you mark out in your diary, say once a week or once a fortnight, so that if anything unexpected happens in your business or your life which disrupts the normal smooth flow (yeah right!), you have the time already set aside to ‘catch up’.

Having had nearly two months off ill recently, and having loads to catch up on, I really need Chaos Time and having implemented a new weekly schedule, every Tuesday afternoon is now my Chaos Time. And it feels really good…

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To-do lists make you invincible!

pencil and checklist

Again I start a blog post with an over-statement… Or do I?

The humble to-do list makes me feel invincible. Why? Because they make me feel in control of my life and they make me feel good when I cross something off them – they make me feel like I am achieving something. They conquer my fear. It’s that simple.

Over the years, I have read a number of time management articles (heck I’ve written a couple of them!) and one thing I’ve noticed is that they all say pretty much the same thing or things. The tips are the same – just written differently and from different points of experience – and to be honest most of them are common sense.

But when you are struggling against a never ending list of things to do, a mountain of admin and more – then time management seems like a pretty good idea. But can I tell you something? Time management – when you drill down into it – is a solution to a problem and that problem is usually (for most of us anyway) procrastination.

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Ok, I admit it: I’m a big faker!

Well – I would say that’s a little bit of an over-admission.

But it got your attention, didn’t it?

Actually, I’m talking about my profile picture. I use it on my website, my Twitter profile and any time someone asks for a photo of me. But… and here’s the big but (and why I could be accused of being a faker), that picture was taken over two years ago – could be nearer to three. I don’t really look like that now (one pregnancy and a sedentary life of running my own business later); I look a bit different.

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When losing a client is a good thing…

Square Peg in a Round Hole_0565I lost a client today.

Not for the first time and probably not the last. In my 8-plus years of running small businesses (first a local newspaper and now with Just Too Busy) I have lost a few advertisers and clients. It happens to everyone – sometimes the fit isn’t right, sometimes the expectations aren’t right and sometimes it’s just better to part ways.

Now anyone who says they have never lost a client or a customer is either one) insane (yes insanity is fun but hardly practical) OR two) they are lying. Now I hate to cast aspersions on anyone and I would much rather believe we are all slightly bonkers, so let’s go with the former.

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Moving home? Moving office? Take away a little bit of the stress….

house moving boxesI have just moved home, which means I have just moved office (as I work some of the time from home). And it was horrible! As you can see from the date of my previous post (26th May) it has been a while since I have been able to blog.  The reason? UTTER CHAOS!

And although there were some external factors that caused this chaos (mainly BT messing up my Internet connection) but the majority of it is post move chaos – changing my power supply, moving Sky, changing phone numbers and the most time consuming one: telling all my services, banks etc that I have moved. It is such a draining process and I keep putting it off because of that.

I have to unpack my files, dig out the latest statement or letter from those companies and then write them a letter, print it, put in an envelope, put a stamp ...

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