Entries tagged with “productivity”.


Wise words via Sandra Yancey, eWomen Network on ways to be a “Quitter” in your business:

1.  Quit hanging around people who aren’t smarter than you –  surround yourself with the right people that will help you move forward

2.  Quit waiting for the perfect “launch” moment – don’t wait for the when – go for the pursuit of progress, not the pursuit of perfection

3.  Quit trying to figure it out by yourself – find your tribe and let them help you

4.  Quit trying to do it on the cheap –  it’s hard to steal second base and keep your foot on first base.  Sometimes you have to let go – jump and build your wings on the way down – why have wings if you’re never going to fly?

5.  Quit taking it personally – some will, some won’t…so what?

 

Get out of your own way and take your business to the next level!

 

When you’re shopping for a hosting company to host your website, can you be assured that your website will always be up and viewable?

Uptime is a measure of how well the web hosting provider is doing at keeping their systems up and running.  If a hosting provider has a high uptime percentage, then it would mean that their servers stay up and running and so any site you host with them should stay up and running too.  Typically you’ll see a hosting company state a guaranteed “99.9% uptime.”  This is the industry standard.  To be realistic, there is no 100% guarantee.  Things happen, but you can get pretty close.

Uptime is simply calculated as a percentage of time:

  • 98% uptime = 28.8 minutes/day or 3.4 hours/week or 14.4 hours/month or 7.3 days/year
  • 99% uptime = 14.4 minutes/day or 1.7 hours/week or 7.2 hours/month or 3.65 days/year
  • 99.5% uptime = 7.2 minutes/day or 0.84 hours/week or 3.6 hours/month or 1.83 days/year
  • 99.9% uptime = 1.44 minutes/day or 0.17 hours/week or 0.72 hours/month or 8.8 hours/year

Sometimes there are scheduled outages where the company plans to perform a server upgrade or planned hardware change out.  This downtime is not covered in their uptime guarantee.  They try to do it in the hours between midnight and 5am to minimize impact on businesses, under the assumption that the majority of them are closed for the night.

And, of course, there are the unscheduled outages caused by failed hardware or in the unfortunate case of an attack by some malware or trojan whose basic goal is to take down a network, site or service.

The guarantee does allow for compensation should your downtime exceed the stated value, however most hosting providers have a lot of hoops they want you to jump through to claim the reimbursement.  They are probably hoping that you will decide that the amount of effort involved is not worth the minimal amount you would qualify to receive.

Regardless, 0.1% of downtime is actually very minimal.  It is in their best interest for reputable companies to do their best to minimize any downtime.  Like any other business, it comes down to the overall service you receive that will determine whether or not you trust and continue your relationship with that company.

Last month, I was away from my office on a two week vacation. I had taken up my laptop with me. I felt seriously guilty that I hadn’t accomplished as much as I “should” have during my time away since I was going to have two whole weeks of “free time.”

Well, I returned to a pile of backlog items and went into somewhat of a frenzy, trying to get things done in preparation for another vacation just a few days later. This trip was over a weekend, leaving on a Friday morning and returning on Monday. Not surprisingly, working in a frenzy, I didn’t get much done.

Totally exhausted on Friday morning, on a whim (well not quite…I had convince myself not to), I left my laptop at home. As we drove away from the house, I physically turned and looked back with that feeling of dread, like I had left a part of me behind. I repeated to myself over and over, “It’s just a weekend. Just a few days.”

Once on the airplane, resigned to the fact that I no longer had a choice as my laptop was at home, I began to let go. Needless to say, it was the best vacation I had had in years! We spent the time relaxing, played some golf and tennis, even took naps in the middle of the day, and literally did nothing. I hadn’t realized how sleep deprived I had been, even after having been “on vacation for two weeks” only a few days prior and that I was running on fumes.

I’m back in the office now, my head is clearer and I’ve made some changes to my business that I had only been thinking about for what seemed like forever. I’m working more efficiently, and I’m amazed at how quickly I’m crossing things off my backlog of things to do.

I just read an article on BizNik that helped reinforce that feeling – Here’s an excerpt:

“… I made all sort of excuses about how I wanted to be there for the client and things. I mean how else was I going to do what I was meant to do. Serve my clients and be there for them every waking minute. Well, as I read my own words I hear how sad this sounds. It was at that moment I realized that I wouldn’t be able to keep this up much longer. One of two things would happen. I would end up in the hospital from exhaustion or I would begin resenting my clients. Neither of which is a good thing. I also knew that I hadn’t created anything new for my business in quite a while and had no clue what was next for me…

… Once, I landed back on the mainland and as I started to withdraw from my tropical haze, I was full of ideas and energy. The type of energy that makes things happen. I’m not sure how long it will last but I can’t wait for my next vacation. I promised myself I won’t take my laptop next time. And that 100,000 foot level and letting go stuff really works. I think in letting go I realized that my business is better when I had a chance to work on my business and give myself a break from working in it.

As entrepreneurs we get so caught up in running our business that all the things we wanted to do when we started get pushed aside in the grind of trying to make money and make it all work. I now have a clearer picture of my business and how I want it to look, work and feel. And that’s a good thing. So, go book your next vacation, zoom up to the 100,000 foot level and get-a-way for a while and get your life and your business back. This is my life through a different lens. Be well.”

— Step Away from Your Business and Nobody Will Get Hurt” by Gerald Grinter, The Twelfth Power Consulting

We simply hold on and tell ourselves “it will slow down after X happens” and push on. I’ve heard it countless times before, but I guess in prior attempts to take time for myself, I haven’t ever quite allowed myself to really let go. I know now that that everything will be okay, the work will still be there waiting for me, but I’m in a better frame of mind to tackle it.

I challenge YOU now to give yourself permission and pick a date (make it soon!) and mark your calendar. Really and truly, completely unplug. Let go. Breathe. Take time for yourself and return recharged and with a new perspective!

All of us are guilty of putting off less desirable tasks at least once in a while. We live in a world with lots of deadlines. We put things off as a matter of good task management, but we wind up beating ourselves up and mistakenly attribute it to procrastination, when realistically we probably simply have put too many things on our plate.

Don’t beat yourself up. You’ll only get more frustrated and feel even less motivated. Try to focus on starting a project, not on finishing it. “I choose to start” is what you want to say to yourself, rather than “I have to finish” and you may be in a better frame of mind to tackle the job at hand.

12 Tips for Working

1. Write down your ideas. Do not trust your memory, no matter how good it may be!

2. Set down your priorities before the start of each day’s work.

3. Use your high-productivity hours for top-priority projects.

4. Tackle time-consuming projects in stages.

5. Do not over schedule. Leave some free time for yourself each day.

6. Concentrate on one item at a time.

7. Take breaks. Walk around. Stretch. Eat lunch away from your desk.

8. Establish a place for everything. Categorize, file, and store items nearby.

9. Keep paperwork moving.

10. Put limits on visits:

– Stack stuff on any extra chairs so uninvited visitors have to stand.

– When chatty people call, tell them you have only a few minutes to talk. Politely ask them the point of their call right away.

11. Remove unnecessary paperwork from your desk, This prevents lost or mixed-up papers.

12. Handle each piece of paper only once

(source: The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the art of doing it now)

I occasionally get someone calling to inquire about my services and the questions are centered solely around the overall cost of a new website.  When I provide a ballpark estimate for the product they are looking to get, they sometimes attempt to negotiate the price down or simply ask, “What can I get for $____?” (which can sometimes be less than half of the estimated ballpark cost).  Unfortunately, these actions are taken without any expectation that they would need to reduce the scope of the final product and get anything less that what they had originally requested.

The fact that someone is asking to use your skills at a discounted rate usually means that they either a) don’t value what you do and the talent you bring; or b) have been turned down previously by someone else who realizes the true value of their work.  On a rare occasion they are truly uninformed, and have no idea what you do and what you can bring to a project.  In this case, try to educate them, let them know what you do, what you charge and why.

For any product or service, there are low cost avenues out there.  The catch, however, is that it should require that the client do all of the work with little or no professional guidance.  As it should be…”you get what you pay for.”  Are you being fairly compensated?

Here’s a link to a funny video I saw that spoofs the sometimes touchy Vendor-Client relationship when it comes to pricing and payment:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY