Juggling and Balancing Business Productivity

David Ferman - Balancing a Burning Molotov Cocktail

Did you see when David Ferman did his juggling and balancing of a burning molotov cocktail act on America’s Got Talent? Amazing. He’s a smart kid. He realized that in order to impress the judges and the audience that he needed to do something extraordinary. With a little creativity and organization we are all capable of being more productive, successful and profitable. Like Ferman, we have to be consistent, apply practice as well as step out of our comfort zone.

Here is the clip of David Ferman in action. This is how I feel when I’m trying to “juggle” my company. As a business owner there is a lot of pressure to get things done all while, managing, taking risks and captivating an audience.

While I like to watch TV, I don’t normally have much time to watch TV and I don’t have time to watch TV because I’m too busy juggling multitude of tasks for my business and daily life. So I sat down to write this post and come up with ways to maximize productivity for business. Some of these ideas can also be applied to our daily lives.

Business Productivity is an organization’s ability to use all recourses available to them in an effort to produce an environment where goods or services needed by customers and clients can be profitable. Are there things that could be changed within our businesses would make them more productive? There is often a lot of wasted time, redundancy and lack of focus in business. Ever put off a project that you knew would benefit your business because you “didn’t have the time”? Yet we find time for everything else that needs to be done and more.

6 Ways to Organize and Maximize Business Productivity

Manage Your Time
To maximize your productivity you must first become organized. By becoming organized you can focus your time on important tasks. Start with a time journal. Within a week, it will become clear where time is being wasted.

Do What You Are Good At
Look for passion. If you are repeatedly given a task that you don’t like to do it will most likely take you twice as long to complete it. Delegate and outsource tasks that can be done by others and focus on the work that you are passionate about. This concept applies to your employees as well. A quarterly evaluation of each employee will help you decide who is right for what job.

Work With Your Customers
Remember the Pareto Principle better known as the 80-20 rule? This principal simply states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your resources. How does this translate in terms of business? Well 80 percent of your profits come from 20 percent of your customers. In addition, 80 percent of your sales come from 20 percent of your products.

So ask yourself, who have you done the most business with recently? Make a list with 30 of your best customers then narrow that down to 5-10 customers that you do repeat business with. Do you think they would be willing to refer you to others and are they people that you think you would like to work with? Discuss with them whether or not they would be willing to refer you to others and if not, what can you do different so that they would. Did you know that most referrals come from those who receive promotional products from a company. That’s because promo gifts are great reminders and keep the company’s name in mind.

Make those customers feel important. Sometimes it is the little things we do for people that seem so big and are appreciated the most. For example:

  • Host a special event just for the 5-10 customers on your list to show that you appreciate their business.
  • Incorporate giveaways into your event or marketing plan. Find items clients can use in their everyday lives such as a pen with your logo.
  • Send cards or emails thanking them for being a customer.

Acknowledge Your Vendors/Employees
People like to be acknowledged, they like to feel appreciated. When was the last time your let your vendors know you appreciated them and understood that without their products you would not be in business? A little acknowledgement can go a long way.

I make a habit of thanking the people I work with and letting them know that no matter what position they hold, their job is important. A couple of times a year I give custom gifts to vendors and repeat customers. I always get positive feedback. They like the idea of me thinking about them and see it as a reward for their business.

Although this may not yield immediate results, it is a productive way of using your time because keeps your business relevant. I have seen my logo in other stores and offices because of the promotional item that I had given out. The exposure is inexpensive and unlimited.

What’s not working?
At least once a year you have to take an honest look at how your fiscal year was and if it was not what you expected ask yourself “What is hindering me from reaching my maximum potential in business?” Make a list, literally write it down.

Knowing is always half of the battle. Once you know what needs to be changed reach out to another business owner or mentor. By discussing your concerns with someone you trust and admire you become susceptible to learning something new.

An Ideal Day
Whether on your computer or hand written, keep track of your ideal days. Remembering what made your business day successful will give you a greater chance of recreating that success. Having a resource of successful days can only be beneficial. Be specific in your writing. Take notes that day as if you were in class listening to a lecture. No detail is too small, even down to what you were wearing.

Do you find yourself performing a balancing act? How do you manage to juggle your business productively? How can these practices translate into your daily life too?

(Screenshot via America’s Got Talent YouTube)

95 thoughts on “Juggling and Balancing Business Productivity

  1. My business tends to be my daily life. Some of the difficulties I find in it is seperating family stuff from work. My worst offense is my wife always asks me if a day will come that we don’t plan a vacation around a beer fest or brewery tours.

  2. I don’t have much time for TV either. Between updating the blog, the behind-the-scenes tech work that goes into a blog, balancing my social media marketing, and answering emails from fans and sponsors combined with managing a busy family with four kids, I barely have any time for myself. It can be quite overwhelming. I love your tip for journaling your ideal days. That will definitely help me keep in mind what works!

    • I glad you liked the tip for journaling your ideal days. I am finding as I am getting older I have very little time to much of anything outside of my business. With that said it is also unhealthy to devote everything to a business. Four kids will really keep you juggling.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  3. Hi Arleen,

    Thank you for sharing the video. It was very entertaining.

    Aside from it being entertaining the real message of the video is juggling and balancing.

    This applies to our every day life where we find ourselves consantly juggling and balancing the things in our life to make it work.

    Like David shared with the panel in his video. He’s been juggling since he was 8. He didn’t become an expert juggler overnight.

    What you mentioned, what isn’t working. David did the same thing and he tested and practiced till he got it right. I’m sure there were many, many days where he tried to do some type of trick and it was not “working” for him.

    This same princple can be applied to business. Say you have something that you are doing and it’s not exactly making sales. Come up with another idea, tweak it, then test. See what the outcome is.

    Thanks for sharing the video, it was a great message to start my day. 🙂

    • Hi Nate,
      Thank you as always for stopping by. Yes even though it is entertaining, there is a good message of juggling and balancing. I agree with you that you can’t start a business and expect miracles, but keep thinking of ways to improve, you may have to juggle different ideas around but in the end you will find a good balance to make your business grow.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  4. A time journal literally kept me sane after a horrible first year of teaching English with 80-90 hour work weeks. I started writing down my number of hours spent on teaching tasks at school and at home. It took diligence to not get distracted at home and tend to other matters during my “teacher” time, but logging my hours did the trick. I still worked long hours, but managed to find a balance that allowed me to function a bit more happily. Now that I’m not in the classroom, I’m still tracking my hours that way. It helps me realize when I’m going overboard on one task as far as hours.

    • Jeri that is great that you are able to find a balance. I keep a journal, but the trick is to evaluate you and see where you need to tweak it and make it more balanced. I am still in the learning stages and who knows at my age it may never happen, but it is important to juggle everything with a balance
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  5. Sometimes I feel exactly like this young man. I feel like struggling all the daily needs and business needs are so pressing they are on fire. I completely agree with working with your customers and really understanding their needs and managing your time is vital. I enlist the help of my VA to help keep me on track and give me more time when needed.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Spaghetti Saga: Story (Podcast)My Profile

  6. I don’t watch telly at all but was glued to that. What came over was his passion and determination to succeed. I can relate to that in theatre more than anything else – finding that intense drive fueled entirely by the passion to create. And the pure enjoyment that camr across – that (if you have it in your work) is worth so much.

  7. I’m glad it shows through Arleen. And yup, there are many tasks that we may not like and when they’re offset by doing things we love and know make a difference? Well that just makes all the difference in the world!

    Have a great one and we can put that perfectionist out to play on a beach in Santorini for a while, eh?

    love and light, hugs and blessings
    MamaRed
    MamaRed recently posted…Business strategy: How to pick what to work on firstMy Profile

  8. Hi Arleen,

    First I want to thank you for the entertaining video! As business owners we are like jugglers. Not that it is a negative thing, but instead it takes practice and persistence in order to do all our daily tasks.

    Once we understand that, we can “juggle” as good as David as an ideal day.

    To organize your productivity number one is so important: Time management! That may take some practice, but we need to plan our day and stick to it.

    I appreciate all your suggestions and the best one I find is ” Delegate and outsource tasks that can be done by others and focus on the work that you are passionate about.”

    Thank you for another great post,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Marketing Lesson From Get ResponseMy Profile

  9. Arleen — I enjoyed the young man and his juggling act. With the advent of social media I find that I’m juggling all the time to keep up with my social networks and blogging (which I do for a living). One thing I’m doing is cutting down on my email subscriptions so that I can get control of my inbox which is always overflowing.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Twitter Still #1 Social Network for Fortune 500 Companies, Study SaysMy Profile

  10. Hi Arleen

    I love the video and yes juggling is a good illustration of what we do in business and in life in general.

    I especially like your number 5. Too many people try to do things that are not their strengths and that is just struggle.

    A great message thanks

    Sue
    Sue Price recently posted…How’s Your Work Ethic?My Profile

  11. I was a self-employed artist for more than a decade, and I resonate to everything that’s being said here. It was really hard, and it felt compelling. I moved on from that and have been working for the state of Oregon now since early 2008. I love working in state government because it’s mission-driven without being frenetic or frightening, I’ve got a great team of people all around me, and I’m financially stable, including with health benefits. All those things mean a lot to me (and represent changes from when I was self-employed).

    Speaking of change, I think that climate change is going to make entrepreneurs more relevant than ever. Government is not good at being responsive to change, nimble or quick on its feet, while entrepreneurs excel at those things. On the other hand, government is good at addressing society’s big picture and long term concerns, which self-employed people do not necessarily do. I’d love to see entrepreneurs blog now and then about climate change, and how their talents and abilities will be relevant in dealing with it and adapting to it. I wonder if you’d consider that at some point? And thank you, Arleen, for visiting and commenting at Diamond-Cut Life.
    Alison at Diamond-Cut Life recently posted…Top Ten Tips For Hosting PeopleMy Profile

  12. Hi Arleen – scary video – not sure I’d have wanted to be on the front row!

    As Barbara says, I think what comes across most powerfully is the young man’s absolute passion and joy in what he does. It’s so much easier to commit to things when it’s the love of your life – time management then becomes less of an issue. When you really enjoy what you’re doing, time flies!

    Having said that, there are always going to be those crucial tasks that it’s tempting to leave to one side, and I think disciplining yourself to schedule those in is the answer. When you’re working online, distractions are the big danger – it’s only too easy to waste lots of time on relatively unimportant stuff, so you need to be on your guard in that respect.

    I like your suggestion about keeping track of ideal days – I think it’s also helpful to track your less than perfect days, to spot where you’re going wrong – I do that in my daily diary, and find it’s very helpful.

    Sue
    Susan Neal recently posted…Why I Love Paper.liMy Profile

  13. Great post. I love that you reward and appreciate your customers…you can never go wrong with gratitude. I sent out cards to followers of my blog when I reached my first year anniversary. People do love to be appreciated…
    DC recently posted…Dear Universe…My Profile

  14. Thanks for posting this refreshing article pointing out ways we can juggle in our business to increase productivity. New ideas in this matter are always good to review. I especially liked the questions you proposed that we should ask ourselves: What’s not working? and the one that showed us where to find referrals.

    Rhonda
    smbSocialMediaWorkshop.com/LinkedInTraining
    Facebook.com/RightOnQ
    LinkedIn.com/RhondaSmolarek

  15. Hi Arleen,

    The video of David performing his act is entertaining indeed 🙂 I think passion can do amazing things but yet people underestimate it at some points. We find passion through David’s performance but it’s not merely about end result but working hard and smart to be that amazing performer. Isn’t it Arleen? 🙂 A long process.

    As a freelancer I do love what I do and I don’t mind devoting my whole time for it 🙂 You know, finding that hidden gem you would never wanna take your eyes out is the best thing in my opinion.

    I know in different businesses, time management is not easy as we speak Arleen 🙂 For me, if I don’t like experimenting with design and development in my time, I won’t learn something new just by reading book or two. I call it investing time and it pays out 🙂

    You are very right about customers 🙂 My existing ones keep coming back and word of mouth can go a long way too. It did for me online and even offline. I don’t have 20 or 30 customers, and profits are coming from handful of customers too. But not just handful of money 😀 lol…

    You have a wonderful day there Arleen! 🙂

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…Resolve Blogger Compatibility Issues with Microsoft Internet ExplorerMy Profile

    • Repeat customers are golden and should never be overlooked. Never give up. You will look back on your journey and say I can remember when I only had a handful of customers but today I have more than I can handle. As they say Rome wasn’t build in a day. Good up the good work.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  16. Great article. I sometimes feel I’m trying to balance a molotov cocktail with my time management. You’ve given great tips to reduce the danger to safer juggling, which I prefer. lol

  17. As a lawyer, I found it really difficult to balance my work life and home life. My practice was very reactive– i.e. if a judge scheduled a hearing, I had to be there, if a client had an emergency, it was an emergency (although clients sometimes didn’t understand that their immediate problem was not an emergency, but it took some of my time to explain that to them). One problem was that I was a terrible delegator. Even if I assigned something to a staff member, they got to know that I was going to carefully proof read it myself, so I think that made them less likely to carefully proof read for themselves. It’s kind of moot now. I semi-retired and only write briefs for my firm which has the benefits of being a job where I don’t depend on anyone else and of being location independent (thanks to the internet). So, now I can also be a travel blogger!
    Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) recently posted…Seriously Smitten by Sunsets in Brigantine, New Jersey (A Photo Essay Mostly)My Profile

  18. First off wow Arleen, that kid was something else and I was nervous just watching him. But I love how you compare that to the juggling act we do with our businesses too and some of it can be dangerous if we don’t manage it properly.

    I could definitely tell he was passionate about what he did and where he wants to be in his life and with his art. I would hope that most people would be. I just read a post that quoted Warren Buffet saying that you need to be passionate about what you do so that it’s never really considered work. I so agree to that and I consider blogging that way for me. I love blogging and sharing helpful information so it’s really enjoyable.

    I do have to manage my time though because I get so busy I need to make sure I cover everything that needs to be done. Sometimes that’s just hard to do.

    Thanks for this post, fun, scary yet exciting all wrapped up into one. Love it!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…60 Tips Of Blogging AdviceMy Profile

    • Many of our decisions can be dangerous, but sometimes you need to take the risk. I can see that blogging is your passion. It comes out with not only what you wrote about but your responses to those that had left a comment on your site. Managing is the key. Thank you for your input as always
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  19. Excellent blog Arleen. I particularly like that although you suggest taking the time to reflect on the positive and negative, the time spent considering the positive is much greater and throughout the year. It’s so easy to get preoccupied with the down times and not appreciate the successes. It’s also great to have that appreciation extend to clients.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Saturday Morning Chit Chat – Bad IdeasMy Profile

    • If we focused on the positive we would continue to succeed as the negative is toxic anyway. If we took a step back and look where we have come to where we are today we would amaze ourselves. I try to tell my employees to appreciate our clients because at the end of the day they are the ones who are paying our bills.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  20. Good suggestions Arleen. We are all juggling when it comes to social media. You have to find ways that work for you and are simple. If you don’t you will spend an enorous amount of time on social media without getting results. For me Pinterest is for instance a waste of time while Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter pay off. Use Google + as well because it gives you plus points with Google.
    Catarina recently posted…Would you, like George Clooney, trade places with Richard Branson?My Profile

  21. Entertaining video (captivating, great music…) and excellent blog post to boot.

    I concur with finding your passion. Once you stick to doing what you’re good at (and truly love) you’ll be most successful.

    P.S. I can juggle … But nothing quite like that!

  22. Hi Arleen,

    I loved the video and the lesson in it. I like the analogy to juggling and that’s exactly what we do with our business to balance productivity.

    All your 6 suggestions are valid and spot on. Working out your priorities and deciding what really matters is the most important thing. Sometimes simple changes are all that is required.

    We need to have balance in all areas of your life. We all have a finite amount of time, energy, and resources. We have to find ways that work for us and are simple.

    Thanks for a great post Arleen and very entertaining video. Enjoy your weekend.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

  23. Lots of great ideas. I love the time journal. That’s something anyone, especially moms who are constantly multitasking, whether they work or not, can use every day. I’m also a firm believer in the idea that you can never say thank you too often. That applies again, in and out of work, and is a wonderful tool in the volunteer world. Looking forward to your next post filled with more wisdom!
    Valerie Remy Milora recently posted…Chicken and Fig SaladMy Profile

  24. Lots of great points on this post. Even more valuable are the wonderful responses you are getting in the comments. Like gold, some of the commentary! For example, I enjoyed the interaction between you and Suzanne on how it is difficult to delegate.

    I feel like my business is constantly a work in progress. I love my current clients, but I crave more interaction with people doing similar work. Local networking is not my favorite task, but I do it all the same. Life is a juggle of what you like and what you don’t – if there’s too much of “don’t,” the balance needs shifting.
    Leora recently posted…Build a Blog with WordPressMy Profile

    • What is valuable about the comments is to see other people’s perspective. I love to read the comments. Business as well as anything we do in live in a work in process. The juggling act is to figure out the balance that will work for you and try to manage your business better.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  25. So glad I met you through LinkedIn and that you introduced me to this blog. Managing your time and doing what you are good at are great tips for increasing productivity. A great example that I read about was Mich Jagger. He gets up on stage and sings and makes millions of dollars. He doesn’t plan the tour, or the stage show, or the marketing or hiring and firing of employees. He just does what he does best — sing!

    So if you don’t like cleaning your house, hire someone or barter your services (the stuff you enjoy doing) with someone who likes to clean!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

    • Jim it is nice to have a new visitor. Doing what you know best and delegating works as you said in your example. For years I refused to hire someone to clean my house. I am getting to the age where carrying a vacuum up and down the stairs is too much. Finally broke down and it is the best thing I have ever done. The gal I hired likes to clean, not sure why and it is her job and boy does it free my up. I wished I did it years ago, but as they say, better late than never.
      Arleen recently posted…Juggling and Balancing Business ProductivityMy Profile

  26. I have been watching this program for the first time and was amazed at how talented some of them are. This guy was really awesome!

    I too have to juggle a lot between the blog and my family life. My husband really isn’t that crazy about my blogging although he does like the perks of trying out new foods. But he doesn’t like the time spent writing up a post. So, I do it at night when he has gone to bed.

    Stopped by from LinkedIn where you had left me a message.

    Mary

  27. Hi Arleen,
    I love the comparison you’ve made in this post. Indeed, balancing business tasks can be as hard as juggling. However, even though it’s extremely hard, it’s still possible. Thanks for this inspiring break, it made my day.

  28. Hi Madam Arleen,
    This is a beautiful piece. I also do like the point you raised with respect to work with customers. That’s indeed true!

  29. Good article, Arleen. It’s funny how we tend to gravitate towards the things we really are passionate about and are good at, even when other tasks are on our to-do list.

    I tell people I’m “cleaning the oven” when I’m procrastinating. But I’ve learned to manage my time slightly better by doing the things that require full brain power in the morning and save the mindless stuff for late in the day or evening.

    I run 3 businesses and wrote a book about how to create and run multiple businesses. It definitely isn’t for everyone, but type A multi-taskers would appreciate it.

  30. Hi Arleen,

    I love your article on productivity! It’s very important when running a business you manage your time wisely. I currently have an agenda for every day of the week. It’s also important to take a day of the week for yourself and break away from work. This will help you recover, refocus, and not get over whelm.

    Great post!

    Nancy

    • Nacny,
      You are so right about taking a break from work. I used to be on the computer working my business until 2 or 3 in the morning. I am trying to be off by 8:00 PM, it doesn’t always work but it will not only help to refocus it helps my sleeping. Thank you for you input
      Arleen recently posted…Koozies: So Much More Than Just Can HoldersMy Profile

  31. I like your tips especially 80-20 Rule. My favourite quote of yours is from An Ideal day: “Remembering what made your business day successful will give you a greater chance of recreating that success. ” Thanks Arleen!

  32. Yes like you I’m to busy to, no time to watch movie, or go to gym, so I think ill try your 6 ways and the 1st will be the hardest, how to manage my time. Keeping journal or other monitoring item will help i guess, and choosing priority will be another problem for me. Can you post a separate article on choosing priority?

  33. The internet is fueling the success of music because it can be listened to at any time of the day and anywhere
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  34. Hi Arleen,

    WOW…that video is awesome!!! He is extraordinaire. He should be in “That’s Incredible” show. But I doubt if that show even exist today. But He sure knows his stuff and perfected his expertise since he was 8. Wow…I’d say patience.

    You know…

    Sometimes I juggle too much. And when I find myself doing this, I back off right away and try to balance myself. I will not juggle any more on my plate unless I can manage it. That is like “biting more than you could chew.” I’m better off knowing what I’m capable of doing and handling for the time being than compromising myself to a total disaster.

    Anyway…I am very passionate about Blogging. To me, this isn’t work at all. Reading my friends’ posts and commenting here is a pure JOY to me. Writing is also a passion of mine. I’ve always wanted to be a Writer and now that this is my CHANCE. I love the Internet, the people that I meet, the friends that I make, and the whole idea of networking online.

    You have given great advice on how to make your customers feel important. I love the list you’ve given here. You know every once a month I attend the eWomen Network. And in this event, some women contribute stuff like “prices” for drawing tickets (i.e. if someone is selling Coffee for losing weight, they’d contribute that for consolation prizes). Well, I want to contribute someday. Perhaps buy something like a “promotional bag” with my logo on it…do you think this would be a good idea to promote my business offline? What would you advice? I’m thinking…if I promote something like this, would these women say, “I don’t wanna use that bag. That’s free promotion of her business.” You know how some people react with some logo on there?!

    OR, another promotion I’m thinking is give a FREE website design with 3-months website hosting service. What do you think?
    (…in this case, it just dawn on me that if I wanted to create a promotional item such as this I think I need a printer more so I can print my own coupon or a card that states the FREE website design with 3-months hosting service). I do need a printer. I’m still shopping for it. LOL

    …and so as far as promotional items are concerned, you do have a lot of ideas here in your store. So perhaps I will snoop around and check out more later in your store. Yeah. Great idea.

    Angela
    Angela McCall recently posted…The Visual ArtistMy Profile

    • Angela- As funny as it may seem people don’t look at the proportional product as why would I keep that it has a logo of a company on it. If promotional products didn’t work I would be out of business. It is a $19 Billion dollar business. Everyone likes something for free. Giving away a free website design with a 3 month website hosting service is too much. Your time is worth something. Just knowing what goes into a website I think it is too much to give away. Maybe offer to do a flyer. The advantage of most promotional products is that hang around for awhile and get maximum exposure and your name is always in front of the recipient.
      Arleen recently posted…How Taking a Break Can Help You Be More ProductiveMy Profile

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