The Value of Saying No

A list of tips to help landscape professionals shift their mindset and prioritize their time, so they can be truly productive and scale their business.

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Owning and running a business, means having a never-ending to-do list. While it can feel that no matter how many hours you work, that list never seems to get done, it may boil down to one factor: PRODUCTIVITY.

How we use our time affects how productive we are, and how productive we are depends on the order in which we prioritize tasks. In order to be truly productive, you have to prioritize what matters most and form a habit of saying “No!” There truly is a value in saying no to things.

Here are a few tips to help you shift your mindset and prioritize your time, so that you can be truly productive and scale your business:

1. Turn off the radio When you are traveling to jobsites, take that time to listen to podcasts, audiobooks or online trainings. There’s a lot of wasted time in the car, so why not use it for learning!?!

2. Limit screen time While it’s important to use social media to advertise and market your business, it’s not productive to been ‘`on'’ social media all the time. Cellphones now have a screen time counter and a way to restrict how much time you spend on your phone. Activate that feature and start monitoring your scroll time on social media. You may find you’re on it more than you thought!

3. Appointments only It can sound quick and easy to take that sales call or chat with that walk-in salesman, but in reality, you are giving up precious time. By setting appointments and sticking to your daily schedule, you’ll find that your days flow better and are more productive.

Hot Tip: Post a no solicitation sign at your office. We have found that we are saving valuable time now that we’ve posted a NO SOLICITATION sign. It makes salespeople set up appointments and keeps everyone accountable and on track with their daily schedules.

4. Important tasks first You know the saying, “eat that frog first.” Well, it applies to tasks in your business too. When we do the things that we least want to do first, we are taking the first step to being truly productive. The most important tasks in your business will always be the ones you want to do the least. By doing them first, you’re freeing your mind of stress and worry, as well as making your day more productive.

5. Checking emails Emails are an important part of every business. It’s how we communicate with our staff, talk to suppliers and build a relationship with our clients. It’s also a HUGE time suck! When you are checking your email, answer the emails that need a response right now and then flag the others and revisit later.

Another way to prioritize here is by setting specific times of the day when you check emails (for instance, once in the morning, midday and end of day). By sticking to an email schedule and prioritizing how you answer your emails, you will find that you are saving a lot of time.

6. No impromptu meetings Weekly staff and/or office meetings are a must for any business, but random meetings can truly cost you time and money. If a question can wait until the scheduled weekly office meeting, then it should wait. This way the whole team gets an opportunity to hear the question and knows how to respond in the future.

Pro Tip: Record your weekly office and/or staff meetings. By having someone record/document the meeting minutes weekly, you are providing the whole team with a tool that they can reference after the meetings. This allows for accountability on tasks and saves you time and money. Plus, it offers you the ability to review old business first during each weekly meeting if you design the meeting notes to have the the old business notes first.

As a business owner, you know that time is money. So when you choose to do tasks in your business that take up your time, make sure they are tasks that are going to bring in money into the business. By prioritizing your to-do list in a way that puts the most important things first, you’ll begin to see that you are spending your time on the things that will bring in money into the business.

Now, if you’re unsure of where to start and/or how to get back on track, start with a weekly review. Either at the first of the week or the end of the week, set aside time to do a weekly review of what has been done and what is to be done for the week ahead. Planning ahead is always a first step to productivity.