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The Leading Edge May 2015
Small Business Success
Taking Care of Business  

In this Issue

6 Ways To Stop Yourself Overworking

Keeping Your Energy Tank Full

9 Tips To Help You Get More Done!

Social Business Marketing


THE LEADING EDGE - The Apple watch is here!

Small Business News:

Major tax relief for small businesses in federal budget - The 2015 federal budget reduces the small business corporate tax rate from 11% to 9% over the next four years. CFIB has been leading the push for this measure, as total tax burden was identified as the top priority for 78% of Canada's small businesses leading up to the budget. Read more...

The Budget in Brief 2015

Business Barometer®: small biz confidence slips in April - Canada's small business confidence levels slipped a little in April. The Business Barometer┬« Index fell back to 60.5 this month, a point lower than March's already cool 61.5. Fallout from the shift in energy price fundamentals is still working its way through regional and sector economies. Read more...

Five questions small businesses should consider following the budget - From a focus on creating jobs and supporting growth, to an effort to keep taxes low and long-term prosperity high, the Harper government's Economic Action Plan 2015 will affect small businesses in a number of ways. Read more...

    6 Ways To Stop Yourself Overworking

Being an entrepreneur and managing your business is often more than a full time job. Often, small business owners' lives become unbalanced, work takes over everything - it becomes all consuming. I his book Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says, "The urgent takes over the important."

If you find yourself stressed out, burned out, or worn out, take a moment to assess your total health picture - physical, spiritual, social and psychological. There is a cost associated with overwork. The trouble is, we usually don't realize how much it will cost until it's too late. Here are a few ways to deal with the strain of overwork.

  1. Decide What's Important to You - is meeting your sales quotas each month really more important than spending time with your family? If it is then you may choose to spend an inordinate amount of time on it. But, if you are like most people, the honest answer would be that your family and your health is more important than the bottom line. So, make the necessary changes in your schedule to incorporate more time with the things that are important to you - and manage your time more effectively on those things that are urgent.
  2. Learn to Say No - people who are successful usually say yes a lot, but people who are both successful and wise, learn when to say no. Adding additional activities to your life may get you ahead faster, but in the big picture of what's important to you, does it matter if it takes a little longer to get there when it means spending more time on what you truly value?
  3. Ask for Help - why do we feel we need to do it all? Probably because most entrepreneurs and small business owners have type A personalities. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of wisdom and strength. Realize when you've reached your limit and then delegate! Letting others help means you can choose to focus on what's important to you.
  4. Simplify Your Life - the more you have, the more you have to worry about. Routinely get rid of things you don't use and/or don't need. Reduce clutter both at home and at work. Reduce the clutter of commitments. Do you really need to be involved in all those things? Take a deep breath and enjoy the peace of a simplified life and free up time for what's important to you.
  5. Remember People - relationships are more important than any activity. Spend time with the people who mean the most to you. No one at the end of their life has ever said they wished they'd spent more time at the office.
  6. Make a Spiritual Connection - it is proven that spirituality enhances a person's peace of mind, and quality of life. Whatever that means for you, find a way to make a spiritual connection and incorporate those beliefs into your daily life.
Keeping Your Energy Tank Full Top


So there you are in your office at 2:30pm on Friday afternoon, looking at the clock and wondering whether your team can get through the rest of the day if you knock off a few hours early to get in a round of golf. You've had a hard day. A hard week actually, and you're exhausted. Yet the thought of walking up to that first tee, smelling the grass and driving that ball exhilarates you. Then, you remember the dinner party your partner has planned for that night, and you suddenly feel exhausted again. You don't know how you'll find the energy to get through the evening.

What's just happened? All of us have activities in our lives that give us energy, and other activities that drain us of energy. Many of us are exhausted because we don't realize how much of our days are spent doing things that drain us, and how little time we spend doing things that give us energy.

In order for us to be productive in any area of life, we need to have balance. Given that there will always be things in life (and in business) that drain our energy, it's important for us to make sure we're also adding things to our lives that energize us.

Here are a few questions to get you thinking about what tires you and what energizes you daily.

Things that drain your energy

  1. Procrastination.
  2. Doing things you dread.
  3. Having people nag you to do things you know you should have already done.
  4. Boring activities that don't stretch your mind.
  5. Jobs, duties and people that waste your time.

Things that give you energy

  1. Activities you enjoy, ones that when you do them you lose all track of time.
  2. Activities you still enjoy doing, even when you are feeling tired.
  3. Activities you choose to do when you are feeling energetic.
  4. Activities you most enjoy sharing with others.
  5. Things that give you a great feeling of accomplishment.

Write down all the things you do in a day or a week that drain your energy with a red pen. Then write all the things you do that give you energy with a blue pen. This visual process will show you immediately whether your life is balanced, or whether you're spending most of your time in up or down modes.

Once you realize where your energy gains and drains are, you can start making adjustments to achieve better balance in your life. You'll find your productivity will increase, you'll be more clear-headed, and you'll simply enjoy life more.

9 Tips To Help You Get More Done! Top


All of us want to be more productive and efficient, but life sometimes has a way of demanding more from us than we feel capable of giving. Stress steals the productivity we desire. If you are experiencing any of the following then stress is stealing your productivity:

  • You are procrastinating more than usual.
  • You keep losing things and everything is disorganized.
  • You have become more ridged and inflexible.
  • You are irritable.
  • Your usual level of creativity is lacking.
  • You are forgetting things.
  • You are focusing more on things being perfect that getting them out the door.

See any familiar traits? Is productivity dropping? Try the following and you'll start increasing your personal efficiency.

  1. Plan your day the day before - go into each day knowing what's ahead of you. Thinking about it the night before may even mean solving some problems and making some decisions before you even get to the office
  2. Establish your priorities each day - your 'to do' list should reflect your priorities. Realize you may not get everything done every day, but ensure you get the important things done.
  3. Do only one thing at a time - although multi-tasking seems to be a desirable skill, it is inefficient. Focusing on one thing at a time ensures each job is done most effectively and with the most efficient use of your time.
  4. Identify and use your "prime time" - all of us have a productive "prime" time, and a low "slump" time. Schedule your important high-energy tasks for your productive times of day, and less important low-energy tasks for your slump times.
  5. Handle paper only once - file it, toss it, or deal with it. Handling papers over and over is an inefficient time-waster and an excuse to procrastinate in dealing with something.
  6. Plan meeting agendas ahead of time and include ending times - know before you go in what you want to discuss, and allot a time for each item. This helps you stay on track and makes you aware when discussions are heading off on irrelevant tangents. Whenever possible, make sure your meeting ends when you've scheduled it to. Another trick, which encourages people to turn up on time for meetings (masses of time is wasted achieving nothing while waiting for everyone to arrive) is to set start times at odd times such as 10:20am or 3:50. For some reason more people turn up on time when this little trick is used.
  7. Screen telephone calls and schedule callbacks - telephone calls can truly destroy your productivity. Let your voicemail pick up calls when you're concentrating on a task, and then schedule a time to return your calls later.
  8. Avoid procrastination - take a tip from Nike - just do it. Procrastination is an efficiency killer, and adds to the discouragement of feeling like you never get anything done.
  9. Delegate generously and effectively - surround yourself with people who are competent and use their skills wisely. If you have a staff member you trust, send them to a meeting in your place while you do something else. Give away tasks that don't absolutely require your input. Delegating not only increases your daily efficiency, but also empowers your staff and motivates them to do good work on your behalf.
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