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The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

This is a photo of Maura FredericksToday's guest blogger is Maura Fredericks, of Thrive with Maura Fredericks. Maura is a professional business coach and mentor who helps you determine HOW to make your business successful and make the time you spend working most effective and enjoyable. Maura specializes helping in business partnerships, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Maura says, "Blog posts give us great ideas to do a lot of things a lot better. Here’s a post that helps you put the ‘how’ into motion so you can start today doing a couple of things that will keep you moving forward and achieving your goals."


As we near the end of Q1 2016, business owners are typically reviewing their metrics and results of the first three months of the year. Some of us are trying to remember how many times we made it to the gym this winter in an attempt to keep our New Year’s Resolutions.

The end of March is a great time to revisit our business goals & priorities and assess our progress. If you feel you aren’t quite where you thought you would be as of today, well, I’m sure you’re in good company. But don’t stop there.

Here’s a secret:

Today is a new day. Get started doing something different to get ahead.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Conduct a time audit

    1. Write down each task as you finish it and how long it took you to complete. Review the data at the end of the week and look for patterns:
      • What tasks eat up most of your day?
      • How do those tasks help you get ahead?
      • What does the data tell you about the amount of time you are distracted, interrupted or lose focus during the day?
    2. Strengthen your strategic thinking muscles
      • Once you can see where you are spending your time, shift those things that are not helping you get ahead to others on your team, or explore how and if those tasks are critical to your business
    3. To get ahead, carve out 30 minutes a couple of times of week for ‘strategy spaces.’ Block time on your calendar just for you. Remove yourself from the bustle of the business, find a quiet space and reflect and think big about your business. Remember, strategy is the big picture; envisioning here’s where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow. Tactics involve the specific steps for how to get from today to tomorrow. To get ahead, make sure you are working strategy, and your team is working tactics.
    4. Manage your ‘strategy space’ process by working with a small business coach for accountability and support as you stay on track to getting ahead.
  2. Learn how to become a time management master

    Use the data from your time audit to find a new way to start your day:

    • Eat the Frog
      Try Brian Tracy’s legendary time management tip: Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.
    • Polish off the Pareto Principal
      Determine which 20% of your time produces 80% of your business’ results. Now it’s easy to see where to spend your time, and what to delegate to others.
    • Peak Energy
      What time of the day do you feel the most focused and energized? Get started planning your day around your peak energy times to get ahead.
  3. Communicate. And communicate again.

    • The secret to success with getting started with something new is realizing there is no secret to clear, consistent communication.
    • Once you’ve committed to getting ahead with new tools, share what you’re doing with your team. Explain how the implications of these changes you are making will impact the businesses, what your expectations are for yourself, and for them.
    • Ask for help along the way. It’s exciting to start something new in pursuit of something more, better, to get ahead. Then life happens, and our resolve diminishes as we get busy. “There’s always tomorrow,” we tell ourselves. Stay strong, rely on your support system, your coach.

Today, make a commitment to get started doing new things to get ahead.

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