It's that time of year again: New Year, new you? It's the time of year when you should be buying gym memberships and going on diets and quitting smoking or drinking. I mean, at least that's what all the commercials say, right?
Any one of those things is hard enough, but some of us tend to pile on which means we generally fail at all of them. With that being said, I want to talk about why addition through subtraction can help you achieve more. Just think of it as less leads to more.
A NEW Milestone
Now, a New Year is just a milestone. I can tell you from having many of the things above that you don't have to start on January 1st. You can start on May 1st if you want. As a matter of fact, I find it a lot better to be running outside May 1st than I do on January 1st. So, I took up running again. That was a while ago, but the key thing is that just because the year changes that doesn't mean you have to change, too.
New Year Predictions
Every year around January 1st, we tend to look back and focus forward. We try to predict and project how the new year will be different for us.
I wouldn't call this a resolution, but I think that after a couple of years of being cooped up inside and going to so many online meetings, people are going to want human connection more this year than ever before.
We all strive for it. I think most of us miss those face-to-face meetings. And I think everybody's gotten really tired of Zoom and Zoom meetings. I call them Zoom-bies because people are showing up less and less, and webinar attendance is down. If the information is really interesting or critical, people are willing to watch replays on their own timeline.
As the year goes on, I expect to see more people venturing outside their bubble and embracing one-on-one, personal relationships, or group meetings.
Addition Through Subtraction
With that being said, I want to give you some ideas about how you can subtract some things to make room for new things that are going to help you move forward, whether it's on January 1st or May 1st.
The first thing I want to subtract is meetings. Have you signed up for a bunch of networking or online zoom groups? Those tend to be great when you're cooped up in your office, but are they actually adding value to you and your business, or are they just a habit? Are you getting anything from them? Are you meeting good quality people? It's one thing to meet with people. It's another thing to build long-term relationships.
If you want to make more time for better meetings in the future or maybe make time to write that book or maybe get out and jog. It's time to evaluate which meetings are bringing value to you and your business, and where you can remove some to free up time and brainpower (Zoom eats brains, hence Zoom-bies).
The next thing I'd like you to think about is email. We tend to email a lot, but you may want to stop and think about just picking up the phone to call that person. If they're willing to pick up, you can actually get more done in less time. I am doing this more often. Especially when it comes to a complex question or tech support. You can get more done in a more condensed way.
Speaking of email, think about all the subscriptions that you have to mass emails from things that you were once interested in. Even better, unsubscribe from any email that you don't even remember signing up for (this happens all the time to me).
Now is a great time to go through your inbox, look at things that you have no interest in anymore, and just unsubscribe.
Also, if you're one of those people sending out those emails, think about how you can better target people. In other words, it's not about sending more emails to more people, it's about sending the right targeted email to the right segment at the right time. Think about how you can stand out by making sure that the email messages you're sending are much more in line with things that people want to stay subscribed to.
Now is a good time of the year to go through your accounting and look at what you're paying for on a monthly basis. Consider, are you actually using that? Or, you getting value from it? If you're not using it on a regular basis, it's really easy to keep paying that bill.
Think about creating a spreadsheet of everything you are subscribed to; when it's due, how much it is, whether it's an annual subscription or monthly subscription. Make sure that you have a list of everything so that you can see what you're spending your money on, what is making a difference in your business and your life… and what's not.
One of the things that I subscribed to this year after working with a handful of people was Medium. It was only five bucks a month and every single month I kept paying it, but I never went and read it. So I asked myself was is this something of value? I took that $5 and I basically subtracted it from Medium and I subscribed to a news service that gives me a whole bunch of different newspapers, magazines, and a ton of different information for basically the same price.
The key question is, will I start to read that more? Will I use it? I don't know, but at this point, it's a better bet because I know I'm not doing anything with Medium.
The other thing, when it comes to software subscriptions, is to consider if there are things that you have subscribed to that you're not using. There's a handful of things that I have unsubscribed from. I've taken that money and I've allocated it towards some new tools.
One of my favorite new ones is called MindNode. It's mind mapping software. I have tried many, but I was not using them. I wanted a better option that worked more as I do.
MindNode is a Mac-based software. If you're on a PC I know there are tons of alternatives, but either way, are you using it? I am!
MindNode is something I can use on my phone to desktop and drop ideas into. Then I can go back on either platform and evolve the things I've been thinking about while taking quick notes and then rearranging them. Think about the kind of tools that you use on a regular basis and then look for a better one.
Another interesting one, which I'm just about to get started using is called Mentimeter. This is a software presentation tool that I found that can be used in Zoom and can be used on live presentations as well. The coolest thing about it is that it has the ability to collect live feedback and surveys.
People use a cell phone or laptop to answer. In the middle of your presentation, you give them a unique URL, then you can have a live representation of what the audience responses are.
You can do bar graphs and word clouds, and it's a great new way to present to an audience, to get them engaged. If you ask somebody in the audience what they think, you may get a limited response. This tool promotes anonymous responses, which change the dynamics.
I want to wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. I know it will be filled with a lot of new, but I hope your new is useful and worth your time and money. For me, I am going to get ready by putting away last year's file folders in a banker's box, creating new folders, and getting ready for whatever this new year brings!
Now is the time to file away the old and welcome in the new in your life and business. Whether it's gym memberships, email, Zoom meetings, or subscriptions now is the time to evaluate and ask yourself, do I need this? Am I using it? And is it going to help me and my business get better in the New Year?
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you can do to add joy to your business and remove the things that do not. Are you overly focused on the past, the future, or the PRESENT? Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about getting more from less.
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