I learned the hard way that if you don’t love what you do, then projects will get procrastinated, essential management tasks will be put off, customer’s needs will go unmet, sales will drop, and you will run into burnout.
But what if everyone in your agency was ENERGIZED by their work?
It turns out that your digital agency’s revenue (and profit) is correlated to efficient value creation.
In other words you need to solve problems for your customers without wasting your time.
The problem is many agencies are wasting their time without realizing it.
For example if you’re spending time on problems that the customer doesn’t need you to solve, then you’re wasting time and risking project failure.
But focusing on “time waste” itself is like chasing a mirage.
If the quality of every hour invested into a project is unproductive then no amount of time optimization will save the project.
To solve this, you need to optimize the energy invested into each hour.
You need to align your team’s natural motivation with your customer’s needs.
Optimize Your Team’s ENERGY in 7 steps:
- Listen to your team’s values to create a sustainable energy state: Come up with a mission statement with your team so that everyone on your team can stand behind it and say “I feel like my work matters! I’m proud of my work! I feel alive doing this work!”. It’s your business, so design your mission around YOUR TEAM’S ENERGY and VALUES. Values are your personal priorities, strengths and ambitions. Research shows that by focusing on the values you’re proud of, you can tap into a sustainable source of motivation and energy. They are also effective for aligning the team’s focus and energy around a shared vision.
- Different personalities get their energy from different sources: Extroverts really do get energy from socializing, so if you are an extrovert, spend more time networking, taking clients out for lunch, video calls, etc. If you’re an introvert then focus more on the research, designs, emails, and other tasks that recharge you. It can be tempting to make up for what you lack, but it’s more efficient to do what energizes you, and leave the other tasks to other team mates.
- Give Generously: Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, it feels good to help others, and that’s what business is all about. So listen to customer’s needs, and focus on caring about them. If you connect emotionally with your customers, it will energize you, but if you treat customers like problems to avoid, or like objects, then you will feel numb and lose motivation.
- Aces in their places: Each person has different passions and skills. It’s your job to align everyone on the team so that the right people are in the right roles, so make sure you get to know everyone on the team.
What about you? Are you doing things that zap your energy? Your team can and should do the things you don’t have the energy or patience for. Hire and delegate to people that have a passion for the things you don’t like doing.
Putting the right people in the right seats is one of the most powerful things a manager can do to optimize their team’s efficiency! Rather than pushing them to do get the work done, they will push themselves to get it done, because they enjoy it!
- Energy fluctuates differently throughout the day for each person: Our biological clocks are all set a bit differently. If you’re a morning person, then do the most important stuff in the morning. But if you’re an evening person, consider doing the most important stuff in the evening so you’re not trying to do the most important stuff in a “morning daze”.
To find the right time of day for you, try tracking your hourly productivity on a timesheet for 5 days. Take note of how how much value you were able to create per hour based on task priority and task efficiency.
After 5 days, review it. You’ll start to see your daily energy patterns emerge. Take note of what part of the day your important high value tasks were done most often. Congratulations! Those are your highest value energy time to work! Now schedule your most important tasks with your daily energy pattern, and you’ll get more done.
Once you’ve mastered this, apply it to your whole team. If people have to work different hours to be effective, let them. Just make sure your team has enough overlap for building team culture, collaboration and project continuity.
- Yin and Yang: It’s natural to have stress while working, but if you spend your entire day fighting against and avoiding stress, you’ll just burn through your mental energy and end up draining your source of courage.
Instead of running away, use your fear, anxiety and stress as your biggest energy booster! It turns out your attitude towards stress can change the mental game. Turning stress into your friends means facing your challenges to help you grow rather than retreat. The “Courage”, “Challenge”, “Caring” and “Flow” states cannot exist without the energy found inside your natural stress response.
Learn to use your Yin and Yang, both your positive and negative energy, so you can be a full human, and turn your stress into your advantage. Stress can increase focus, energy, motivation and growth if channeled positively rather than avoided.
- The Body’s Energy: Your mental stamina and energy is highly correlated to your sleeping, eating and exercise patterns.
Sugar: If you’re eating sugary drinks or junk food that yanks your blood sugar levels up and down, then this will play havoc on your mental stamina. Try focusing on whole foods, low GI foods and protein.
Sleep: If you are not getting a decent sleep, make it a priority to wind down earlier. This may mean leaving tasks for tomorrow and shutting off your devices earlier, as your sleep will affect your mental stamina and focus for the entire day.
Exercise: If you don’t exercise daily, then try adding a 10 – 20 minute walk. It sounds backwards: Exhausting physical energy will give me energy? Yes, the research (and my own experience) agrees that exercising gives back way more mental energy than it consumes.
Breaks: Take breaks every 50 minutes. High performance studies show that taking 15 minute breaks every 50 minutes is optimal for performance. The most effective “breaks” are not found in entertainment or surfing the web, but going for a walk, meditating or taking a power nap.
Now see if you can reward your team for taking care of their own health too!
Are you struggling to grow your agency? Need help scaling sales and revenue?
If yes, then I’ll be happy to help.
I ran my own successful agency since 2007, helping my clients earn $160M. I started mentoring other agencies fulltime in 2018, and would love to be your ally and friend!
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