We’re going to talk about something super exciting today…
It doesn’t sound very exciting, but it is really exciting when you get all that time back. You’re going to be really grateful.
Function stacking is all about eliminating switching. And understanding how you work best and stacking functions together that are appropriate to your brain space or your physical space or your time. So we want to stack things together to just notch up that productivity for you because you’re likely a one guy show or one lady show.
You’re wearing all the hats. You are the finance person and you’re the salesperson and you’re the operations person. And you do all of the admin and all of the billing. So you have a lot of functions to manage as a solopreneur/new business owner.
There’s a ton of stuff for you to do, even if you have already offloaded some of it and outsource some of it. There’s still a lot to do. So unless you want to work 20 hour days, there’s just not enough time to get it all done and be in growth.
Function stacking is a really a great tool and it helps create a lot of insight to yourself on when is the appropriate time for you to be doing things and what type of energy it takes you to accomplish your different functions.
When we look at a business, there are three major functions of any business:
- Sales and Marketing
You can have a lot of conversations around, which is the most important. But they’re all important. You can’t say I can’t have operations if I never make any sales and to which I say, you’re not going to make any sales if your operations are crap and give people bad experiences in your business.
That argument aside. Let’s talk about stacking functions and I’m just going to use these three and then I’m gonna dig into operations specifically, to kind of give you more of an example.
Let’s Talk Finance
Finance is thoughtful. It’s detailed. You have to reconcile your books and look at your cash flow and plan purchases and you need to be focused for that.
The type of energy that I need to be in, when I do financial stuff, like preparing my taxes, I need a quiet space.
I need to be able to focus for a significant amount of time. Not 20 minutes. I need probably an hour and a half, maybe two hours to really get into the finance stuff. And I need to not be distracted during that time because I don’t want to screw up my numbers or misalign or whatever. I need to be focused and really in that task for that timeframe.
Now To Sales & Marketing
For sales and marketing. I need to be excited, high-energy, feeling good, feeling connected.
If I’m not recording a podcast, I probably want to be in a room networking or recording a video. So there’s lots of noise and space and it’s high energy. I can’t do that for four hours at a time. I’m an introvert, so I do that for short periods of time.
But it’s a totally different energy than finance and then operations.
Let’s Think About Operations
It depends on what your operations are but for me in coaching. I need to be focused with my clients and be totally present, not have a bunch of people walking through the room so we can really discuss what they need to discuss in confidence with me.
I need to be prepared and have a space for them that they feel comfortable in and really be strong in my intellect. I have to be able to pull out my intellect and really turn on my brain for my client time (my operations time.)
Those are all three very different energies that I need to be in to run my business.
So think about yours?
You’ve got sales and marketing. You’ve got finance. So your operations might run a little bit different than mine.
Think about what kind of energy you need to bring to the service of the operations of your business and within each one, you might have different things as well.
There’s a part of operations in my business called client administration. For me, that is me doing documentation, writing notes, opening Slack channels, all that scheduling, all that stuff is client admin. That isn’t sales and marketing energy, it is more like finance energy.
If I need to stack two things together, I might reconcile my bank account and then do my scheduling for the week because it’s quiet, focused, don’t screw it up, detailed-oriented tasks that I need to complete. And that way I don’t have to switch my brain from quiet, detailed task-oriented, to this energy and then back to quiet, detailed task-oriented.
That’s really hard on your brain and you lose a ton of productivity switching in that manner. So try to stack tasks together that are like each other in the way that you need to be, to show up for them.
That’s the first part and understanding the energy that you bring to the tasks that you’re going to complete and stacking like with like.
When To Stack?
The other part is understanding when to stack them and so knowing your productivity zone.
That is a whole other podcast/blog but it means, don’t stack your high-energy tasks together. If you’re exhausted after 4:00 PM, don’t do high energy tasks at 4:00 PM. Do those in the morning when you have quiet time.
Finding your productivity zone has a lot more detail to it. And we’ll talk about it in an upcoming podcast/blog, but make sure that as you’re doing that, think about your energy throughout the day.
Everybody has energy cycles throughout the day and put them together with the right energy zone that you’re in for that time of day or week or month, whatever it is.
If you’re a lady reading this, you definitely have different weeks in your month that are better suited for different things. But know when you have the right energy in your day, your month, your week to accomplish the right functions in your business.
Do like with like. Give your brain a break, stop stressing it to try to switch from all these different ways of being. And you’re going to find that it’s easier to get moved from one test to another cause you don’t have to move your energy to where it needs to be for the next task.
It just goes smoother from task to task and your brain is already working in the way that your brain needs to work for completion of that sort of task.
Go get super productive by using task stacking as you do your Sunday strategy session. You can download the free workbook here: meganjohnsoncoaching.com/sunday-strategy