How is your to-do list coming on?
Let me have a guess at what some of the things on your list …..
- Customer feedback
- Social mediaUpdate website
- New advert
- Chasing money
- New client
- Month end account
- Renew insurance
- Staff issues
- Book on to event
At the end of the day or the week or the month, how many of these things have you actually completed? Or are you like most busy business owners and have you just added even more tasks to your list?
When we are faced with an ever growing list of things TO DO, one of the mistakes many of us make is we become reactive and start doing the first thing that comes to mind or what we believe to be the most important. We are not clear in our direction or focused on each individual task and as a consequence of this it can take far longer to complete than necessary meaning that our list just becomes longer and there never seems to be enough hours in a day. Over time we become frustrated, overwhelmed, stressed and ultimatley exhausted.
When business owners come to me for consultancy and business support the first thing they need is clarity because they have become so overwhelmed that they simply cannot see the wood for the trees. They have an endless list of business challenges and even the most simple of tasks can seem like climbing a mountain. If you are finding this is the case for you then I suggest that you stop and take a step back. It’s time to take a long hard look at your business and how you’re running it or rather how it’s running you! Now don’t get me wrong here I am not suggesting that you ditch the list altogether otherwise it would likely create even more chaos but perhaps take a different approach to it. So instead of writing one never ending list and being reactive to everything that comes in I recommend that you have 2 lists. One list which has everything on and acts as a record of all the things that need to be completed. (Where possible, outsource or delegate the activities that could be done by someone else. Often they are more efficient and effective as it is their skills set.)
Then once you have the list narrowed down, on each day choose only 5 things that are of the top priority and create a daily activity list to be completed during that day. Make sure that you dedicate some time during the working day to complete those 5 tasks only, during this time you need to have no distractions, so turn the phone on silent and put it in a drawer, take off the apple watch, switch off your emails and close Facebook. Instead focus all of your time and energy on those 5 priority tasks doing 1 at a time. Having clear dedicated time to focus on the tasks will mean you get through the tasks much quicker and with precision rather than just sticking plasters over things in a rush to tick boxes and cross things off your list.
Within a few days of doing this you should start to see the list going down and with that so should your stress levels. Life is far too short to be miserable in your business, so stop being reactive and instead take positive action to move your business forward!