Ever have those days when you know you have a lot to do but
you feel like you’re going around in circles? My personal un-productivity circle
looks something like this: check email, check Facebook page, check Twitter, check Google
Analytics, check personal Facebook…..repeat. I’m usually hoping that there will
be an email, post or sign that tells me what I should work on, helping me avoid
the tasks I know are important. Procrastination is always at the root of
unproductive days for me but here’s a quick and easy way to dive right in and get
what needs to be done, done.
What is currently on your to-do list? Making
a list gets all my cluttered thoughts down on paper. If you’re feeling stuck
and you’re really not sure what you need to do today, write down the areas
you’re feeling stuck in and why. We tend to make excuses up as to why we can’t
work on a task but when we’re forced to really explain why we can’t move
forward, the reason ends up being just that; an excuse.
Write down why you
can’t (or why you think you can’t) work on a certain area of your business and
ask yourself if it’s really true. Feel like you can’t market your business
because it’s not 100% perfect? Is that true? Does your product or service need
to be in its absolute completed form before you can start sharing or selling it? Probably not. If it really is in a state that you can’t
start sharing with consumers, then what can you do now to get set up for when
Don’t let the areas you’re feeling hung up on, stop you from
moving forward. Determine what the issues are and what steps you need to take
to rectify them. These may make up your to-do list for the day.
If you could only complete 1 task and 1 task only, which one would
you feel good about completing? This will make you really
think about what’s important. We all have never ending to-do lists but the fact
is that only a fraction of those tasks are truly important to the growth and
success of our business. When you cut through the clutter and define what is
crucial and what is just I-should-do-this-because-I-read-it’s-important, you
get done what needs to be done and you stop stressing about the little stuff.
We’ve all heard that we should be posting to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,
Tumblr…the list goes on. We should be blogging, networking, putting on contests
to build brand awareness, etc. But do you have time for those things and do
they benefit your business? Don’t just
follow the crowds. Test things out, determine what works for you, focus on
those tasks and don’t stress about the rest.
How much time do you really need? Remember
when you were in school and you were given 3 weeks to complete a project? 3
weeks?! That must mean I have to put 3 weeks worth of time into it. If you’re
anything like me, you didn’t. You got started on it right away, scratched the
surface, felt pretty good, then you left the other 90% of work until the day
before and were up until 4 a.m swearing to yourself that you would never leave
another project to the last minute. But you got it done. Or what about when
you’re getting ready to leave for a long weekend and your boss tells you what
needs to be done before you can punch out. Bet you didn’t even realize you could get work done that fast!
it’s crunch time, we put our heads down and do the work that needs to be done.
It doesn’t matter if we were given 3 weeks or a month to complete it; you find
a way to get it done in a fraction of that time. Give yourself a time limit that
pushes you and stick to it. Set a timer and don’t look up until you’ve
completed your task or the alarm goes off.
If you like these concepts, you may be interested in the
book; The 4-hour Work Week. It goes into greater detail about how you can cut
back on your work hours and spend less time in the office.
Image courtesySicha Pongjivanich/FreeDigitalPhotos.net