Does this ever happen to you? You come into the office with just a few important things on your to do list, and somehow they never get done. This past Saturday it happened and I started to think about how we let distractions, even good ones prevent us from doing the things that will move our business forward.
I came to the office on a Saturday morning with just three things on my to do list.
What I did instead
It was a productive few hours. As I left, I felt good about all I had accomplished. Each of the activities were worthwhile. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best use of my time. Those three really important tasks didn’t get done. Like many small business owners, I allowed myself to be distracted and never got around to doing the things which really needed to be done.
My morning was the perfect example of what author Jim Collin meant when he said “Good is the enemy of great.” If we spend too much time on the wrong things, there is no energy, time or resources left over for the really great things. The things which will move your company forward. So how do you find time for the great things?
Make a list of all the things you need to accomplish. Then set priorities. Decide which are top priority and put those on the top of the list. Set time aside for these specific activities. And don’t compromise. Unless the building is on fire, spend the allotted time working on the things you have identified as most important.
I use Insightly to collect and organize my tasks. While this helps, unless some part of the program will reach out from the computer and slap me when I go to work on something else, I can’t rely just on a software product. The solution has to come from me.
Sometimes we avoid tasks because they aren’t fun, take too much time or are simply boring. One of the first things you need to do is figure out why you are avoiding the task. If it is going to take too much time, break it in to smaller steps. Set aside a little time each day to work on it. Then give yourself a reward when you finish part of the project.
What should your reward be? Maybe it is a walk outside, a few quick minutes on social media, a piece of chocolate or a conversation with someone you have been meaning to catch up with. A little positive reinforcement goes a long way when it comes to motivating us to work on things we don’t want to do.
I have this amazingly talented team, and they can do lots of stuff if I will just ask. As a business owner, sometimes I feel like it has to be me and other times I don’t really want to push off a small task. But I just need to get over it. If I want the business to grow I need to be spending my time on the things which will make us great.
So I have enjoyed writing this blog post, but now it is time to get back to work. What about you? How do you manage your time?
Need help crossing some of your marketing tasks off your “to do” list? Let’s Chat – www.roundpeg.biz/contact
After spending too many years in Corporate America, Lorraine said goodbye to the bureaucracy, glass ceilings and bad coffee.
Today you can find her at Roundpeg, a digital agency in Carmel, Indiana, building smart marketing strategies for businesses who want to use internet marketing tools to grow. For more updates from Lorraine, follow her on Twitter: @lorraineball.