Running a business can feel like we’re constantly in-a-spin with so many tasks to complete and a working day that is sure to run well into the evening! Chances are, not everything on your list really needs completing today, so prioritising is the first step. The only way to then ‘tick off’ your tasks is to apply a laser focus!
But we have a problem. Distractions and procrastination are our worst enemies for getting our job done.
With distractions, and before you get started on your tasks, think about what might distract you from your priority tasks and find a way to remove the distraction or plan to address it later. For example, if social media is your distraction, plan a time in your day to check your engagements and post to your feed (also consider scheduling your posts in advance!). Until that time, disable notifications to avoid being drawn-in while working on other things.
Procrastination is a different problem altogether. This is where something is stopping us from taking the first step towards progressing a task. Maybe the task is too complicated, too big or needs input from another source to get started. Identify what’s stopping you and tackle that first:
Too complicated? First explore all parts of the task with a mind-map (or spider diagram). Each step you take from the centre node goes further into the detail. Identify which ‘legs’ of the diagram need to be progressed first in-order to successfully complete the overall task.
Too big? Use the mind-map again with the overall task in the centre node. Each leg from the centre identifies the sub-tasks or activities. Further legs identify the smaller sub-tasks until you have an ‘outer level’ of sub-sub…sub-tasks that are the smallest ones to complete first. At this level, everything looks simple and quick and will get you started before you know it!
Need input from another source? Put a value on the task. I mean, identify what it will mean to you in real hard-cash terms once its completed. If it doesn’t hold much value, question why it’s even on your list. If it has value, pick that phone up and chase an update so you get it ticked-off!
These techniques might sound simple but they are highly effective too!