One of the perks of being an entrepreneur is that you can do anything you want in your business. One of the downsides is that you can do anything you want in your business.
I often hear clients telling me that they get nothing done because they feel overwhelmed because there is too much to do or they don’t know where to start.
I know this feeling well and what helps me is to go back to basics. Here’s my typical sequence when there’s too much on my plate:-
1) Write everything down that needs to get done in a list.
This frees the mind of constantly thinking about what needs to be done. Imagine all that mental energy spent worrying about getting nothing done.
2) Divide the tasks into the Eisenhower matrix of urgency and importance.
• Prioritize the urgent and important list in order of deadline or importance.
• Set aside time for the important but not urgent items – schedule time in your calendar. What gets scheduled gets done.
• See if you can find ways to delegate the urgent but not important items – consider using virtual assistants or finding freelancers on sites like upwork.com.
• Understand that you may never get to the not important and not urgent items. They’re not important or urgent anyway 😉
3) Write down 3 tasks.
Now you have your list of urgent and important things, let’s break it down into doable chunks. I set myself 3 tasks the night before. The next day, I start working on these tasks starting with the hardest – “Eat that Frog” style*. Once I have done my 3 tasks, I feel like I have accomplished something. When I was just working through my long list, even though I may have ticked off more, I felt that I hadn’t gotten anywhere. With 3 defined tasks done, I feel so much better.
4) Use timeboxing.
One way you can start tackling these tasks are using timeboxes – giving yourself a defined amount of time for a task. I talked about a task filling the time you give it in one of my last blog posts: Superheroes can bend time. Personally, I tend to work well in batches of 30 minutes.
5) Pick one and commit for a time period.
I’ve come across people say I’m considering writing a book, starting a podcast or a blog but I don’t do anything because I don’t know which one to do. I suggest choosing some criteria that is important for you or think about which one excites you the most.
Commit to doing this for 3 months. You can put the others on hold whilst you do this one. After 3 months you can then reevaluate and see if that is still relevant or you need to change something. This gets you out of the paralysis and gets you started.
These are just some of the productivity tips I use to help me move forward. There’s plenty more to talk about but that’s for another time. I would love to hear from you and what you do because we are all always learning. Leave me a comment or drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
* In case you haven’t heard of the book – Eat that Frog by Brian Tracey