If you tell yourself that you are going to have a good day, it is far more likely to happen. That said, all of us all too often have days when we feel like a one-armed wall paper hanger; there are never enough hours in the day. The key to managing our daily task list is setting realistic priorities. I have my superwoman cap in my closet, and I do pull it out on occasion, but on an average day I resort to my common sense when it comes to getting stuff done. The worst thing in the world you can do in your business is spend your $100/per hour time doing $10/per hour work.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed running down a list in your head of all the things you need to accomplish in a day. When it comes to work, you have to ask yourself if you need to do this task yourself. If your tasks are directly connected the revenue generation, then push yourself to get it done. If your task is something you think that you need to do then ask yourself three times if that is really true. Entrepreneurs by nature can easily become workaholics.
Here are a few helpful tips that will make completing daily tasks easier:
1. Breakdown your priorities – Allot a reasonable amount of time for each task.
2. Determine your top 3 priorities - Once you determine what needs to be done – pull out the most important tasks keeping in mind the amount of time you have to complete your work.
3. Farm out lower priority tasks - Use a virtual assistant, intern, friend or just reschedule it. While you cannot completely let go of lesser tasks, write down all directions so you can hand off the assignments.
4. Eliminate clutter – Clutter distracts your mind. If you need to clean up your work space before starting, then do it. Working in a chaotic environment contributes to you being less productive.
5. Focus – Make sure that you set up your office with few distractions. Make sure you have a door that will close to limit noise. Don’t give in to temptation and position your desk in a room with a television. (If you are a home based business, resist the urge to work in a room with a bed.)
6. Celebrate all victories – when you get things accomplished congratulate yourself. Give yourself small rewards. Your celebrations do not have to be elaborate. In fact, a simple walk, quick personal phone call, Twitter break or a cup of herbal tea will do.
7. Ask for help – Do not let you pride (or your controlling nature) keep you from asking for help. Seek the advice of friends and be willing to delegate tasks to the people in your life.
If you run your business by chasing from emergency to emergency, you will stress about everything and your health will eventually start to fail. Do not choose between your business and your health.
- Set up systems to handle daily tasks (only look at email and twitter at the beginning and end of the day)
- Be clear about when to say no
- Let go of simple tasks that someone else can do
If the amount of work reaches the point where your health and relationships are affected, then maybe it’s time to rethink how you do business.
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Melinda Emerson is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #smallbizchat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted Twitter resource to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Be Your Own Boss! How to Quit Your Job and Start Your Own Business 12 Months or Less! is scheduled to be released by Adams Media in early 2010.
If you’re ready to start or grow your small business visit www.succeedasyourownboss.com and subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog.