I know many small business owners who purposely procrastinate on writing and finance tasks they hate. Are you one of these professionals who work better when you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in? Think about it.
Whatever the task, whether it’s calling up clients and prospects, writing a new blog post, or preparing taxes, a lot depends on your mindset. You can schedule a whole day, say a Sunday, to catch up with those tasks you keep putting off… and then waste more time getting ready to do the work, than actually completing the work.
All of a sudden, you need to clean off your desk…or:
- Make a call
- Check the tennis results
- Answer emails you’ve been ignoring
- Wash out socks…???
Since when do you enjoy washing and cleaning? Since you don’t really want to do your taxes or write or file, or whatever it is you’re avoiding, it looks better to you.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: I submit you’re good at making excuses and avoiding reality and blaming others. I furthermore understand you, totally.
“Yes but”… listen up. I just found a solution to get you back on track. This is how I’m tackling my hated chores and business obligations this weekend. It worked for me, and I hope it works for you.
- Instead of giving myself the whole day to do 20 tasks, I’m breaking the list down to 3 things (some with 3-5 sub-tasks). That way I won’t feel overwhelmed and the list becomes more realistic.
- Instead of an 8 hour-long work period, the day is broken up into segments: One hour to write one blog post; one hour to watch the Miami Open tennis finals; one hour to start organizing taxes; break for lunch; one hour to start a design a new e-newsletter for a client; short exercise break; one hour for another client blog post; one hour to start outline on a new article; break with snacks and calls to friends.
- Even if I don’t complete all my tasks, at least I’ve got a good start and my list is growing shorter.
- Everything that isn’t finished gets scheduled for completion during the week.
It’s important to alternate those things you like doing with those you hate. That gives you motivation to get more done. It makes the day more enjoyable. The more you’re in a good mood, the more inclined you’ll keep doing work instead of chucking it all in.
Another key thing to keep in mind is to skip preparations – cleaning up desk, researching for an article, browsing the Web. It’s just too easy to get distracted and spend time you don’t have. I love researching ideas and history, for example. I tell myself I can do it later, before completing a writing task. It’s surprising how much that forces you to use the knowledge you already have in your head!
Perhaps these productivity tips are nothing new, but like most things in life, if you don’t use them they don’t work.
What’s your most useful tips for being productive with your business tasks, especially the one’s you hate? I’d love to hear your ideas.