Does this happen to you? You have a project to do. Let’s say for the purpose of our example, it is a writing project. You have it on your to do list. And then you say, “I need to get some of these smaller to do’s done first.” Or, “I need to get my desk clean.” Or “I actually am not in the mood for writing - I need to “get ready” to write! What happens? You never get to writing!
I can think of every excuse – not to do what is good for me – my business – my clients.
This “getting ready” tendency may be something we all deal with, isn’t it? Unlike a quick to do list, these longer-term projects some time, some effort, and uninterrupted concentration. We don’t get that immediate gratification and yet, truth be told, if we don’t do some of these activities, we may not be as effective as we would like to be. If you suffer from the “getting ready” mentality, here’s an idea:
Hold yourself accountable. There is something powerful when we tell others – either through writing or through spoken words – what our intentions are. I have an accountability group of two other professional speakers where we create our goals with specific target dates. Your accountability may be with a friend, a co-worker, a spouse, a significant other.
Over the course of the next month, I’ll be celebrating the achievement of writing 20 new BLOG postings! What about you?
As an entrepreneur, many of my days are filled with client commitments, meetings, training preparation, client proposals, writing Blog entries, and doing bookkeeping… I could go on and on. To some extent, every day is different, depending upon if I’m in the office or working with a client. However, the more that I work in my business (and on my business); the more and more value I see in establishing and maintaining some sort of routine. Without systems or processes or “rules”, I can forget important things! Checklists are also an easy way to remember what needs to be done – even for those tasks that we are pretty comfortable with. Regardless if you are a small business owner, individual contributor, or team leader, these checklist ideas may help you reduce your stress and increase your workplace efficiency:
- Write a checklist for those tasks you do frequently. For example, when I prepare for a training program, I need to do several things, including, discover training needs, write an outline, create participant materials, develop slides, and design customized case studies. With checklists, I can estimate how long these activities will take – which helps me plan more effectively.
- Review your checklists with others. A friend and colleague in the training field will be sending me her checklist – I may want to incorporate some of her ideas in my process. I will send her my checklist!
- Update your checklist as needed. Sometimes certain activities can be automated, or delegated to an assistant or even assigned to a team member, or even deleted altogether! Other times, we need to add important tasks to our checklists. Be sure to update your checklist – deleting or adding items as needed.
You can experience more freedom (and carve out more time) when you follow checklists - enabling you to focus on creative brainstorming - something that many of us never seem to get around to doing!