Watching the online frenzy this past couple of weeks with the lead up to the GDPR got me thinking and analysing.
Why is it that some people seem to have it all under control and some, well, they just don’t. It’s that last-minute adrenaline kick that seems to be needed to get the act into gear.
I am definitely not going to play saintly here and tell you I am always ahead of the curve. I am far from perfect and, even though I teach, advise and set up systems for people, I definitely can practice what I preach more. Hello looming client deadline and hello half heart attack seeing it come closer and closer.
The thing is, I am 200% sure you have got the planners, the task board, the project trackers (paper AND digital). Probably ALL the productivity tools I can possibly mention. Am I right?
Not to mention the good intentions to have inbox zero on a Friday evening, no working on the weekends, balancing life with your business and well living that perfect entrepreneur lifestyle we see portrayed time-on-time again. In all reality, I believe at least 80% of us have not achieved this as yet.
So, how do we prevent the last-minute, adrenaline-inducing furious ruffle of feathers?
This would be a perfect dad-joke! Well, you start sooner! 😉
I believe a mixture of circumstances leads up to this constant feeling of running behind on schedule.
- We are so optimistic! Underestimating how much time we have available to do everything we are meant to do. Have you ever sat down and looked at your week and realistically blocked out the times necessary to do everything you have to this week? Chances are you’re probably buying time from next week.
- Underestimating how long certain tasks actually take us to do. I am definitely the one who always does this.
- Not calculating in the unexpected or leaving enough time in between tasks or, god forbid, we’d actually put a planned night off in there.
- Saying ‘Yes’ more often than ‘No’ when we are already overstretched or when we feel we need the money or really want to work with that client or….
- Procrastinating on those things we hate doing or fear doing. Either way, pretty powerful feelings who can stop us dead in our tracks.
- Last but not least using tools and structures that don’t work for us as individuals and not really knowing how we, as individuals, operate.
How many times have you signed up to something offered promising to be the last thing you’d ever need to get on top of list, your life, your universe?
The thing is with these tools, that they work for that particular person and if you dig a little deeper you will find that to create that one planner for them, they tried several others and took on what worked for them.
This ties in with my innate belief that, in running a business, there’s no cookie cutter approach. There’s no sure fire way to say that what works for me, works for you (and it doesn’t).
There’s NEVER a one-size-fits-all in business.
Here are some ways of simplifying your days and getting on top of your day-to-day tasks.
Digital tool purge
We have far too many digital tools to ‘support’ us. Make a list on a notepad of all the ones you are using or not using. Now cross out the ones you hardly ever use or don’t use at all (the next step is to press that delete button).
Map your processes
If you cannot explain in words what your processes are in your business or put them down on paper, no amount of tech will be able to solve this. If you don’t know for sure how many hours a project will take, you will always lag behind. Grab that notepad again and write down all the different processes and systems you have in your business.
It all comes down to stripping it back to basics.
Keep track of everything you do day-to-day for 1 full week. Work out how many hours you have for your business per week. When you have a clear view on everything you do and the hours you have available, you can divide your time blocks.
Get pen & paper out and start creating YOUR plan. YOUR way of doing things.
Look at your business as a whole and see where the different processes are needed and how they tie in together. Write them out.
By writing them out and, see where you might have forgotten something and adjust while also looking at the digital tools you may require for this. Will the ones you have support your business and you?
And the final thing? Turn inwards.
What makes you tick? What makes you happy? How do you like to reward yourself? How will you make sure you get these tasks ticked off? Are you a rebel or a conformist. Does the word structure make your eyes glaze over? Why are you in business? If you can dig that little bit deeper and find what’s at the bottom of not getting things ticked off, you will find your pot of gold!
Find your unique way of doing it.
Stop all the noise from blocking out the whisper you hear daily guiding you to do what’s right for you. Take what you need from all the help out there and make it yours.
There’s no quick solution to this. There’s no 3 steps or 5 steps to being in control. If you take the time out to do this, you will discover your way and that is the only way. As a nice bonus there will be no more deadline anxiety.
I’d love to hear from you!
Do you have processes and systems that work for you? Let me celebrate with you that you have nailed it.
Are you hopelessly lost in your lists and chores and have no idea what is up or down anymore? Share your frustration with me. Perhaps I can share some tips and tricks with you to get you feeling more on top of it all with a little more time on your hands to do the things you love. Email me email@example.com or leave me a comment below.