Does this sound like you?
You get up in the morning, turn on your computer hoping to write brilliant web content that is going to position you as a thought leader in your industry, or create a marketing strategy for your latest product idea, or … (you fill in the blank) and all you can think about is that nagging “to-do” list that is longer than Santa’s Naughty and Nice list.
And, as a result you procrastinate by washing a load of laundry, re-arranging your desk, jumping on Facebook or Pinterest to post and pin “important” stuff, and before you know it, it’s noon…and time for a nap, or lunch, or something, anything, other than actually doing work that matters for your business.
How to Turn Procrastination on its Head!
The reality is that sometimes procrastination is a sign than you’re nearing burnout. You may actually need that walk in the park, or afternoon matinee, to clear the mental clutter and refresh before you can be productive.
Other times, you procrastinate because you have this nagging “to-do” list looming in the background that is subconsciously drawing away your focus.
Now, some online business tips say that you should tackle that elephant in the room first thing in the morning. The idea is that doing the least desirable thing on your list first will actually remove all that unnecessary stress and let you move on to stuff that is more fun and hopefully more important.
This sounds good in theory, but let’s dig a little deeper.
What if that “nagging” item that you don’t really want to do really doesn’t need to be done…or doesn’t need to be done by you? When that’s the case, then what’s the point of doing that “task” just so you can cross it off your list?
There is no point to spending time on pointless activities! So before you stress yourself out, decide:
1) Can someone on my team do this?
2) Does the item still need to be done?
3) Should I hire someone skilled in that area (like bookkeeping/accounting) to complete or assist with the item?
4) Am I the best person to do this?
If you answered YES to item #4, then read on…
Chunk it Down and Get it Done!
If it’s a big task, then break it down into 1-3 hour sessions where all you do during that time is work on that item. Study after study shows that most people are at their best first thing in the morning.
So, I would suggest that you get up, get your workout in for the day, and eat breakfast first. Then…start working!
I would suggest that you have some snacks handy, and a bottle of water, so that you don’t get distracted with thoughts of snacking! My snack of choice when I’m “in the zone” is a mix of figs and almonds, and apple or celery with peanut butter, or shelled sunflower seeds.
After your morning session, make a decision if you’re going to continue for another block of time in that same day, or if you’ll push your next block of time for that item to the next morning.
There is no right answer here. It’s more about keeping your energy level high and giving you a sense of accomplishment.
So What about the “To-Do” List?
You should have a place to dump all of your ideas. So a long to-do (or “project”) list is not necessarily a bad thing. But realize that just because the idea came to your mind, and you wrote it down on a list, it only becomes important and worth doing if it’s going to move your business forward.
I use a system that many successful people to.
For the stuff that I need to do: At the end of my work day, I look at my main “to-do” or “project” list and write down the top three priorities for the next day.
When I do this, I know exactly what to do when I start my day. I work on only those items, avoiding other distractions as much as possible.
If I’m inspired and a new idea comes up, I add it to the main list so that I’m not distracted by trying to remember it. Then, at the end of my day I’ll get ready for the next day: 1) Anything not completed on my top three gets moved to the next day and 2) then I’ll evaluate what’s important to do the next day and add any new items to my top three
For the stuff my team needs to do: As much as possible, I’ll give them a list of items on Monday that I would like for them to complete during that week (this would be stuff that is in additional to their normal weekly items). Now, if I’m running a bit off schedule, that may not happen every week; however, I’ve noticed that when I’m very focused and my content marketing strategies are well planned, I know exactly what to give them every week. It helps them plan out their week.
I do it this way because it’s efficient, but also because I love to make room in my life to be spontaneous! I don’t ever want to turn town doing something amazing because I failed to be efficient in my business.
You see, if I am 3-6 months ahead of my content writing schedule or marketing strategies, then I’m freed up to take advantage of other opportunities – both business and personal.
OK – Your turn! What do you do to get things done, avoid procrastination, and stay motivated with the right business activities? Comment below or email me directly at: [email protected]
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