One of the biggest frustrations of small business owners is simply procrastinating on tasks that they know need to be done, but just don’t do them. Other contributing factors that sideline most entrepreneurs include: not setting clear goals, underestimating the difficulty or time required to complete a project or task, using the excuse of “no time”, or trying to make something perfect.
Once you’ve identified your undercurrents that are getting in the way, look for ways to organize your work to keep your procrastination in check. Use these surprisingly simple but highly effective tips to take you from procrastination to progress:
- Use One Calendar. Too many calendars can overlap and make it difficult to track all of your personal and professional activities. Keep a master calendar which will make it a snap to manage your schedule. A side benefit to your master calendar: You’ll stop asking yourself, “Where does all the time go?” You’ll know instantly where your time is going so you can better manage it.
- Group Related Functions. Set aside chunks of time for client time, writing, and even exercise. Make sure enough time is allocated for each project or task. Remember to give yourself some wiggle room between meetings to complete your task list from that meeting.
- Use Technology To Create Successful Habits. With technology at your fingertips, create rituals to get weekly projects completed by using the recurring function on your calendar. Want to stick to that new exercise routine? Make an appointment with yourself. Stick to that appointment as if you had a client waiting for you.
- Create a Team. Create a team to help you with mundane tasks. Many college interns would embrace the opportunity to help you grow your business (and you help them get college credit, too). Identify an accountability partner for tasks you have historically put off. There’s nothing like knowing someone is waiting for a report from you to get your commitments accomplished.
Use the upcoming New Year as your starting point. Take one project that you wish to complete in the new year. Identify the overall goal, the steps to achieve it, the completion date for each step, and the resources available to assist you. Schedule the steps and timelines on your calendar. Use your accountability partner to keep you on schedule by meeting with them weekly to report your progress. Complete at least one step each day. Remember that a journey of thousands of miles, started with just the first step.