As an entrepreneur, small business owner, or startup founder or employee, you probably feel like you have to do everything. And how the heck are you supposed to do #allthethings and do them successfully? Maybe you're wearing a bunch of hats. You could be the founder, marketing director, accountant, legal researcher, writer, website developer, and the do it all person to keep everything running. Your budget is small. Your free time is probably non-existent, especially if you're trying to build your new business while working a full-time job. So, how do you successfully do everything you need to do to run your business?
You don't. Yes, you read that right. You don't need to do everything. You can't do everything and do it well.
I know, doing less probably seems impossible right now, but the reality is when we push ourselves to do too much, we don't do any of it very well. As a society, we focus on multi-tasking and juggling multiple priorities but think about your own experience. When you juggle lots of tasks or home and family or whatever, are you ever really focused on one? Probably not. Unfortunately, when we're trying to be all and do everything for our businesses, we're not as successful as we could be if we tried to do less but put more focus on each effort.
It's hard to choose to do less when you feel like your to-do list is a mile long. The thought of trying to cut it down may feel overwhelming, but there are ways you can do it and find a better balance.
You can choose if you put pen to paper or start typing away, how you write it down doesn't matter. It's up to you. Write down everything you feel you need to do for your business. Break bigger tasks down into smaller, more manageable tasks if you can. Once you've written down everything you can think of and broken bigger tasks into smaller tasks, go back and start to estimate the amount of time each task will take to complete. Then, note if there are any pre-requisites for the task to be completed.
Next, review your task list and note your level of expertise with each task. Are you a novice (you have no idea what to do, but you can research and learn), are you familiar with the task (maybe you've already done the research but haven't implemented the word), are you comfortable with the task (you know exactly what you need to do and how to do it) or are you an expert (you've got this, you've done it 100 times before and could teach someone else how to do this). From here, estimate the amount of time it will take you to complete each task. Think about the work involved AND your experience level with the task. If it's something that's involved and you've never done it before and still need to research how then it's going to take you longer than a quick task you've done many times before.
Once you have identified everything that needs to be done, estimated the time it would take, and determined your familiarity with the tasks, it's time to decide how you'll tackle your list. Are you the best qualified to do all the tasks or is there someone you trust who you could hire to help? If you don't have the budget to hire someone, is there a friend or relative who might help you for free or can you maybe trade help with another small business owner where your experience might help them too?
Once you've identified what you can do yourself, what you can hire someone to do, what help you can secure, and what you can trade for it's time to review the list again. What's remaining? Are there things you haven't been able to address yet? Are they items that are critical today? Can you postpone something to a later date without hurting your business? If so, postpone what you can.
You'll likely find yourself more successful if you avoid shiny object syndrome and focus on fewer items but do them well.
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