As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get carried away with multiple tasks at a time in order to feel busy, but at the end of the day, it can feel like no tasks have been checked off your list.
It’s a simple rabbit hole and has affected many entrepreneurs. So here are four ways in which you can ensure you’re being productive and not just busy.
Have Set Days For Each Task Group
By batching similar tasks such as admin, marketing, meetings, etc., into one day, you’re more likely to focus on that one subject or task field than you would be if you were trying to multitask.
Having set days helps you to become more organized by allowing you to schedule meetings, create to-do lists, and set goals.
For example, if each Monday is your admin day, you can update all your payments from the previous week, catch up on any emails from the weekend, and finalize any paperwork that you’ve been putting off. The majority of entrepreneurs enjoy getting the more mundane and harder tasks done first, so setting your admin day to Monday gives you room for more enjoyable tasks for the rest of the week.
By also having set days for meetings, you can then schedule a full day within your working hours. You will then no longer need to schedule them in the middle of a working day while juggling other different tasks such as marketing, as this can lead to task switching which takes a lot of mental effort and can become confusing. It also keeps your diary tidy and creates a clearer outline.
How are you going to know if you’re being busy and not productive if you don’t evaluate yourself on a regular basis. By doing a weekly and monthly assessment of your progress and goals, you can better align your tasks and onward progress.
For weekly and monthly assessments, analyse if you did or did not reach your set goals, and if not then why not? Check for any distractions or procrastination tasks that are holding you back, write down all the positives habits, achieved goals, and negatives, such as distractions of that week/month. This gives you a bird’s-eye view of your working methods and ways to improve.
Prioritise Your To-Do List And Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
I’m sure you know to-do lists are an entrepreneur’s saviour, but it can become overwhelming when too many tasks end up on your list. Try to choose three main priority tasks for the day, anything additional you get done in that day is a bonus. This helps to focus your mind and can leave you feeling less overwhelmed. As I said earlier, it’s always easier to put the hardest or most mundane task first as you can then finish the day on a more fun task.
When it comes to creating your priority to-do list, don’t be afraid to say no. Boundaries are not only important as an entrepreneur, but also for your mental and emotional health. So, if you truly don’t want to do something or simply don’t have the time, don’t be afraid to say no.
Choose Measurable Goals And Be Honest With Yourself
All entrepreneurs should dream big, but in order to get to those big goals, we must first complete smaller goals along the way. This is why it’s important to break them down from the main goal into monthly or weekly goals. You must ensure they are doable and achievable. This can be done by ensuring your goals are SMART:
Specific: For a goal to be successful it needs to be specific, so make sure to write it down to the last tiny detail.
Measurable: Ensure your goal is measurable and you are able to track your progress, know each milestone and there is a finishing line.
Achievable: It’s great to dream big, but a goal should be within your reach, be real with yourself.
Relevant: Why does your goal matter? Why are you setting this goal? There must be a reason why you’re setting the goal.
Time-Bound: Make sure there is a deadline to this goal, make it time-efficient. Don’t let this goal go on for eternity. Have a deadline and stick to it.
Don’t give yourself a goal that you know cannot be done within a certain time frame. This only leads to a bigger urge to give up or the feeling of failure and we don’t want that. So, keep them measurable and be honest as to timeframes, resources, and practicality.
It’s easy to get carried away with feeling busy, but it’s important to have a trackable productivity plan to help you as an entrepreneur grow and achieve those goals.