These days, we all have too much to do, and not enough time to do it all in.
Even leisure time seems to be fraught with the need to get to certain places at certain times, and our lives seem to need tightening down to the very last second to make sure we don’t screw up, miss appointments and deadlines, or simply let things slide.
This new pressure to perform well at all times can take its toll, and it’s more critical for business than in any other aspect of our lives.
When we work for ourselves, we lose out on a lot of the advantages of reporting to a manager. In an office environment, we have set objectives that need to be fulfilled each day, and when we reach the end of that list of things to achieve we pretty much know that the rest of the day is our own.
By the time it comes to five o clock, we are ready to go home safe in the knowledge that we have done what we needed to get by, perhaps a little extra on top, and we can enjoy the rest of the evening feeling smug and self-satisfied.
Working for ourselves is a whole different matter
The main difference between managing our own workload and letting someone else do that on our behalf is, when we set our own task list, it is never ending. Even if we say to ourselves, I need to achieve these six tasks today, when they are done we can’t quite let go enough to walk away and take the rest of the day or evening off.
This is why being in complete control of our activity schedule as small business bloggers is absolutely critical. If we know what needs to be done, and when it needs to be done by, we are in a much stronger position for making our business a success and also earning ourselves some time out to spend on other things than work.
I have a system in place with a colleague of mine, where each day we Skype each other and list the activities we need to complete for the day, in order to know we have done a good job for our respective businesses.
The following day, we check in with each other and tick off what we have done.
This works on many levels – we get to sense check our priorities with each other, and also it adds a little extra pressure on us both to hit our targets for the day. It’s making me more productive, and I wanted to share this trick with you as I think it’s a valuable thing to do.
A new approach…
When you have too much on every day, the best way to tackle it is to write a list, number it in order of priority, and tell yourself exactly what you are going to achieve, by a set timescale.
When this is done, you also need to reward yourself by walking away from your computer and taking time out. If we don’t have managers in place to do all this for us, it’s not too bad an idea to decide to manage ourselves in exactly the same way.
By taking control of our proverbial ships, and steering them in the right direction, we’ll get to jump off and go for a swim, from time to time!
P.S. I lied about the ‘new approach’…writing down your workload in a list has been around for years…but have your tried it?