Do you look with envy at those people who seem to be so in control of their workload, who are totally focused on their goals and who get to the bottom of their To Do list each day? Do you secretly wish you could be more like them?
A certain element of chaos is inevitable in business but you’ll find the most successful entrepreneurs are those who have adopted certain tactics to enable them to keep on track no matter what. We’ve drawn up a list of their five top tips:
- Review your goals each day – it’s not enough to just have goals as they can easily get pushed out by day-to-day demands. If you commit to reviewing them every single day, however, you can weed out any unnecessary detail, see what’s important and what’s a waste of time.
- Group tasks together by type – you’ll be much more productive if you group your tasks together – such as tackling all your emails in one go, writing articles in one morning, for example, or devoting an afternoon to doing your business plan.
- Work on the one thing that will move your business forward – deep down you probably know the one thing that will dramatically change your business but find yourself easily steered off course. Just do it! Get up each day and resolve to devote some time to the key thing that will move things on. This will help clarify your thinking and give you a clear vision.
- Choose a few major tasks for the day – and try not to get overwhelmed by having too many priorities. It’s often about what you choose not to do as much as what you choose to do. Select just a few things or even one key thing that absolutely must get done that day. These are often referred to as your ‘Big Rocks’ and should be put into your schedule first. Otherwise, you’ll find all the ‘sand’ or ‘small pebble’ type of jobs will fill the available space, leaving no room for the most important things. Angela Jia Kim refers to those unpleasant tasks you keep putting off as “Weeds” and those tasks that will help you move the business forward as “Seeds”.
- Delegate – the most successful entrepreneurs have mastered the art of delegating. They’ve learnt from experience that they should be delegating anything they don’t enjoy doing or don’t do well. Make sure you’re not wasting your time and skills on administrative tasks that someone else could be working on. This will free you up to focus on an area that could make a major difference to the business. Also, think about how you could encourage other team members or aspiring leaders.
Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System also gives valuable insight into how businesses can gain ‘traction’. He highlights six key areas that need to be optimised to ensure everything is running smoothly and performing well: vision, people, data, issues, process and traction itself. Think about what your core values are. What is your core focus? What are your main issues? He too talks in terms of ‘rocks’ and encourages everyone in a company to be working on quarterly rocks; maintaining ninety days is the right length of time for someone to be able to focus on a core challenge.
The underlying theme is that successful entrepreneurs organise their life around what’s important for growing their business and achieving their goals. The best way to go about this is with an organised mindset.
If this sort of topic interests you, get your copy of our new guide 10 Things business owners wish they had done 10 years earlier.