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What are your Priorities
As a small business owner you are regularly juggling everything life has to throw at you, so how do you determine what needs to be done right away versus being able to put something on hold? Understanding what your priorities are, and how they play a part in running your business, could be what results in your success or failure!
Let's take a look at why you pursued starting your own business. Were you driven by providing something you believed couldn't be found anywhere else? Or maybe you are able to perform a job more thoroughly and successfully than anyone you've worked with in the past and you wanted to share that success with others. Whatever your reason for tackling such an invigorating task, you are most likely faced with figuring out every second of every day; and you must have a clear understanding of your priorities every step of the way in order to fulfill that purpose and dream.
I've mentioned in a previous blog post [Being Organized] that one of the best ways to remove the stress of trying to keep everything organized is to give the responsibility of maintaining record of your to-do list to someone (or something) else. Think about it: How can you possibly keep up with everything you need to do if you're not able to actually see and understand what that is? This might seem a bit daunting at first, but it will become much easier once you find a tool that fits your needs. Whether you opt to use some kind of online platform that syncs to your mobile devices or you choose to go with an old school planner, you will find relief in knowing that you can see and organize your daily to-do list a bit easier once it's out of your head and in front of your eyes. Personally, I'm a proponent of an online option as it can sync with all of my devices for access wherever I am, while giving me the easy ability to adjust (and readjust) tasks as things change throughout the day.
Once you have a starting point, focus on what your end goal is. More specifically, what do you absolutely need to have completed by the end of the day...possibly even by the end of the hour. By adding a time frame to you list of things to do, it become more clear what items on your list are a top priority. The key to this step is to never lose sight of your Bigger Picture. Knowing where you want to end as a result will provide you with the direction and understanding you need to comb through your list and weed out what's not 100% necessary. This approach will give you the base you need to focus on the task that will drive the growth and success of your business.
This next step might seem like a huge undertaking, especially when you have so much to do: Make a day of it! Let's assume that you will work a regular 8 hour shift on a lighter day at work as a small business owner (a person can dream, right?). Pick a day on your planner and designate and dedicate that day to an 8 hour shift of organizing and planning your next month. Focus on Big Picture items such as launching a social media campaign, organizing a fundraiser for your non-profit startup, or locking down three new investors for you up-and-coming mobile development company. As you hone in on the Bigger Picture items (end results) you are able to start developing a plan of action to accomplish them. Take these items and break them down into daily actions that you can plan and actively understand how each step supports the next (similar to a planning wall). If the proposed task doesn't support your more prominent efforts, then it shouldn't be included in the process (or at the very least, the task should be delegated so you can focus your attention to those Bigger Picture items.
Lastly, you will want to implement a personal and proper approach to your planning and prioritizing. Take on the tasks that you will personally find the most enjoyable and fulfilling. Make sure that you aren't only working as you plan your day-to-day calendar. Block of time for yourself to do something that allows you to break away from being the hungry business owner that you are, but make sure that it's listed on your calendar and that you make yourself as realistically unavailable as possible (this will help keep you away from burning out). It's easy to get caught up in the "work, work, work" mantra of running a successful small business; but if you expend all your energy during the first day, how can you possibly expect to be successful for the next 10, 20, or even 30+ years?
Knowing what matters most and supports your Bigger Picture will help to focus your energy instead of diverting it on tasks that won't amount to much at the end of the day. Take the time to organize your thoughts and objectives, and definitely make it a point to find a tool that you can use every day to keep those ideas organized and in front of you at all times. Always remember to remain flexible with daily changes, and utilize and exhaust all of your resources before you exhaust yourself. It takes a little practice and fine tuning, but once you have your prioritizing processes in place everything becomes crystal clear and a world of possibility opens to you!
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10/12/2022 09:10:31 am
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