One of the most challenging aspects of running a business is getting everything done. It seems like the “to-do” list is one that is never ending and always expanding. Let’s face it: as leaders, we are in constant pursuit of the proverbial “Pot of Gold.”
At the same time, we must remain able to make the right decisions, get the right things done, on time and as expected. That could be business development, planning, business development, client management, etc. That doesn’t exclude, however, the need to take care of ourselves so that we can come to work and be the best that we can every day.
The tactics that have been found to be the most successful is segmenting the day. The other part of that is to have a certain amount of work to get done each day. Face it: you cannot do everything.
The first thing you might want to do is to look at the major components of your business that MUST be done every day. These are those things that might not appear to be urgent, but are definitely important. In my case, that boils down to:
- Business development, including writing, publishing, meetings, customer relationship management, workshop and speech development, phone calls, proposal development etc.
- Personal time, including meals, exercise and family time
- Client work, including client meetings, client phone calls, etc
- Administrative work, including employee development, bookkeeping, “job” work, or the client work that is outside of the core work that I do for my clients
For me, these are every day tasks. In order for all of these things to get done, I have to set aside time – the same time every day, to do these things.
The next step is to look at the task list, and determine where each item of the task list fits with the different categories. If it is call a vendor back, it will fall into business development. If it is doing research for a client project, it will fall into client work. If it is prepare invoices or statements, it falls into administrative work.
Next, I prioritize the tasks into A, B and C.
- A) tasks at those that are very important and must be done right away,m that only I can do
- B) are those those tasks that are very important but don’t have to be done right away that only I can do
- C) are those tasks that are not as important, but still have to be done quickly that only I can do
The things that don’t fall into those categories, or things that other people in my organization can do are either processed as goals (look into buying a building) or forwarded to others to get done.
Finally, I add those tasks to my weekly schedule, allotting a certain amount of time for the completion of the task, focusing on priorities, while attempting to allot some time to each task, or at least planning the task. This is an ongoing exercise, since new tasks will come across my desk every day. Knowing how to prioritize, knowing when to use and assistant and knowing when to say, “no.” is essential to getting things done.
As a leader, you can always spend your time chasing your tail, or letting the tail wag the dog. Or, you can be extraordinary: manage your time and run an extraordinary business.
Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services. As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].