To do two things at once is to do neither.
I recently moved which is a huge undertaking. It is a change and if embraced, is an enlightening experience. However, if not embraced, can be long and daunting. It is a process that consists of packing and decision making. It is when we really understand how much stuff we have, therefore forcing us to critique what is working for us and what is not working for us. What to keep and what to discard. As I looked through my clothes, bags, shoes and hats, I realized I had hats that no longer served me. Some, I had no use for, others were not in style, and still some that really had no purpose anymore. Yet, there they were taking up room in my already crowded closet. It occurred to me, my hats were a lot like how we live our lives.
A word we use and hear far too often is Multitask: To work at several different tasks simultaneously. Whose idea was that? When did we decide that we should be working at serval tasks all at the same time? And, if we are not busy juggling on a day to day basis, we feel guilty that we are not doing enough. Sound like you?
How many hats do you wear in a day, a week, a month? Are the hats you are wearing even your choice? Are you stuck with hats that are really just taking up space and if they were not, you would have room for a new hat that may work better with the outfits you are wearing now? Do you have hats that are no longer serving you? When was the last time you inventoried your hats and began to make some changes in which ones stay and which ones needed to go? And how easy is it for you to switch hats without messing up your hair? Hats are a lot like life.
As entrepreneurs and career professionals, we easily get caught up in doing so many jobs, taking care of so many tasks, that we can quickly become overloaded. Once in overload, we build more and more momentum, which is like a shopping spree of adding more and more hats to our already crowded closet. Imagine if the daily tasks you do were hats and you put each one on your head. How would you look? How effective would the hats be? Each hat has its own purpose and style. Wearing them all at once certainly isn’t the best use of a hat. How well would you balance them before they all came tumbling down?
Similarly, when we overload our life, the more we try to do, the less effective each task becomes until it all comes tumbling down. Now, realistically, I know that tasks are not hats, and we can’t just do 1 task at a time…or can we? Here are 10 steps that will help you to do more in a much easier way so that you stay in balance and nothing comes tumbling down.
1. Center yourself in the day. A good strong foundation starts with a positive morning ritual. Whatever it is that will ground you. It is unproductive to hit the ground running. How you start your day is how you live your life.
2. Have a brief to-do-list with 5 items maximum. You don’t want to have a list of 20-30 things to do. Why? You will not get to all of them, you will feel rushed, and at the end of the day you will feel a lack of accomplishment. Instead, set your self up for success, once your list is complete you can always add items if you like .
3. Start with your biggest task first. Once the big task is done, the rest of the day feels like it is all down hill.
4. Check emails intermittently throughout the day. Never start the day with your emails. That is how our time is sucked away. If you set chucks of time through out the day to check your emails, I promise everything will be ok.
5. Social Media is important I understand that. But, if you do not set margins of time in which to do it, precious time is wasted. Yes I said wasted.
6. Take a break. No, I am not crazy…taking a break even for just 10 minutes re-boots your system. When you clear your head, move away from a project, you return to it with a different perspective and may push it along faster than if you continued to work on it without the break.
7. Give yourself permission to say “No”. It really is not as hard as you think. You do not need to be all things to all persons. This takes some getting use to, so I will not elaborate on it right now.
8. Let it go. You have to delegate. You do not have to hold tight to everything that is going on in your business. Rest assure with proper training, you can pass the torch to employees and develop effective leaders within the company. And if you are not at that level yet, virtual assistance is inexpensive and effective.
9. Inventory the day to day operations of your business. Evaluate what is working, what could work with some small changes, and what no longer serves you and make the changes and adjustments .
10. To thy own self be true. You know what it is that makes you tick. At least, take the time to start thinking about it. Be the person you want to be or aspire to be. Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are or what hat you should be wearing.
The runway is yours…choose your hats!
Your turn, tell me what you think. Ask me a question and I will be happy to answer it for you. Let’s keep the conversation going, Your Friend, Coach Rose.