Completing tasks in your Business
May 19, 2021
Let’s talk about the nitty-gritty, the hard stuff about running a business. You have the business of your dreams, but it is not all flowers and roses like you imagined. I am going to be very honest running your own business is not always fun. I love my business and I get to work with clients who I actually like. There is no cap on how far I can go. If I dream it I really can make it happen in my business. I love so many aspects of having my own business, but whew does it get overwhelming at times.
It’s inevitable. As a small business owner, you will wear many, many hats.
I am the marketing manager, bookkeeper, content developer, business coach, website designer/developer and the list goes on.
While task juggling is to be expected, you have to be aware that not all of your responsibilities are created equal. Marketing outweighs bookkeeping, for example, because without marketing, there will be no cash to manage.
Not only that, but you have to consider how much time you’re spending in each area as well. If you spend all day tweaking the design on your website and put off sending an email to your list, what have you gained?
Sure, you might have a prettier website, but you lost an opportunity to drive traffic to your offer.
In an ideal world, you’d simply put on your CEO hat and delegate the rest, but here in the real world, we don’t always have that option. Instead, we have to work smarter and take care of how we’re spending our time.
Prioritize Your Daily Tasks
We all have different skills and sweet spots when it comes to the tasks we want and need to do. You might love customer support and hate bookkeeping, while someone else enjoys the numbers game and doesn’t like dealing with the help desk. But regardless of your personal preferences, one thing is certain: money-making tasks should be at the very top of your to-do list.
That might mean content creation, email marketing, client outreach, course creation, or something entirely different. Identify those money-making tasks in your business and be sure to prioritize them every single day.
Know the Difference Between Important and Urgent
The truth is you must know how to prioritize and when needed, delegate! You can only complete so much in one day, so we must work smarter in order to maximize our daily efforts. I personally use a project management tool (I use Asana) along with a handwritten daily planner. I have attempted to only use a digital calendar, but I personally like to write out my tasks.
I like to begin with brainstorming all of the tasks that I need to accomplish and then I rank them based on their importance. Are there any urgent tasks that need to be accomplished? Usually, tasks that fall under urgency for me are client projects. Are they all queued up and pins designed? Have I created their next email in enough time to QC (quality control/review) it and send it to the client to allow them to review it before it needs to be scheduled out? These items must be handled first. My consistency and having deliverables completed on time are urgent matters as this is how I make money.
Next, what else is important that needs to be handled? This is going to be my own marketing efforts for my business. Are my emails ready for my subscription list? Have I created my own pins? How are my cross-platform marketing efforts going? These tasks may not always be urgent, but they are important. Once again this is how I make money. Marketing my own company and brand is as important as my marketing efforts for my clients.
Then are things that I just need to get done that keep my company running. They are not urgent and less important, but they must be done. This is usually a task such as my bookkeeping or website updates.
I personally like to break big tasks down into smaller tasks and if possible spread the completion out over the course of a few days. So when it comes to a task such as content creation. I like to plan and write the ideas of what I will create. I may even begin writing out my content. Then later I will design, review, and then publish. I typically do not like to complete all the steps at one time, I must have a break in between writing my content and the reviewing process.
I usually break until at least the following day. This allows me to review my content with “fresh eyes”. Correcting mistakes or even re-writing a small part to convey my message clearer. This also is why I like to break tasks down into multiple steps. It also helps me in avoiding becoming overwhelmed; I complete a few steps and move on to a different item on my to-do list.
In his classic book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey recommends prioritizing tasks based on a time-management grid. Every task is assigned to a quadrant of the grid, based on whether it is urgent, important, both, or neither.
Once you know where a task falls on the grid, you’ll immediately know what you should be working on. For example, marketing and planning are important but not urgent. A ringing phone is urgent, but not important. The sales page for your new program, which is launching tomorrow, is both urgent AND important.
So before you prioritize your daily to-do list, think about where each of your tasks falls in the quadrant, and schedule them accordingly.
Will you always be working on the best task for right now? Probably not. Nor will you always use your time as wisely as you could. But by making a conscious effort to organize and prioritize your days, you’ll find it’s a lot less stressful and overwhelming to manage your small business.
Lastly, make sure to have actual business hours and stick with them. It required that I become more disciplined in my time management efforts, but it helps keep me from being overworked and burned out. Sometimes as new business owners especially, we want to work extremely hard for an insane amount of time, but the truth is that doesn’t work well, not for long anyhow. Work during your set business hours only. Pick a number of tasks that you will actually be able to complete in a day and get those things done. I would suggest 2-3 tasks a day. We want to be as productive as possible and when our daily to-do list has 30 things that need to be done it is almost impossible to complete all of those things and well if you do, do you even have time to live? Enjoy your family?
Focus on being more efficient and don’t overwhelm yourself. Because the truth is you may begin to resent your business and also I notice personally when I am overwhelmed with completing an insurmountable amount of work each day that’s when imposter syndrome seems to sneak in most! Don’t let that happen and always remember your “Why” for even wanting to have this awesome business in the first place!
And if you do all of the above and are still struggling to manage to get your to-do list completed then it may be time to outsource! Hire a virtual assistant to help you organize and complete specific tasks that you may not enjoy in order for you to focus on the things that made you start your business in the first place. Ready to get started with outsourcing your weekly email newsletters to your neglected subscribers? You can book here. Or are you ready to see the power of Pinterest and how it can maximize your marketing efforts and drive traffic to your website and sell your products? You can get started here!
Don’t be afraid to outsource your tasks. What you don’t enjoy completing someone else does which will allow you more time to do what you love!