Being an entrepreneur means that, at least for a while, you have to do it all! Maybe we should say that you GET to do it all – because as much as it can be enormously frustrating to grind your way through the tasks of running a business that you don’t love, or maybe don’t even feel qualified for, the reality is you are the boss of your empire and are doing the heavy work to grow it. You can be proud of that!
But we all have those tasks that we keep putting off or that keep us up at night stressing. Maybe your taxes always get filed late because you hate the basic accounting work. Or maybe getting to the post office to mail off orders is something you constantly avoid. We all wish we could spend more time doing the creative work we are passionate about instead of the essential but uninspiring grind tasks. How do we face the tasks that are energy depleting? How do we steer ourselves away from procrastination so that the tasks we dread don’t turn into mountains of lost time? Here are a few quick tips on getting it all done like the #boss you are!
Chunk Block Tackle
The first tip is called Chunk Block Tackle. Anyone who has found themselves looking at a mountain of invoicing and wants to crawl back into bed instead of facing them will understand the value of this strategy. Here’s how it works:
Chunk – Break up the project into manageable or even bite size pieces. For example if you have 200 new contacts to manually put into your CRM, break them into 20 groups of 10. Or if you’ve got a big proposal to write, identify the sub-headings you will have to work out.
Block – Block off small amounts of time that you can commit to, to get this project done. Ideally you want to block off 15 minute time periods or so. You might not want to do it, and you might be able to justify putting it off if you know it’s a 4 hour project, but anyone can clear 15 extra minutes to get the detested jobs done.
Tackle – Now, you just do it! Bite sized chunks, bite sized time commitments – the job still gets done. The reality is the longer you ignore the projects you don’t want to do, the more your anxiety will increase and even more frustrating, the more you get behind on work that will help your business.
Creating routines is an excellent energy management tool. Think about your morning routine. Chances are you basically do the exact same things in the exact same order without much thought. Imagine the extra work it would be to have a brand new checklist of activities to do to leave the house in the morning. No way! You don’t even have to think about it because your brain goes into auto-pilot while you are simultaneously making coffee, and brushing your teeth, and packing your kids lunches. There is little energy output for tasks that have found their way into this auto-pilot portion of our brain. What in your ever-growing list of tasks to accomplish can you turn into routine parts of life so you don’t have to think about them anymore? Can you drive past the post office every morning or your way to drop the kids at school? Can you clear 15 minutes after dinner every night to respond to any essential emails? Can you walk in the door after a full day and instantly empty your wallet of receipts you need to file? Anything that is a repeat item on your to-do list can probably be routinized to save you from procrastinating.
Anyone who has been building their own business for more than 5 seconds knows it just takes a whole lot of passion and a whole lot of work. And we know we don’t get to spend all our time on the rewarding and fun parts of the job. It may help to be reminded that being pushed out of our comfort zone and learning new skills will actually make us a better business owner in the long run. Education is never a waste – even if the education includes frantically watching YouTube excel spreadsheet tutorials. Own the struggle of that! You are facing challenges head on and growing! Don’t let the tasks you hate become your nemesis, in fact seek them out and re-frame your perspective that you are learning something new for YOUR business so it can thrive!
There is wisdom in knowing when to delegate. There is wisdom in knowing when to seek help and support from a community of people who understand the struggle (like yycgirlgang!). Find the tricks that work for you and be empowered that you are the boss here and you are going to be ever expanding to face the challenges of being a business owner. You’ve got this!
Alison Leontaridis is business coach with Rhapsody Strategies and is particularly passionate about growing social capital and helping creative people grow their businesses. Feel free to contact Alison any time with questions at [email protected]
Cover photo: Annie Spratt via unsplash