New Business Advice: 7 Ways to Totally Kill It at Completing Your To-Do Lists

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to-doEverybody knows that person who in spite of having the same number of hours in the day as the rest of us, seems to always get everything done in an unusually short amount of time. It doesn’t matter if they’re running a business or are a stay-at-home mom, that person just seems to know how to make things happen. You can call that type of person successful, ambitious or driven it doesn’t matter because they’re productive in a massive way.

If you’ve just started a new business, it’s so important that you complete all the many tasks you face each day, week and month. If you start off on the wrong foot by procrastinating and putting off important tasks, you’re going to run into problems and maybe some big ones that will hamper your success and possibly forever. Sure, there are going to be times when you face some big pitfalls and roadblocks wherein you’ll just want to give up. However, by sticking to it and working hard, you will get through these rough patches as no business owner is immune to trouble along the way. Here are seven ways any new business owner can go about completing their to-do lists that will help them become much more productive.

Structure Your Week

If you don’t know what it is you’ll be doing each week because you don’t have any structure, you’ll be lucky to get anything done. This is why it’s a good idea to structure your week wherein you write out a schedule or to-do list of those tasks you must complete. As a business owner, you have so much to do regularly like attend meetings, accounting, marketing, payroll, hiring staff and dealing with vendors & customers. By creating a structural routine you adhere to each week, you’ll get more done in a shorter amount of time. An easy way to structure your week is to use a calendar program and enter all your appointments and recurring tasks into to. This should be done Sunday night or Monday morning.  B honest with yourself when entering tasks into your calendar. Nobody knows your situation better than you so come up with a manageable task list according to your energy levels.

Get Each Day Off to a Great Start

Highly ambitious and successful people typically start their day off by doing something they enjoy. This is why you should make the first task you tackle each day something you love to do or something that makes you feel positive and happy. This will give you the momentum you need to move on to your next task which should be one you hate doing as getting an undesirable task out of the way early will help you avoid burn-out. Of course, things will pop up to throw you off course, but consider the importance of these tiny emergencies to see if they really do need attending to right away or if they can wait.

Unhook, Disconnect and Concentrate

A secret of many successful entrepreneurs is that they completely shut down, unhook and disconnect for a couple of hours each day. This involves turning off email notifications, shutting off mobile devices and not answering phone calls so you can complete your most important daily tasks without interruption. By just giving this method a try for a week, you will certainly see a difference in how effectively and quickly you can get things done. In the beginning, choose a two hour period during the day like from 10am to noon or 2pm to 4pm wherein you disconnect from the outside world so you can get your important work done. You’ll discover that you won’t have many reasons to procrastinate and that you’re much more able to concentrate well.

productivity

Work With the Right Tools

There are tons of productivity tools out there designed to help busy professionals stay on track. If your idea of good working tools are a ballpoint pen and pad of paper, it’s time for you to expand your mindset because you won’t be successful in getting your work done if you don’t make use of some helpful tools. Some tools to consider looking at are Sanebox, Asana, Google Docs and Mailchimp. Without question, productivity is the name of the game for business owners and thankfully there are many amazing productivity software applications and tools out there designed to make life easier. When choosing tools to use, consider what tasks you regularly undertake each week and then search the web accordingly for an appropriate tool designed specifically to make that job easier.

Ask For Help

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a helping hand now and then. In fact, asking for help is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track. If you find you need help on a daily or weekly basis, by all means consider hiring a personal assistant. For those times when you simply don’t know what to do or where to turn (and you’ll have many of these moments) instead of putting the task off, find someone who will help you with the problem you’re having right away.

Delegate More

It’s so important that you find the right people to be on your team that fit the jobs you need completed. Once you’ve found these people, trust them to execute even if you feel you’re better at a particular task. Even if you could do something better, your business won’t grow if you’re spending most of your time doing work other people can easily handle. For instance, even if you think you are quite good at balancing the books each week, give that job to someone else as you surely can find some better ways to spend those couple of hours each week. Nobody can be a big success in the business world by trying to do it all so delegate more and put your trust in the people you’ve hired.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

If you’re the type of person who self-criticizes when you don’t complete a task on time or when making a mistake, stop that! We are often our harshest critics. This type of thinking does you no good as it only leads to more mindset-related roadblocks to your success. When you judge yourself harshly you are also setting yourself up for some low self-esteem and a lack of overall confidence. Do you know any successful business owners who are self-loathing and whom have little to no confidence in themselves?  No, you don’t because successful business people are not hard on themselves for good reason. Remember that you’re a human and humans aren’t perfect so give yourself a break and stop being so self-critical.