The other day during a presentation on goal setting and time management to 20 plus women business owners, one woman sat quietly at the end of the table. She was taking notes so I knew she was engaged. More importantly her silence spoke volumes to me.
I then asked a question that I hoped would provoke her to speak up: “How many hours a day do you work?”
Though every one of the women reacted with an awkward giggle; the quiet woman let out a gasp that sounded as if she had it pented up inside of her for years. That gave me the opening to ask her directly a question or two?
• How many hours are you working? “It feels like 24 hours a day.”
• What is causing you do that? “I have pages and pages of To Do’s to get done”
• How many of those To Do’s have you prioritized to be critical must do’s...and how many nice to do? - No response
That is typical for most of the business owners that I meet on a daily basis.
If they happen to actually set goals or even lay out a To Do list they are definitely one huge step in front of most. I find that about 1% of business owners (male or female) set goals, lay them out on paper, and defines what needs to be done to achieve those goals.
Less than 1% actually prioritize those To Do’s so they can focus on ONLY those things that are critical to their goal.
In this group of women a number of them have lists of things to do - personal and business. But like most women, where they get overwhelmed is trying to do all of it with the same degree of urgency, priority, and must do. I am here to tell you, “You CANNOT have more than 1 top To Do!”...Agree?
If you truly believe that then your list of To Do’s have things on the list that are Critical, Must Do, Nice to Do, Not Needed and therefore that is how you need to chop up that long list.
Tip 1 - Indicate on your list what the Critical items are that you have to do in order to accomplish your goals.
Tip 2 - To minimize being overwhelmed, ONLY focus on executing on those Critical items...do not even work forward to the Must Do’s
Tip 3 - Now, of those Critical items, you have to even prioritize 1,2,3 those items
Tip 4 - Focus single mindedly on ONLY #1 until it is 100% complete. Only then focus on #2 then #3.
Tip 5 - Try this for 1 week and assess your level of confidence, energy, motivation and focus...it will be GREAT
Tip 6 - Now move on to Week 2...assess...Week 3...assess
Tip 7 - Accept that you will NOT stay on course every day. Assess, re-prioritize, re-focus and continue moving forward...
Keep going! Like a lot of new skills or habits, you need to be patient and keep working on mastering it. Do not give up!