Working from home? Running a bajillion projects? Kids on the scene too? Other relatives to care for? Or even a particularly needy cat?
Okay, so here’s a rule of thumb that you may well need in your life:
“Nice to do, Need to do”.
In medicine it’s called Triage.
When there are multiple situations going on at once, what takes priority? What has an immediate requirement – like will the person in front of you bleed out, or lose a limb if they have to wait, or die – that’s definitely top priority. So you treat in order of life threatening importance.
Now, hopefully, running a business isn’t a life or death, life altering situation for you. But when there’s a ton of stuff to get done and there’s only a limited amount of resources to apply, then you need to follow a handy dandy triage process of your own. I talk about this in my new workbook Degunked & Aligned – you can download it for free, right here and now.
The question to ask yourself is this:
“For my life to move forwards with ease, and for my business/project to move forwards with success, what needs to happen, given the resources I have to hand right now?”
The things you NEED to do, versus the things it would be NICE to do.
The part about resources is important. Having or not having time, money, support can make all the difference in how you progress. But no matter how much of a resource you have, if you’re squandering it then you’re leaking all over the floor and making things trickier than they need to be.
Let’s break it down. If you only have a limited amount of time to build your business, then you need to think about what you want to achieve with those minutes. What’s going to have the biggest impact? What’s going to move you forward? Is it making calls to potential clients? Is it writing an engaging newsletter, or blog post or social media content? It’s not just about the time you spend working on your business or project, but the time you spend promoting it too. It may be nice to spend time meeting potential clients for coffee but if you’re time poor, you’ve got to make sure you get the necessary done too.
What about money? If you have a limited pot of cash, then your Need to do’s will be focussing on bring money in the door. There’s no point paying for expensive facebook ads, if you haven’t got a following big enough to make them work – they’re nice to have, but at this point, work on building up your clients through word of mouth and networking.
So there you have it, what are the things you are spending time and resources on, that are fun and lovely, but not really shifting things along. And where could you be putting your focus to make a big change?
One of the biggest stumbling blocks is knowing which is nice and which is needed but not knowing how to go about getting it done.
There’s a brilliant (If I do say so myself) worksheet in the Degunked & Aligned which helps you plan out your week. You brain dump all your jobs and work out which are the most important, the ones your business or project needs you to do, and which you can return to at a later point. Sometimes you find a whole handful of tasks that you can tick off in the evening or at the weekend, when it’s nice to do them without being distracted from the immediate tasks.