The meeting is called and we file in expecting the same thing — lots of great ideas (at best) tossed around on how to improve our business. Everyone nods and agrees. Maybe even a few notes are taken. Then the meeting is dismissed. On a good day we walk away with a bit of energy about a new concept or thought. Then we eat lunch, check our emails, make a call or two, and get back to the grind. The next day we find ourselves back at work attending to the minutia of our various projects and somehow lose the energy we had on what was such a great idea the day before. What happened? What is it about our human nature that causes us to miss opportunities to do the work we are cut out to do?
What we need to do isn't always what we want to do.
It's like playing that game: Would You Rather? Would you rather make that phone call to discuss an issue with an invoice, or would you rather check your email (or, let's be honest, Facebook), one more time? Would you rather spend a few hours working through long-range planning, or would you rather go get that much-needed cup of coffee and catch up with a few folks down the hall? Would you rather spend time writing a blog post to keep your clients up-to-date on the latest news from your company, or would you rather clear off your computer desktop (each have their value by the way)? Far too often I'm guilty of choosing the path of least resistance — at least until I wake up and realize that I really should be doing something more productive. So what's next?
"If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." ~ Benjamin Franklin
The above statement is quite possibly one of the most cliché — especially when it relates to planning, organizing, visioning, etc. However, there is such great truth in it! Upon doing a quick web search for how to beat procrastination or how to get things done, some of the most repeated responses were: make a list, get organized, make a plan, and create a process. For anyone plagued by the procrastination-bug, the most natural response to creating such a plan is to stamp your foot, roll your eyes, and huff, "I don't want to!" (See "What we need to do isn't always what we want to do." above.) This is probably one of the most time- and energy-consuming exercises you can take on, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. Once you have a plan, then you have a road map to your destination. So now it's just a matter of having the rubber meet the road.
Follow the plan
Duh! It's important that with whatever plan you set forth, you also create action-items and set deadlines. Action-items and deadlines should serve as motivators and not become points of worry, so be sure they're goal-oriented and realistic. Now, close the door and put on some music (or move to a different space entirely), take a few deep breaths, and then get started. You'll likely find out that once you start with the first step, each step that follows is a bit easier! "But," you might ask, "what about those tasks that take so long or are so hard to do?"
Get some help.
Most of the clients I work with do excellent work. They operate cleaning service companies that leave professional buildings spotless. They create beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry. They help people find life-balance in the midst of crises. The list goes on. They get paid to do the work that no one else can do like they do. They specialize in filling needs. The struggles that most small- to medium-size business owners have: managing the books, writing a newsletter article, analyzing market data, etc. are services that can be farmed out. If you have a task that continually gets in your way and prevents you from doing the good work you are cut out to do, then get some help. Contact Kudzu Studio today for your communication needs, and get back to what you do best!
So, what's your story?
What distracts you? What keeps you from getting things done? How do you overcome? What steps do you take to become productive? Let's hear from you in the comments section below!