I’ve found that most
people have one in one form or another.
And sometimes we
assume that everyone puts together a to-do list the way we do.
I’ve found that
people are generally making one or two mistakes with their to-do lists and
we’re going to talk about that today.
Your to-do list is
on whatever piece of paper or notebook that happened to be near you when you
needed to write somethings down.
A side effect of
this to-do list method is you keep thinking about all the things you have to
do. Your mind is a constant stream of things to do.
This is because your
brain is super smart (really it is) and it knows that you might not find that
piece of paper or notebook when you’re at your desk ready to do that work.
What to do instead
Have ONE place you
write your to-do lists.
You’re not creating
your WHOLE planning and tracking system here, you’re starting with ONE small
tweak that will help you develop a habit that supports your future
You might start with
a smaller notebook that will easily fit in your purse or an app on your phone.
I’d suggest starting
with a notebook and seeing how that goes for a bit.
Your to-do list is
in ONE place, but it’s a list of EVERYTHING that you need to do.
This is actually a
good problem to have because it means that you’re writing things down
(physically or digitally) and you know what needs to be done.
What to do instead
Create a list of only what needs to be completed today or this
week. The other things can be done in the coming weeks.
This allows you to
set your priorities once a week and then you won’t have to decide on a daily or
moment-to-moment basis what your priorities are.
things tie to your goals for the month, but again, it’s about doing one small
tweak so that you start creating the habits that support your future habits and
Now, you might be
wondering why I’m not suggesting that you start with creating a
planning/tracking system right off the bat.
My question for you
is: have you tried jumping right into a planning system or goal tracking system
before? Yes? How did that go?
What I find with my
clients is they have a list of things they’ve tried (and planners in the closet
with maybe a month filled out) and then
something popped up, they got busy, or there was some other disruption.
The new system took a lot of time and effort to keep up with because the habits around it hadn’t developed yet. So, it all fell apart.
Instead, look at the
small steps you can take or one habit you can develop that will make a
difference. When that step is completed or that habit developed, then you can
add something else.
If you want to know
what a couple of small tweaks that will make a big difference for you, reach
out to schedule a complimentary session with me. You can do that by commenting
or filling out the Contact Me form on my website here: http://oneinsightcloser.com/contact-me
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #122
Have you ever had a
period in your business where you didn’t have any goals?
You were just trying
to figure out what worked and what didn’t and you’d set your goals when you had
more information or data.
I know I have and
I’ve seen some of my clients go through it.
It can come from having too many weeks or months of not meeting the goals you set for yourself. So, you’re not feeling a sense of completion and maybe even wondering if you’re cut out for running a business.
Feeling like that or going through those times does NOT mean that you’re not cut out for running a business.
What it does mean is that you might need to tweak a couple of things.
This can be:
Evaluating the things you’re doing and noticing what’s working, what’s not working, and what could be working better
Noticing the things that are on your do-later list that you actually want to be doing now
Noticing the things that you’re not doing because they’re outside your comfort zone
Setting a super doable goal for yourself this month so you can feel that very important and confidence-building sense of completion
Noticing any patterns around where you tend to stop moving forward
Looking at the goals or intentions that you’re not meeting and asking what information, skills, or connections do you need to more easily meet that goal
When you’re feeling
frustrated, overwhelmed, or like things just aren’t working out for you give
yourself some grace. Acknowledge what you’re feeling and get curious about what
might be going on.
Having someone else to talk to through this can be super helpful.
If this is something that’s happening for you right now, reach out & let’s talk. The easiest way to do that is to leave a comment or fill out the Contact Me form here http://oneinsightcloser.com/contact-me
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #121
Someone recently asked me how I prioritize the importance of doing in contract to strategizing (or planning).
She said that she
finds DOING is 10x’s better than having a perfect strategy.
But it can be a
whole bunch of work in the wrong direction, which isn’t great either.
So what do you do?
I want to start by saying that there is no perfect strategy.
In our desire to have the impact and results that we want we can get caught up in doing things the “right” way.
And a lot of us can
get so caught up in creating and executing that perfect strategy that we keep
putting off the thing we’re actually trying to accomplish.
We plan and plan and
plan and plan.
When we start the work, we want it to be done so very well, that the end date keeps getting pushed back and we don’t end up with the results or the impact that we wanted.
Basically, you can
end up procrastinating something important through a desire to do it perfectly.
You might forget that it’s important to make progress, and not wait for perfection.
It’s a whole lot better to get something out there that’s imperfect, unfinished, or unnamed (as the case may be) than to wait for things to be *just* right or perfect.
And you also need to
balance that with planning.
You don’t want the
only thing you’re consistent about to be that you’re throwing undercooked
spaghetti at the wall and wondering why NOTHING ever sticks.
Meaning, if you do
that once, fine. Learn from it and maybe cook the spaghetti a bit more next
In other words, do it badly first, then look at what worked and what didn’t.
You have a start.
No one else is going
to think you did it badly because they didn’t go into with the HUGE
expectations that you did, they’re ONLY seeing what happened.
Let’s take it into more personal terms.
A week from today
I’m hosting a 1/2 day workshop.
It’s the first time
I’ve hosted a workshop in over 3 years and the content is completely different.
But it is material
I’ve taught before, so I don’t have to completely write new content.
When I started planning it I thought I should host it in a hotel, have tables with white table cloths that hit the floor, have a microphone, maybe be recorded, and have the perfect powerpoint presentation (or slide deck).
And I thought that
before I started marketing it I should have all the marketing planned out, the
fliers created, the social media posts and images created, all emails written,
and a list of everyone that I wanted to call and personally invite written.
And that FREAKED me
out. Because it meant I needed about 2 1/2 months of lead time and for the
timing with some other things I wanted to happen to work I needed the workshop
to happen in about 6 weeks.
So, I reset my
What absolutely needed to be done now so that I could start sharing this workshop 3-4 weeks out from it happening?
What could I work on
and figure out during that 3-4 weeks before the event?
expectations can I let go of this time around to have more time for some other
more important things?
It was more important for me to get it out there for the first time and have some experience with it than to try to get everything perfect the first time.
Sometimes it’s about
doing enough planning so you can start moving in the right direction.
Again, it’s about making progress and not waiting for perfection.
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #120
Is there a quote
that most everyone finds super uplifting
or motivational, but it just does NOT do that for you? It might even annoy the
heck out of you.
I’d love it if you
left me a comment with the quote and why it bugs you.
“We all have
the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?”
Or sometimes it’s written as: You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein/Mother Teresa/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/etc.
get that I’m supposed to hear that and
think something like “YES! I can do anything I put my mind too!”
transported back in time.
Back to when I was
about a year in my business and heard this for the very first time.
I was overwhelmed,
frustrated, and tired. My business was making negative money while I was doing
A LOT of work.
I heard this quote
and wanted to cry or scream.
All those other people had created success with their 24 hours, but I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, saw NO path out, and deeply felt whatever the opposite of success is.
I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured something fundamental out that they seemed to know and I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “successful people.”
And boy, oh boy, I
judged myself harshly under that light.
Here’s the problem:
I didn’t think about all the overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, self-doubt filled
days that those “successful people” had.
I only saw their
But I compared my
worst days to their best.
And I couldn’t help
but feel like someone ahead of me on the path said “catch this great
tidbit of knowledge that I’m tossing to you” and I looked up just in time
for a brick to hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.
Next time can I have
a hug instead?
What would have been
helpful, had I had the ears to hear it, was a gentle reminder that I was
comparing the messy day-to-day that I felt I was slogging through to the
perfectly lit and cropped picture that someone else was sharing.
Which reminds me of a couple of other quotes:
Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.
Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.
If a motivational quote really bothers you, it’s okay. And it could be an indicator that you’re stressed or overwhelmed, which is valuable knowledge. Once you recognize it, you can do something about it.
If you share a motivational quote and the other person doesn’t hear it the way you do, don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. But do notice it and get curious. You might ask how they interpreted the quote and have a nice discussion about it. And they might leave feeling a bit better!
All this talk about
my frustration with this quote has made me wonder if there’s a quote that
you’ve beaten yourself up with in the past OR if there’s one that transports
you back in time, in a positive or negative way.
I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #119