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Posts Tagged ‘prioritise’

Your holiday is over and you’ve got to go back to work. You resist, don’t want to.  If  your work place is your home office, you wonder if anyone would notice if you didn’t do much for a day or so?

Of course, you could try to catch up once you feel a little more inspired. That’s exactly how I often feel after a holiday. You are so relaxed and chilled out and want the feeling to go on forever.

Even when  you have an important deadline coming up and a high workload to go with it, you figure that your work will make you the opposite of relaxed and chilled out. And perhaps you don’t really want to go there.

That happened to me too once. And then, two days later, not only had I tackled a long to-do list, including a whole long list of emails and a great number of calls, I had caught up with my social networking sites and made some important decisions in between.

After resisting on day 1, I ended up at my desk for 12 hours (not non-stop I hasten to add), enjoying my work against all the odds! I was totally focused too, got so much done and each accomplished task felt really good.

Here are a few tips you may wish to try if you feel reluctant about starting your work.

  • Make sure you write a task or to do list, and prioritise the items on it. It’s no good having jobs, projects or tasks in your head, where they can often cause more anxiety than necessary.
  • Use the timer trick to get you started. Plan to do 5 or 10 minutes on a particular task and before long, you’ll notice you don’t mind carrying on.
  • If you don’t want to use a timer, having a visible clock in your office may be OK. The best ones are the ones with an audible tick- they remind you that time doesn’t stand still.
  • After working for a couple of hours, make sure you have a break. Have a hot drink, stretch your legs, open a window, read a paper. 10-15 minutes should be fine.
  • Getting back into work mode after a break can be hard, so I do something that I enjoy – reading and updating one of my social media sites for 10-15 minutes (keeping an eye on the clock). This also makes me feel connected to the outside world. If you don’t do social networking, then why not make a call to a colleague instead?  Always keep an eye on the clock though.
  • Never ever be tempted to multitask thinking you’ll be quicker! Don’t have social media sites open in the background in order to go back to them from time to time. Single tasking is key to higher productivity – cutting out interruptions gives you higher levels of concentration. Task switching can not only be hard on the brain but will lose you time as your brain takes time to adapt to the different tasks.
  • Getting a difficult job out of the way first, will feel liberating and your work will flow much easier afterwards. Again you can use the timer method to get into the task.
  • At the end of the day, update your prioritised list for the following day, as it will help you to switch off!

What else has worked for you that you could share with our readers?

Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business & blogging coach. She helps busy passionate solopreneurs build a thriving small venture by being more visible and focused on what matters to them. Sign up for her free ‘Passion to Profit’ ebook at http://www.successnetwork.org.uk

(PS the above post was first published in 2010)

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In business everyone knows that to succeed, taking action is a must. I am talking about major and minor actions, carried out constantly and consistently. Action should always be driven by your desire to make a success of your small venture.

However, to be fair, there may be times when things are not quite going to plan. You sit in front of your computer, really wanting to take action, but you seem to lack focus. Something seems to be holding you back.

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Feeling stuck? Not sure what to do next?

Perhaps your potential action list is too long?

Or your long ‘list’ is only in your head?

Resist the temptation of taking the wrong actions

An important cause of inaction can be feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start.

Also, attempting to tackle too many actions in one go can be counter-productive too. Not being able to complete your tasks can make some people feel they are always failing which may then lead to procrastination.

If you’re feeling slightly unclear about your next step whilst taking action, then this action could be the wrong kind. This is something I think of as ‘panic action’, which can make you feel busy (albeit only temporarily). In reality, ‘panic action’ often contributes to confusion or overwhelm.

One sure thing is that the way to getting results is not by rushing into action, nor is it by sitting at your desk telling yourself you ‘should’ be doing something, which is also counter-productive.

The best way to plan your actions

To get all the actions right in business, it helps to de-clutter your thinking first.

Unless you clarify and prioritise the actions that are REALLY  important, you will be straight back into doing what you’ve always done and unable to break the ‘panic action/ inaction cycle’.

Instead why not ask yourself what you need to ‘do’ now, today, that will make a difference to your business?

The power of a daily ‘mantra’

Set a clear intent every day to focus on the actions that will positively impact your business. This is like having a daily mantra.

Start small, with just one action to focus on every day. Say to yourself…”Today, I write/create/reply to/ attend (etc)… and I will do this to the best of my ability”

The good thing is that you won’t just start taking one right action today, you will become more focused and proactive … every day!

Ute2013-150x150About the author:

Ute Wieczorek-King is a UK-based German mentor and blogger who helps passionate midlife women to stay focused, work smarter and stand out from the crowd.

If you’d like to take your small venture from good to great, why not download Ute’s free “Passion to Profit” ebook.

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If you’re a solopreneur, working on your own, it’s sometimes tough to keep up.

But – you actually do have advantages over large companies. With today’s technology, it’s easy to respond quickly to people who try to connect with you. It’s easy to share your knowledge and publicise your expertise – for example, work within a niche. It’s easy to get out and about, both off and online, to promote your company. It’s easy to make quick decisions or react to problems, and seize amazing opportunities.

This means you shouldn’t neglect the common courtesies that make up business. Respond as quickly as you can to emails and telephone calls.

Prioritise your work so that nobody is neglected or large contracts fail to finish on time. Always be polite to your clients, even if they are rude and obnoxious – and remember you can easily ‘sack’ any that you really can’t work with!

At the end of the day, with the amount of flexibility you have, and without the millstones of bureaucracy hanging on your shoulders, working for yourself should be enjoyable. If you can’t accomplish a particular problem, you can always outsource it to an expert, while you spend the time earning more money doing what you know best. Don’t waste your time doing things half as well, when they could get done by someone else in half the time.

So the outcome of this post is: be courteous, prompt, responsive, friendly, helpful, explain things well and manage your priorities.

And don’t forget what the most important element of your business is: your customers!

–o0o–

Alice ElliottAbout the author: Alice Elliott is a Digital Marketer whose award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog provides jargon-free and highly visual WordPress training for beginner and post-beginner bloggers.  Alice is well known for her ability to “explain things really simply”, relating her teaching to each learner according to their lifestyle and ability.

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Snowdrops copyright 2014 Ute Wieczorek-King

Snowdrops copyright 2014 Ute Wieczorek-King

How time flies! It’s spring already and Easter is just a few days away now. Spring is a time of renewal in nature and for some of us this can be a good time to renew our resolve, especially if our January goals have fallen by the wayside.

Goals are sometimes discarded when too many other things are demanding our attention.

If you are too busy with one thing and another, it will be all too easy to get caught up in thinking “I’m just too busy to stop and think”.

This is not uncommon amongst micro-business owners, especially if you have a family too. There is so much to juggle and before people know it, the business runs its owner rather than the other way round. Not managing never ending distractions can ‘clutter’ our thinking, and results in firefighting when trying to deal with urgencies and crises.

What’s the solution?

The solution to this kind of ‘busy-ness’ is actually quite easy, but the irony is that it involves setting aside some time to think about the business!

If you are not 100% happy with your progress right now, it may help to reconnect with the goals you set yourself earlier in the year. This is a good time to check your plan and that it outlines realistic and achievable milestones for every area of the business. We don’t always get these right first time — sometimes it is necessary to assess and rewrite previous goals, to make sure that all business activities are in line with your current reality and moving the business in the right direction.

All this may sound a bit too fussy to busy people. However the paradox is that it’s this very process that helps people strip away the virtual clutter from the “I’m too busy to plan” kind of thinking, and enables them to prioritise.

How about looking at it this way: Airline pilots have a flight plan for every single trip. For example, when shortcuts between point A and B are available, the flight plan helps to make sure the flight is not only safe but fuel efficient. This planning can save the airline a lot of money.

When it comes to your destination, having a plan can also save you money in the long run! It will give you a navigation system that takes you not only in the right direction, but helps you manage the ups and downs efficiently along the way.

Why you should always keep it simple!

The key to creating a plan that you want to refer to again and again, a plan that helps you monitor your progress and stay in control, is to use a “Simple & SMART” approach.  Why not make this your key success habit from now on?

Think simple… keep it short… take small steps!

And using the SMART acronym, make your goals specific, measurable, achievable ( I prefer attractive!) as well as timebound!

May I ask what you do to help you stay on track with your goals? Why not share a tip or two with other readers here?

 

About the author: UteUte2013-150x150 Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who specialises in helping busy women be more focused, visible and profitable in business. Ute’s new Summer Mentoring Circles start on 1 May and now include a “Motivating Monday Focus Group”.

Find out more at Success Network where you can also sign up for the latest news, tips and not just one but two free ebooks! 

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