I was talking to one of my business-owning peeps the other day, when she mentioned that she feels like her business work is never done. That’s because it isn’t.
Just like laundry, just like working out, just like eating meals each day…just like life…
There’s always more work to do, more meals to create, and more stuff to take care of — but that doesn’t mean you spend every waking moment trying to “get done.”
If you feel overwhelmed by your business, like the work is never done, it’s time to start scheduling your days.
(I mean really scheduling, not putting vague things in your calendar and then ignoring them.)
Scheduling and prioritizing go hand in hand.
If I woke up every morning and had to start from scratch — figuring out what my biggest priority for the day would be — I would waste an hour making lists each morning. Instead, I add stuff to my calendar as needed throughout out the week, giving myself a full work day every day.
For example. If I’m asked to write a guest post for a blog or magazine, I note the due date and schedule writing time for the article one week beforehand. Instead of being on my to-do list, making me feel uncomfortable and never getting prioritized, it’s on my calendar. I don’t worry about it until it pops up one day.
Same goes for mentoring calls, event planning, writing blog posts, writing books, product launches…you name it. It’s scheduled way before it happens, so my morning fog makes no difference to my priorities. When I wake up, I know what needs to happen.
The more structured your days, the more productive you’ll be.
This is especially important if your time is limited — I’m looking at you, work-from-home moms! If you can schedule your time away from the kiddos to be filled with your priorities, you’ll never again have to succumb to that sinking, spinning your wheels overwhelmed feeling. (Related: how to stop an idea tornado.)
The more productive you are on any given work day, the less “never done” syndrome you’ll suffer from. You’ve accomplished your objectives for the day — just as you fed yourself for another freaking day, right? — and you can worry about what isn’t finished tomorrow.
Prioritization and scheduling also allow you to be a total slacker.
Say what? When you know you need to accomplish a, b, and c, you can quit working when a, b, and c are done. No hanging around on Facebook feeling guilty because you’re done working but all your friends have 9 to 5’s. No vague feelings of “being productive” without any to-do’s to check off.
You’ve taken the time to know exactly what needs to happen, and you’ve made it happen. Whether you’ve got a free half day or a free fifteen minutes, enjoy it. Make “never done” syndrome a thing of the past!
Write down the things that need to happen today, this week, and this month on a piece of paper you’ve got lying around. Schedule each and every one of ’em, then pat yourself on the back. “Never done” syndrome is a thing of the past.
P.S. If you want to make a personal or world-changing project happen — like bringing that photo book to life, getting that meeting with the Dalai Lama, apprenticing with the world’s top artist, or donating your time to a nonprofit abroad — these scheduling skills will come in handy. So will Change the World, Dammit.