Are you stuck just maintaining the status quo as a small business owner? Does everything rest on your shoulders? From what I’ve heard from my husband and several friends who are small business owners, the day-to-day details of running a business can be overwhelming. When your mental “To-Do” list is so long that you can’t keep track of it anymore, you need some help making progress.
As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my head trying to come up with the right way to tell a story. Sometimes I get it just right, other times I’m paralyzed. Through the years, I’ve read several tips on how to get your mind in gear and start taking action. Here are some tips that have worked for me:
- Just Start – Sometimes I start writing in the middle of a sentence or an idea. Really. By starting somewhere and getting a flow going, I’m able to kick-start my brain and get some of what I want on paper. For small business owners, the same holds true. You can’t get everything done, so just pick a task or project and start somewhere.
- Make a to-do list – You know that list running through your head? Write it down. Type it in your computer. Record it on a voice recorder. Get those items out of your head and into a place where you can refer back to it. And don’t limit it to business. If you’re constantly reminding yourself that you need to clean out the garage, get it out of your head and into a format you will refer to again.
- Make small, achievable goals – Whatever the task is, you can break it down into little pieces and work on one part a little each day until it’s completed. One of my favorite tips is to set a timer for 15 minutes and just work till the alarm goes off. You’d be amazed at what can be accomplished in that small amount of time, and you can walk away with having made progress to your larger goal and feeling good. Tip: turn off your phone and email during those 15 minutes so you can actually concentrate.
- Take a break – It’s okay to spend some time on non-business-related web sites and take a break. Get inspired by something outside of your day-to-day stuff. But don’t spend too much time there—the point is to get your brain moving, not to slack the day away.
- Eat the frog – I love this tip, which comes from a quote from Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” In other words, tackle your hardest project first. The rest of the day will seem easier if you start by making progress.
What tips do you use to get out of a rut or to stop procrastinating?