Are you overwhelmed with being “busy?”
In 2011 when I began my new company, I was a few months along when I realized that I was working all the time; I didn’t even know what day it was half the time because I was working 7 days a week for months straight. Even though I made progress, without any set organization strategies, I felt what I was accomplishing was underwhelming. I felt overwhelmed by new things that I was developing. Business meetings took big chunks of time and the little things like a website change could take me hours instead of minutes (due to unexpected technical complications). Of course, this is all part of being a new business owner; however, I found that I was inundated with new responsibilities.
Was this the freedom I imagined that I would have as an entrepreneur?
Make more by working less
From what I had been told and heard, I assumed I needed to work constantly in order to be a successful entrepreneur. After all, if anyone asked me how things were going, I was able to respond “busy” as though it was a rite of passage for being an entrepreneur. However, I was simply doing the things on my to-do list rather than making true progress; I had no true set of organization strategies in place. As I pondered if this was truly what I imagined my life would be like as an entrepreneur, I read a quote by Dan Sullivan from Strategic Coach. He said, “Make more by working less.” This 5-word statement put the proverbial brakes on my old way of thinking (insert the sound of screeching tires here).
“Make more by working less.” This simple statement resonated with me — you make more money, progress, or impact by working less at the day-to-day trivial details and the forced progress of marking items off of your to-do list. Instead of thinking, “I’m just going to force this to happen,” or spending much of your time in unfulfilling work, you can be more productive by working less.
Do you need to get away from being inundated with to-do lists, being overwhelmed by work and being unsure which project(s) to work on next? Do you feel the need to have accomplished them all yesterday? How can you quickly and simply organize your work day? Without having defined organization strategies, I was simply not working as efficiently as I could be.
One evening, I looked at the 100 million different things I was working on and thought, “I need to simplify this.” (Of course, I am exaggerating just a little, but at times, it sure can feel like that many things.) I have so many things to do and I seem to be running in all different directions with no efficient method to accomplish any of them. At the time, I was reading a CNN article about Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and CEO of Square, so I applied some of his principles with some strategies from Tony Robbins’ Time of Your Life program, Dean Jackson’s concept of the 50-minute focus finder, along with Dan Sullivan’s time system concept to develop my daily Dashboard method.
The Dashboard is a habit creation tool that offers clarity. As one of several effective organization strategies worth implementing, you structure large tasks into daily steps. It helps you take your objectives and turn them into quarterly goals, monthly themes, weekly focus, and daily action. It is not a customer relationship management (CRM) tool — it is a one sheet document designed for you to write things down and scratch things off. It helps you have a framework for what you are doing and why you are doing it.
Start with Category Days and build from there. Identify specific days and times you will commit to completing tasks (e.g., on Monday, you will focus your efforts on Marketing). List the main items you will need to focus on for daily action. Categorize into 5 tasks (e.g., Writing, Meetings, Development, etc.).
Here is a video that describes how to start using the Dashboard. The first 20 minutes I walk through how it’s set up. To learn to set up boundaries and your category days, skip right to 9:50 in the video.
Organize Your Work Day with Organizational Strategies that Work
Next, visit my website to download the daily Dashboard tool. It will help you add your answers from the questions asked into a process that helps you focus on to accomplish your goals.
With the tool’s simple boxes, it is profound in how easily your project comes together. You work in a concise way to gauge your business and your progress. It assists you in creating a habit that will help you work less and make more progress on what is truly important, thus accomplishing more.
Get started now!
Download the daily dashboard habit creation tool and turn your quarterly goals into monthly themes, weekly focus and daily action.
I encourage you to enjoy life daily.