It was Lucille Ball who said, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” An actress, comedian, model, film and television CEO, wife and mother, America’s iconic funny lady spoke from personal experience. (Her signature I Love Lucy sitcom still pops up on cable marathons 60 years after its debut!) We all know people that seem able to plow through mountains of work without getting frazzled. What’s their secret? How are they able to ride out the avalanche of must-do business tasks that threaten to bury the rest of us?
Productivity experts say establishing daily, weekly, monthly and annual routines to handle the repetitive, mundane tasks associated with any job or business is the key to maximizing productivity (see our previous post). Staying organized and blocking out distractions are two of the biggest hurdles freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs must overcome when they start a business on Zoondy. Failure to deal with these two issues effectively is the primary reason we never make it to the bottom of our prodigious to-do lists. Establishing routines to deal with regular business tasks can solve both problems and free time and energy for more important matters such as growing your business.
While establishing a routine does require time and effort, it is a one-time investment. Once the routine is established, you can go on autopilot and crank through the work. Not only do routines ensure that everything gets done, they allow your brain to focus on creativity and problem-solving.
As noted in our previous post, establishing a routine is a three-step process:
- You need a trigger that prompts you to perform the task. In business, the easiest trigger to use is time. For example, relegate responding to email and writing correspondence to one hour first thing in the morning with 30-minute follow-ups after lunch and at the end of the day. Set up a weekly calendar for tasks such as file management, bookkeeping, sales calls, etc. Note monthly and annual tasks on a master calendar to keep them from falling through the cracks.
More productivity tips next time