Time saving tips for busy business owners.
Part One – Killing The Bitch that is Ms Procrastination.
Time is one of those pesky little buggers that always seems to run away from us when we are busy working on our business. So time saving tips are always welcomed in an attempt to avoid that dreaded ‘never enough hours in the day’ syndrome that plagues busy business owners so much of the time!
Recognising where you ‘lose’ most of your time is mega important.
Do you find yourself wasting too long writing to do lists for to do lists and planning what you are going to do and when you are going to do it rather than getting on and actually doing the tasks in hand?
I know I can sometimes fall foul of that exact trap and it’s a classic case of busy being busy and not actually achieving anything of much importance. So let’s get straight on some of the ways in which you could be ‘losing’ that ever precious commodity of time.
Time saving tip number one – Ms Procrastination.
Get ready for the absolute bitch that is Ms Procrastination because she really knows how to stop you in your tracks!
Ever find yourself putting off really important tasks that you know you should be doing in favour of some really unimportant tasks that you know could really wait but all of a sudden seem to be crucial?
Welcome my friends to the infinite world inhabited by the deadly Ms Procrastination.
You can find a million and one other jobs to be getting on with in avoidance of the real nitty gritty stuff you should be dealing with when in she strides, bold as brass, proudly asserting her unwanted presence. Her demeanour is one of such strength and certainty that you daren’t go against her wishes.
Her Medusa style head appears to contain hundreds of little snake devils, all vying for your undivided attention. Suddenly organising your pens and pencils into colour co-ordinated storage containers seems more pressing than the client phone calls you need to make but secretly hate!
You think you’ve pushed down your dislike of picking up the phone and making those calls, you haven’t told anyone it’s a task you don’t relish, yet before you know it Ms Procrastination is not just raising her head but venomously shaking it at you in a way that you cannot ignore!
A snake like hissing in your ear will alert you to the need to categorise your numerous post it notes and will drown out the soft whispering of your overflowing email account.
We all have those little tasks that we would rather avoid and Ms Procrastination knows just what buttons to press to divert your attention elsewhere!
She is the ultimate Mistress of Time and is undoubtedly one of the most draining presences when it comes to this arena. She is an expert, she has passion and she will thrash around until you allow yourself to be seduced by her temptations.
You absolutely have to gain the upper hand with her from the beginning before she stakes her claim over everything that is important to you. Unpaid invoices that need chasing which you feel rather uncomfortable about dealing with, fear not, Ms Procrastination will whisk you away with an array of gentle persuasions.
You need to man up to her and tell her with a firm NO, that she will not get the better of you!
Dealing with this monster will ultimately lead you to your biggest time recovery but be warned, she is not easy to extinguish!
She will always be there, lurking in the shadows ready to leap into action when you show even the slightest of hesitations. You need to have a plan in order to disable her, it needs to be a robust plan that can stand up to her wily ways and quash her without a moments thought. It’s no easy feat, in fact dealing with this utter monster is often highly under-rated.
Believe me when I say that if you can tame this beast your days will get a whole lot easier.
Remember that Ms Procrastination is in fact an illusion, she plays into your deepest, darkest fears and only you have the power to tame her. She represents a different form in all of us and is ruthless in her delivery. She is as unique as you are and can whip up a storm which will take you by completely by surprise when you were least expecting it. She is stealthy, she is silent, but holy shit she is one powerful mother fucker that will totally ruin you in a heartbeat!
So how do you deal with a demon such as this who is sucking the time away from you?
You need to understand her in order to conquer her!
Ask questions and be relentless until you are satisfied that you have the right answers. It may take you a while to find the root cause which is enabling Ms Procrastination to be such a regular feature in your life but these answers are necessary in order to water down her flames.
What makes her tick inside you?
What are her weak spots?
What does she live off?
What is she trying to achieve?
What does she want?
What purpose does she serve?
Uncover her mysteries and they shall set you free!
Don’t stop questioning until you are satisfied with the answers you come up with. More often than not our surface fears are magnificently different to the underlying gremlins from where these issues stem. You owe it to yourself to get really honest and identify what it is that you are avoiding. Avoidance for whatever reason will see that Medusa head creeping into your thoughts and leading you astray with her temptress powers in a way that only she can.
Avoidance is the life blood of Ms Procrastination. She is constantly on high alert for the slightest inkling that you wish to avoid a task, even if you aren’t consciously aware of it yourself. Make no mistake that she will have pounced upon that miniscule streak of avoidance before you’ve even had a chance to register what is happening.
This is the exact reason that you need to have a formidable cast iron chain reaction to stop her in her tracks. Allowing her to quietly gain momentum in the background as you half heartedly bat her protests away is the worst mistake you could make.
You will tell yourself that you are strong, that you will stay focused and that you will ignore her increasingly loud pleas. But she is clever, she is sneaky, she is beguiling and she preys on your weaknesses.
She will hunt out the chink in your armour to infiltrate your thoughts quicker than you could believe possible.
You have to understand the areas of your business that you enjoy less than others. You have to be realistic when it comes to planning these areas into your routines. Fill your days with tasks you detest and you will soon find yourself doing nothing. The dread that you feel towards the areas of your business that don’t fill you with joy will soon be hijacked by Ms Procrastination and you will end up in a position where you have achieved sweet F.A.
Not only is that not good for your business, it is also extremely unhealthy for your mindset. A day filled with unchecked tasks will make you feel like you have nothing worthwhile to show for your day. You will probably feel like you have wasted time, not completed what you set out to do.
You may feel like you’re not even capable of doing what is required of you, that perhaps you should maybe, possibly, just chuck the towel in because you’re not really very good at this. This is not a good place to be and Ms P will chase your arse until she’s fully sated!
Try breaking those niggly little things that you don’t really like doing down into smaller chunks.
Uncover what it is that you dislike so much about a particular task and try reframing it. If chasing a client for money doesn’t fill you with joy and will see you washing out your recycling bins in avoidance as the Medusa snakes hiss and spit at you try naming it as something different in your mind.
Attach it to a goal that you have that does float your boat and approach it from a different angle.
If picking up the phone to call a prospective customer sends you cleaning the toilet in an obvious delay tactic, try calling a friend first and having a pleasant conversation to put you in the mood for more chat.
With every task we have that is related to our business there is a positive impact that it will have, whether or not you enjoy said task or not. Focusing on the positive impact rather than the task itself will set your mind in a much more positive place and Ms Procrastination cannot abide positivity.
It is her Kryptonite, her nemesis, her Achilles Heel. She will run a mile in the face of a positive mindset and those Medusa snakes will retract at a rate of knots, back to the depths of the miserable place from which they came.
You’re only human, we all have rubbish days, days when we almost welcome Ms Procrastination into our lives as we just cannot face something that we have to deal with. Sometimes you have to accept that today is not your day to shit done, those snakes will take over and there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop it.
However if you can get to grips with what sets of your own internal Medusa and put a plan in place to dampen the fires for the most part, you are winning!
No one is perfect and for that you really need to give yourself a break.
We all have stuff that happens in life that utterly throws us off track sometimes, accepting that that is the case, having a day off and grabbing hold of it again the next day is ok. We all feel like we have to be totally perfect all of the time, however allowing your vulnerability to see the light of day and owning that shit often is the best remedy for helping us realise our true capabilities.
Be kind to yourself, learn what makes you tick, understand your likes and dislikes, delegate the bits that don’t make your heart sing if that’s an option that is available to you. Above all recognise and be aware of Ms Procrastination because her aim is to be as disruptive to your success as she can possibly be; and that shit is no good for anyone!
We all have our own demons to deal with, don’t let Ms Procrastination be one that steals your time away.
It’s what she is best at, it’s what she enjoys the most, so do your best to steal her fun!
You can discover more ways to help you plan your time in my online course & ebook which is available for the ridiculously low price of just £19.99 right now which is a massive 65% saving on the usual price, check it out here to grab your limited time offer!
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