So many business owners, especially in the earliest days, find the need for vital administration and finance tasks difficult to apply themselves to. In all the excitement of developing a business idea, it is hard to, seemingly, ‘apply the brakes’, sit down at the computer and get the tough stuff done. But it is vital – that business plan, that finance estimate, that tax return – as failure to ensure any one of these tasks is completed can end your business hopes before they have begun. Ongoing product development, market research and customer liaison can also involve a lot of time away from the front line, but again it is vital. Procrastination is, literally, useless. So, apart from getting in touch with Cornerstone, and taking the free advice of our fabulous mentors (all of whom have been through the rigours of establishing a business themselves) here are five tips for getting ‘stuff’ done, in as creative a manner as is possible?
1 If you write a ‘to do’ list, write it the night before – not a week before – and keep it short. Having a month long list of fifteen things and finding only ten of them have been achieved (because let’s be honest, things always crop up last minute) makes you feel a flop before the next month, and a new opportunity has started. ‘Call it ‘three things I have to do tomorrow’, and perhaps have a couple of reserves in case you are extra focused. Then you can end the day feeling you have really achieved something.
2 Find a local business group and make sure you have a couple of close business contacts you can get in touch with – the mutual support offered can really help you keep on track – it won’t only be you who is struggling and sometimes just a quick meet up for a coffee can inspire you to crack on.
3 Have a ‘social media free’ day. If you can, make sure you have at least one day a week when you can just get on with necessary business admin without the procrastination distractions of Facebook, twitter or Instagram. If you want to post every day, use a scheduling tool such as HootSuite, or Facebook’s own scheduling button to line up some info to go out the next day – and then don’t look!
4 Make sure you take some regular form of exercise. Walking the dog (or yourself) each morning, or lunchtime, can really boost your energy and motivate you to get more done. The British weather can be a tad off putting at times, and the gym especially so, but just a 10 minute stretch session via YouTube can be great to get the blood flowing again and you will find procrastination less of a temptation.
5 There is an interesting blog called ‘Yes and Yes’ which offers some really good tips for keeping you at any given task, and the Pomodoro technique is something frequently mentioned as the best way to keep you from procrastination – making tea, washing up and so on. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it is recommended for those who really struggle long term, as well as those with a bit of a block on one task. All you really need is a timer to get you working in 25-minute bursts on ONE task followed by a five-minute break – perfect for making that cuppa, or just sitting back and taking your eyes off the screen. Find out more HERE and give it a try.
But don’t forget – Cornerstone business mentors can support you to work through the early start up decisions that can overwhelm you, so do get in touch and see how we can help.