Too Many Items, Not Enough Action

pivot – purge – plan – prepare – postpone

The P words are overtaking our business lives in recent months!

To make all those P’s happen, we also have long to-do lists… longer now than usual. I know this because I’ve had chats with many small business owners over the past couple of months.

Long to-do lists can be very stressful! What I know for sure is that there is no particular solution that works for everyone. (But, oh my, if someone could figure that out, they’d get super rich!)

Change can suck – while doing the changing – even if we know our current practices leave a lot to be desired. It probably means trying different things and adapting new work habits. And habits are not easily broken; new ones are even harder to start.

There are thousands (millions?) of apps and systems that can help us but actually doing the tracking of action items usually becomes an action item in itself.

I’m not about to recommend something you should try… but I am going to give you something to consider as you think about how to be more efficient. It’s brilliant in its simplicity, but harder to implement – the premise of “time and place”.

This term comes to me from my past corporate career but I’ve found it holds true for everything I do as a small business owner too. It goes like this: it’s more efficient to record action items at the time and place they occur. This means recording the to-do in your permanent system as soon as it becomes a to-do, wherever you are. (I’m pretty sure you’ll find an app for that!) The efficiency saving may not be obvious but I’ve found this concept to be true over and over again.

By the way, this applies to other things, too, like invoicing and setting appointments.

How can you start taking little steps toward this goal of “time and place”? Keep it in your awareness for a few days, and I bet you’ll find some opportunities for improvement.