Sometimes things go kerflooey and require more time than we anticipated. Sometimes an exciting opportunity comes our way but the deadline is so soon it’s hard to figure out how to make it happen. Sometimes someone forgets to share a key piece of scheduling information so it doesn’t get on the calendar. Sometimes an actual emergency happens and takes all the focus for awhile.
In all cases, it can be hard to even imagine how to squeeze it into an already super full schedule. That causes stress and that wastes your precious time and costs you money.
I see the same mistakes over and over with my clients. I feel for them, and know that a few simple changes will make all the difference next time.
So I thought it might be helpful to share the 3 most frequent mistakes I see and what you can do about them.
1. Adapting an all or nothing approach. It doesn’t have to be one thing or the other. Instead, most of the time, a this and that approach is the way to go. Do both for a little less time each. A little less perfect and a little more effective enough. Instead of complaining that you don’t have time to do, just do, for a little bit of time, then do what’s next.
2. Working only on the urgent, and thinking it’s all urgent. This is the fastest way to stress. Try establishing time blocks for working on a certain type of task instead. Deal with all your Social Media posting for an hour a couple times a week and pay your bills one afternoon a week. It’s faster to work on a batch than start fresh each time. It allows you to be a better scheduler, you can anticipate and manage expectations when you know that you won’t get to it until Thursday. It’s also easier to borrow bits of time when something truly urgent comes up.
3. Failure to set up systems and routines. It is really hard to delegate when there is no system in place. Interruptions can suck the time out of a day and if the people you delegate to don’t have a clear path to be productive and meet your expectations and deadlines they will interrupt you, over and over. Take a little time to set up a system and you will be able to say, “sure I can send a proposal to you by tomorrow,” because you can delegate the Social Media Posting to your assistant at the drop of an email.
Unanticipated events are a part of life, they don’t have to be a major causes of stress.