I am on fire today. I’m trying to get so many things done so that I can spend the weekend switched off and face to face with my children. Earlier this week I overheard my 4-year-old tell my 3-year-old, “You know why mama and daddy are always on the phone? It’s for work so they can make money because things are expensive.” While he may speaketh the truth, it stung that he thinks we are always on the phone. There’s no real reason for it – I help companies make money through marketing, I’m not curing cancer and I’m not out to save the world (unless we consider boring marketing as a world killer). It’s time for me to take a big fat face slap, and I have a feeling you’re probably right there with me. So, how can we step away? Let’s discuss
Don’t be so pedantic!
(as said by my parents throughout my teenage years)
In my world the goal is to have a two-way conversation with my perfect client and their perfect clients. Do I need to write a 5,000-word blog post with quotes, stats and quips every day? No. It would be great if I had the time to do just that and I’m sure there would be a pay off, but sometimes perfection is the enemy of progress. (I think that’s a Churchill quote, but I’m not even going to look it up!) [Tweet “Sometimes good is good enough.”]
Are there things in your life that you never complete because you don’t have time to do them perfectly? Do as I say and stop stopping yourself. Just get it done and maybe you’ll learn a little something that will make it one ounce better next time.
“If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.”
― Timothy Ferriss,
Write it Down
Make two lists – your master and your today. The master list is where you put everything as you think about it. I use Swipes for this. Every day, before you open your computer, Facebook or Instagram, look at that list and choose today’s tasks. Choose 3 or 4 if you have no big meetings, and tackle them one after the other. Don’t add anything to the today list until those tasks are completed.
Chances are you are an entrepreneur like me and sometimes a client (or your boss if you haven’t yet left the corporate world) will call with a big fire that needs putting out right now. Make sure you tell him or her that one of their tasks is being bumped for this fire putting out task. Even if it’s not exactly true. Because it’s true in a round about way, so when their other task comes up late because everything got bumped, you can explain yourself.
Do you even deserve a break you big baby?
It’s lunch time? You just got a text message? You wondering how well your Instagram post is doing?
I don’t care! Did your mother let you watch TV before you finished your homework? I don’t think so!
If you are pining over Instagram or dying to know who texted, let yourself check after your current task and before you start the next, but don’t fall down a rabbit hole. Set yourself a time limit and get back to the tasks when your time runs out. Trust me, you’ll get the task done a lot faster this way – my phone just pinged with a text and I’m dying to wrap this blog up now!
Old School still works
They say you lose 40 something days a year due to poor memory.* You lose this time by looking for something you’ve lost or performing a task that you’ve already done. I feel like I might have lost 300 of the last 365 days on technology: some of it looking for an app that someone said would save me time but I can’t remember the name then finding the app, downloading it and transferring info and then realizing I don’t use it so maybe I should try something else…. sound familiar?
You know what does work? A pen and notebook. There is no point in trying to keep up with trends if you are wasting more time than you are gaining. [Tweet “Know what works for you and don’t worry about what works for others.”]
Don’t look back
When you make a choice, go forth and conquer. Don’t spend time wondering if this was the best decision. It’s already the decision you’ve made. Yes, you could go back and do it again, but then you will have caused the failure. It’s now a self-fulfilling prophecy, so why not see it through? Maybe you’re wrong (shock!). Maybe it’ll work out.
This sounds obvious I know, but I fall into this trap constantly. And in the end, what’s the point of working so damn hard if, when I’m finally face to face with my kids, all I’m thinking about is a decision I made last week?
[Tweet “what’s the point if, when I’m face to face with my kids, all I think about is work?”]
I realize that none of these suggestions are earth shattering, but you know what? I just crossed “Blog Post” off my list and now I get to enjoy 2 minutes of text messaging and Instagram. Check out what I post and tell me if you think it was worth waiting for: http://instagram.com/abaskmktg
*”they” said it in Moonwalking with Einstein – Joshua Foer