One of my passions is to see other small business owners succeed. At CFIO we have some great people who own great businesses. Every month I love sharing business tips that I’ve learned and applied in my own business. Don’t worry I’ll only share the one’s that have made a significant impact for good.
Don’t own a business? That’s ok, you can still take these principles and apply them to other areas of your life!
It sounds simple! Right?
Yeah that’s what I thought, but if you’re like me, it can be challenging. Opportunities come your way, emails pile up, questions are asked, and it all can get a little overwhelming. However, taking action is a must if you plan to set yourself apart from the rest in your industry.
Now, I am not saying I have this mastered. I actually set this as our staff focus for this month mainly so we (I) could work on it! There was a time, and occasionally it still creeps in, when I would sit on something because I didn’t want to deal with it at the time, it wasn’t urgent enough, I didn’t really know the right answer, or I simply forgot about it (because, you know out of sight=out of mind). Those excuses are actually the easy ones to deal with; it’s the things we put off doing because of the fear of failing or the idea that it’s got to be perfect that is difficult.
For example, an opportunity comes your way that needs immediate action, or at least there are steps that need to be taken to get it rolling, but because you are a perfectionist you keep putting things off until you can do them perfectly. Guess what? If you’re in this boat, you’re probably the one who misses lots of great opportunities because you simply do nothing.
If you are like me, your never run low on ideas. You always see plenty of opportunities, but following through on the good ones may be difficult. Let me encourage you…. Take Action!
Here are some simple ways to start taking action today!
1) Simply declare you are not a procrastinator.
By setting this as a value and keeping it in front of you, you are now less likely to put things off.
2) Set certain days, times, and deadlines to get things done. If you get emails that need action- set a specific time each day to answer those emails, normally the time you set for a specific task will dictate how long it takes you to accomplish those task. If you give yourself 60 minutes to answer emails, it will normally take you 60 minutes. It’s pretty crazy how that works.
3) Good is fine at first, it doesn’t need to be perfect just yet.
Don’t fall into the trap of “it’s not good enough, so I just won’t do it”. Start where you can and perfect it along the way.
4) Make a to-do list.
This is best if its done the day before, typically around the close of that day. I like pen and paper, some of you may like using something else like a task app, or a the old iPhone 🙂 Whatever works for you, just make a list and start executing.
5) Start small.
This one plays off of #4. With your list, it actually helps to finish the evening with 2 or 3 things left unfinished with the plan that they will be the first thing marked off the next day. This is similar to the idea behind bright spots. It sets you up to be successful the following day by giving you a head start. The key here is the task left for the following day needs to be very basic things, things that don’t take a lot of energy or any creativity. This helps prime your brain and wake up your creative juices. (Side note: if you don’t do this you are very likely to fill the first part of your morning scrolling social media, simply because your brain is trying to wake up. Don’t fall into that trap)
Good luck and be sure to take action today!