Have you ever tried completing a project and then halfway through you realize that you don’t have everything you need, or have you become confused about what to do next? This can happen to the best of us, and for entrepreneurs, who tend to “wear many hats,” you might not be sure if you have all the right tools or even know what tools you need. Because being a business owner can feel like huge undertaking (sort of like climbing a steep mountain), having the right set of strategies in your arsenal can come in handy. If your toolbox is empty, throw a few of these tools in…
- Get a Map. Before you even begin your project, map it out with deadlines. Figure out what you want you want to accomplish and get a real picture in your mind. What will success look like to you?
- Get it All. Now that you have you map, be sure that you have all the things you need to do your job well. Keep your stapler, pens,shredder, PDA, or anything you need to do your job – a complete job.
- Get a Friend. When you’re wearing multiple hats, it helps to have someone to share responsibilities with. When possible, delegate tasks that match up with the skill set of the person you’re delegating to. Would it help to hire a temp once a month or once a quarter?
- Get Technical. If “friends” are hard to come by, use tech tools to your advantage. Project management software, like MS Project, can help you stay on track and meet deadlines. You can go “low-tech” with MS Excel and create your own project management schedule. Even your smart phone can help out, but if you prefer paper, use a paper calendar/diary or check out Circa notebooks by Levenger. Circa offers flexibility and lets you move pages around as you need to, or move them from one notebook to another.
- Get Lazy. Well, you’re not really getting lazy, you’re just taking a break or two. If you start feeling mentally overwhelmed, it helps to step away from the project for a while to regroup. When you jump back into your project, assess how much you’ve accomplished and check your map to be sure you’re still heading in the right direction.
- Get a Drink. Ok, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Sometimes you can get so focused that you forget to eat or drink water. Tired, dehydratedentrepreneurs tend not to be very productive, so don’t forget to hydrate and refuel.
- Get a Move On. Another important thing to do is to get up and move around, especially if you’ve been sitting for a while. Do some stretches, take a walk, or throw in a few jumping jacks because sitting for too long can lead to back pain. Last time I checked, back pain didn’t lead to productivity either.
- Get Perspective. You’ll have good and bad days, so expect a few ups and downs. Keep it all in stride, and don’t beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned. Instead, check your map and review your “success picture.” If you need to revise it, do that – just don’t get stuck in a negative mode. Positive attitude + Map + Tools = Less Stress + Increased Productivity.