As women, we often pride ourselves on our juggling skills, don’t we? We know that the woman at the front of the boardroom has so much more going on than what we see on her outside appearance. On the outside, she’s got stunning heels, her hair looks effortless and she speaks with a calmness that you envy. That same woman may or may not have had a dry shampoo type-of-morning, run out of coffee creamer and turned her household upside down a few hours prior to hunt for the six year old’s missing left shoe.
BTW, I can’t be the only working mom that deals with these sorts of things. I bought a shoe basket for each kid years ago – specifically to avoid this issue – and my six year old refuses to adhere to shoe protocol with the rest of the household. I digress…
We sometimes take that same juggling act into our careers or businesses. Now, I’m not referring to taking our household chaos into work. That’s an entirely different topic. Instead, I’m referring to how many of us have accepted this type of seesaw balancing act into our professions. We wear a proud badge that proclaims our proficiency in multi-tasking. Now, friend, don’t get me wrong. Multi-tasking is something that sets you apart from your counterparts, but we often allow it to keep us from truly accomplishing a single thing if we’re not careful.
Think this through with me. We’re halfway through the year right now. Is your business, or a project at work, or a promotion… whatever it is for you… is it where you needed it to be at this point? If the answer is no – and it is for many of us – then we’re likely going after too many things at once.
One of the gut-punching realities I have had (more than once) is that my own business didn’t grow at the pace I anticipated because I tried to pursue more than one thing at a time. I tried to do all the things. By myself. I had all sorts of ideas from this blog website to public speaking to creating different options & price points for my business coaching clients. I wanted to work on content, while building my brand, and of course, monetizing to fund the business. Here’s the reality: it was painfully slow to get off the ground.
You’ve been there, I know you have. You are working tirelessly on several things at once, you’re putting in extra time in the early AM or perhaps over the weekend. Most of our careers, products or services need an incredible amount of effort to get the inertia going. If you’re in the uphill push right now, just remind yourself… if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Here are two things to consider to take a bit of that pressure off as you work to get things to the next phase:
- Narrow your focus. Consider these questions to figure out what deserves your attention right now:
- Where do I want to be in 3 years?
- Where do I need to be in 1 year to be on track for my 3 year plan?
- What do I need to do right now that will affect whether or not I achieve that 1 year plan?
- This is where you’ll likely still itemize many of the things you’re doing already (ie. social media, new product design, sales, prospecting new clients, website re-design, etc.) Naturally, you’re going to try to justify the importance of everything you’re currently doing. Those activities are all likely important, but you need to master one if you’re going to grow your career or business. Which of these has the BIGGEST impact on getting where you need to be in 1 year? Focus on that. Master it. Fine tune your process until its automated or work at it until you can hire/train someone else to take it over.
- Once you have completely mastered the item you have identified, you can move on to focusing on the next project.
- Delegate. One of the best signs of growth is when you can delegate aspects of your day-to-day to someone else. Delegating the menial tasks will free you up toward working at what you’re truly passionate or skilled at.
- For a day, write down every task you do. Responding to emails, answering calls, writing out thank-you cards, shipping products, creating social media content, the list goes on.
- Evaluate that list. What if you could get back two hours of your time just by simply having someone else respond to email inquiries and phone calls, or by packaging and shipping your product? You could focus on the BIG item you identified above, couldn’t you?
- When you delegate, it doesn’t necessarily have to require a hefty price tag. I’m not suggesting we all go out and hire an assistant. With technology today, you can find an incredible amount of low-cost services that will save you enormous amounts of time – everything from thank-you cards you can type out (way faster than writing yourself!), texting platforms to reach all clients at once, or creating email drip campaigns. You can also find high school or college students that would love to learn from you – or perhaps intern – that are fantastic at creating engaging social media content or responding to general email inquiries.
I know how frustrating it can feel to work tirelessly only to find yourself in the same spot months later. They say that change is the only constant, yet change is what most of us try to avoid. Once you’ve narrowed your focus to the one item you are going to pour yourself into, consider incorporating it into your Morning Routine. Whether it’s just 30 minutes or an hour, any bit of uninterrupted time where you can focus on that one item is going to be better than juggling eight different projects that move at a snail’s pace.
Friend, if you haven’t downloaded the FREE Morning Routine yet, it’s time. When you’re ready to find some breathing room, the Morning Routine is where you’ll find it. That same, customizable routine is also where you can take your dreams and work them into reality.
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