As with any business owner my ’To Do’ list of tasks that benefit my business is rather large. There is the usual list of website updates, blogs to write, social media statuses to update, clients to follow up and You Tube videos to make. These lists can sometimes make me feel overwhelmed and quite often end up at the bottom of my pile of priorities; never getting completed.
I recently set myself a challenge to make a video highlighting my business services, to educate the market and my potential clients as to how Absolute Assistance – Virtual Assistant can help them within their business – and also to highlight what it was that a virtual assistant actually did. The idea for the video would tick so many boxes by being something that would be used on my website, LinkedIn business page, Facebook page and of course You Tube.
While initially looking like a large task with a To Do list to match, it was achievable. Here’s how I accomplished the mammoth task of creating content and putting it together:
1. Break the task down into simpler and smaller tasks – create the plan of attack
To start with I put it all down on paper. In the case of my video, these included subject matter and content, the look, the feel, preferred style of images, what I planned to do with the end product and who it was aimed at. After breaking it down like that the project didn’t look anywhere near as intimidating. Instead I could see lots of different little tasks that were achievable each day.
2. Set a time frame
Working on tasks that help your business can always be easily put to the side and worse still, forgotten about. The trick here is to set an achievable and realistic time frame. For my video it was easy, 50 ways to use Absolute Assistance – Virtual Assistant in 50 days. I may have set fifty days to create the content I needed to make the video but I also realised that it wouldn’t be possible to finish editing the video within that time frame so an extra three weeks were added. This gave a more polished product and me a more realistic time frame for re-work.
3. Book it in as you would any client
As I mentioned earlier, it is so easy to put tasks that benefit your own business to the side. The secret here to keeping on track and ensuring that it gets done is to book in time each day as you would any other job or task that you might do. In my case I made myself a client and put aside thirty minutes each day. Stick to – and respect – this ‘appointment’ as you would any other: your tasks and commitments are just as important as those of your clients.
4. Keep the list visible
Most people find that it is so much easier to be reminded of something if it is constantly within your sight. It is a natural thing to want to be able to cross off a completed task and see a visual ‘result’, allowing you to move onto the next task.
5. Review, review, review
OK, so some days are going to be more hectic than others with urgent jobs landing in your inbox or the emergency phone call with plans gone wrong coming through.
Despite these unforeseen events it’s important to make sure that at the end of each week, you can see that you have made progress with the large task or tasks at hand and that you are happy that they are fitting within your set time frame.
Again, book some time in your diary at the end of each week to review the tasks still on your ‘To Do’ list. What can be rescheduled, done immediately or have time set aside for next week. You are a client and should book in your tasks in your diary for the following week.
Using your time efficiently and treating yourself as a client can go a long way to reducing the difficulty of large tasks or projects.
What is a large task that has you continually placing it at the bottom of your to do list?