Last week I came home from a 10-day extravaganza filled with meet ups, masterminds and conferences.
How to ditch overwhelm and create organization and consistency in your business (5 Steps)
Every one of these events was extremely positive in their own right. Whether it was gaining new insights for our business, creating and building upon relationships, or learning about new ways to leverage certain software programs and apps, each offered an array of opportunities.
While we’re pretty good at preparing for travel and conferences so that our business continues to run smoothly without us, we’ve never stacked our plate as high as we did during the last week of March: 2 masterminds, 2 3-day conferences and 1 all-day event – back, to back, to back.
I came home feeling overwhelmed, lost and out of control.
The lack of organization and inconsistency had me grasping for my routine, and it wasn’t until I chatted with my own mastermind about the way I was feeling that I realized I need to STOP, take a step back, and create a process in order to get that organization and consistency back.
Since I know I’m not the only one who feels overwhelmed by the multiple tasks and competing priorities that make up our everyday lives as entrepreneurs, I wanted to share the process I created for myself in order to get the organization and consistency back that I desperately craved.
5 Steps to ditch overwhelm and create organization and consistency in your business
Step 1: Take inventory
Write down EVERYTHING you’re working on.
Seriously – EVERYTHING. Over the next 5 or 6 days, every time you start working on something, write it down on a sticky note, on a notepad, in a Word doc or whatever you use to help keep yourself organized. Write it down.
Some things I wrote on my sticky notes:
2x / week blog posts
2x / week podcast episodes
Editing show notes
Email inbox management (x2)
Facebook group management (x3)
You get the idea. No matter how big, how small or how frequently you do something, write it down.
Step 2: Organize and categorize
Now that you have a beautiful mess of EVERYTHING you’re working on, create columns so you can start to organize your tasks. I utilized my white board for this: every sticky note that I wrote something down on was stuck to my white board.
Then, I drew 3 vertical lines down the board in order to create 4 separate sections.
At the top of each column I wrote the following headings:
Once you have your sections and headers, start categorizing your sticky notes by determining which tasks belong in which column. It might look something like this:
Step 3: Prioritize (essentialism)
Start to prioritize every one of your tasks.
Which single task is the MOST important one in each category? Remember, priority is a singular word – not plural. There can only be ONE priority in each of your columns, and then every other task will sit behind the ONE that is MOST important in your business.
If you’re having trouble prioritizing your tasks, ask yourself which of those tasks are integral to helping your business run, and which of those tasks are ones that will help you actively move towards your biggest goals.
Step 4: SCRUM it
Now that you know what your #1 priority is, use SCRUM – a process to help you FOCUS on a single project or task for a certain period of time so you move yourself through that project or task with focus and effectiveness.
Once you’ve finished your priority task, then it’s time to reevaluate the remaining tasks (and any you’ve added to your board in the meantime) to determine which you’ll work on next.
I wrote a detailed post about how to use SCRUM in your own business to help you with this step.
Step 5: Breathe
Just breathe… :)
Once you have your tasks and projects organized and laid out visually, you’re going to feel a lot better about your organization and the consistency with which you’re tackling each of those tasks.
See how much better that feels!?
Ready to delegate?
If you’re ready to take your organization to the next level – specifically in the area of delegation – then here are some additional processes you can use in order to help you determine which tasks you should be working on yourself, and which tasks you should be delegating to a contractor or Virtual Team Member.
Chris Ducker’s 3 Lists to Freedom
Take out a piece of paper and create 3 columns.
At the top of your paper, title the columns:
1. Things you hate doing
2. Things you don’t know how to do
3. Things you shouldn’t be doing
After you’ve established which tasks fall into one or more of these categories, you can start to determine what type of contractor or Virtual Assistant will be most valuable to you.
Plus, you’ve basically just given yourself a solid outline for your job description!
Amy Porterfield’s Moving Towards Mastery
Amy Porterfield shares an exercise that her business coach, Todd Herman, has her doing right now that has been incredibly helpful for me.
If you’re ready to maximize your potential and start working ON your business instead of IN it, then this exercise is for you.
Take out a piece of paper and create 4 columns with the following headings:
1. $10 column
2. $100 column
3. $1,000 column
4. $10,000 column
Then, start organizing every task you’re working on into one of these 4 columns based on how much money per hour that task is worth to you.
If a task is in the $10 or $100 column, then you should be delegating that out. In essence, by you continuing to work on the tasks that are in your $10 and $100 column, you’re saying that your time is not worth more than $100 – and I can tell you right now, your time IS worth more than that.
That’s not to say that you won’t be working on $10 and $100 tasks in the beginning. I’ve done my fair share of working on these tasks – in fact, I probably worked on a majority of these tasks for the first year or so at EntrepreneurOnFire. But once your plate is full and you’re ready to delegate, this exercise is a powerful way to recognize what tasks you should no longer be working on, and instead be delegating those tasks to someone else.
If you’ve completed one or more of these exercises, then I’d love to hear from you! What did you think of each exercise, and how has it helped you become more organized, consistent and productive in your every day? Let us know in the comments section below!