It’s always easier to spend time doing things that are more exciting. This aspect of human nature applies to how you run your business too.
There are some things that we like to do for our businesses, then there are things we ought to do for our businesses. Often, we spend all of our time working on those aspects that we enjoy while neglecting those parts that we don’t enjoy as much.
Social media is often a part that we like doing. For some, a feeling of enjoyment comes from marketing and promotions. Others enjoy making sales calls and talking directly to potential customers. But few, if any, like creating a business plan, dealing with legal issues, or winnowing out overstuffed databases.
An abundance of output in one area does not make up for the lack of output in other areas. Businesses fail all the time because they did only some things well.
So, how can we go about doing the things we don’t want to do for the betterment of our business enterprises?
Cram. Make a list of all the things you’ve been putting off and do them all at once.
This strategy can also be called “biting the bullet.” Just as I don’t mean a literal bullet, I also don’t mean literally doing all of your backlog all at once. What I do mean is lining up these projects all at once and doing them in succession as rapidly as you can. This may take a day, three days, a week, or two weeks. Business plan, inventory, ordering supplies, cleaning the warehouse. No matter how long it takes, just do it.
Here’s a sample to-do list from creative business blogger Violet Nedkova who says not even one of these tasks gets her excited.
- finalize that business plan and put it in motion
- create a feedback system and send targeted emails to everyone with specific questions
- create a new coaching offering that is more niched and includes a DIY option
- add some more pages on the site and fix the outdated ones
- bulk create community content and start scheduling it
- learn how to use 2 more tools for emails and social media (and integrate one of those tools with Squarespace via code)
- create an actual shop on Squarespace integrated with Paypal
- create an email funnel
Most of those things don’t get me excited either. But, imagine the immense feeling of satisfaction when all of these things are done. And guess what? Once they’re done, you’ll be able to go back to doing the things you truly enjoy.
But, not so fast. Take note of this next strategy before you go on your merry way.
Maintain. Organize the things you dislike doing so that you only have to do a little bit at a time over a regular schedule.
Many of the tasks that you don’t like doing can be broken down into smaller steps. For example, if you have a twelve-section business plan, you can complete one section of the plan each day and have it done in less than three weeks. Other unpleasant tasks, such as inventory, have to be done regularly by nature. Instead of waiting until you get so behind that you are forced to do it, why not set aside one day each week (or month) to do it. Make it a date and keep it.
Edwin Bliss, internationally-recognized time management expert, called this the Salami Technique. In his book, Getting Things Done, he wrote, “The contemplation of an overwhelming task is like looking at a large uncut salami: it’s a huge, crusty, greasy, unappetizing chunk; you don’t feel you can get your teeth into it. But when you cut it into thin slices you transform it into something quite different. Those thin slices are inviting; they make your mouth water, and after you’ve sampled one slice you tend to reach for another. Cutting up your overwhelming task into tiny segments can have the same effect.”
That’s two strategies under your belt. What’s the third?
Get Help. One of the greatest things you will ever discover in life is that there are people in the world who love doing the things you loathe.
Yes, there are people in the world who get hot over doing inventory, dealing with spreadsheets, and streamlining confusing databases. If you want to get those non-exciting things done for your business, you need to find those people and put them to work. Perhaps, you already know some of them. They may be on your family. Hire them on a freelance basis and pay them to do the work you don’t want to do. If you think you need a permanent employee, consider posting job offers on sites such as WayUp, LinkedIn, or Indeed.
So, that’s it! Three strategies for getting the things done for your business that you don’t like doing.
Cram. Maintain. Get Help.
Go, and get things done.