Minor Things Keep You From The Major Things
Ever had this feeling you wanted to get something done but for some reason you just didn’t do it? Maybe it was deciding to work from home one day, away from the hustle and bustle of the office, so you could finally knock out that marketing project that you’ve been meaning to deliver. Except as you sit there, ready to dive in, you see that stack of files on the corner of your desk. You momentarily stray to get those things put up, feeling as if that will help you somehow magically get more of that project done if you’re more organized.
Now with the desk all tidied up, you begin to pull out your notes to get started. Out from your notes fall three business cards from people you met at that networking function last week. You need to call them, after all it’s embarrassing you sort of forgot to call by now right? An hour later with the calls done you look back towards your laptop…that damn marketing project is just sitting there waiting for you like some lost puppy. Rub my ears please! it begs. Give me some love it pants as you suddenly feel the urge to kick it from your leg. You open Facebook instead.
Twenty minutes later you look up at the clock…the morning is half over! You haven’t even touched that pot of coffee you made two hours ago. Can’t let that go to waste now can we? Coffee is expensive for Pete’s sake! You wink at that project and silently tell it, “I’ll be right back.” That little trip to the kitchen diverts you even further as you look into the fridge at what you’re going to be hungry for for lunch. It is, after all, almost 11:00AM and lunch will be here before you know it.
Ever had one of those days? Emails. Phone calls. Needless activities that suddenly seem so much more appealing than the work you really should be doing. Those sideline distractions that beg for you to do them instead. Don’t even get me started about those countless side trips to Facebook to see what your friends are up to. Probably not getting their work done either!
The point is, many of us get distracted by the minor things in life. Those easier to manage, more fun to do tasks that keep us from the real work at hand. Now I’m not going to preach to you about being better organized or having more control over your time, I’ve got friends like Maura Thomas who can do that. No, I’m more focused on helping you realize how the minor things just might be killing your major things. And that’s just a plain shame if you ask me.
How many minor things did you get sidetracked with this past week? Hell, how about this past hour? If you’re like me, minor things seem to grab me harder than an old lady squeezing my cheeks at a square dance. They wreak havoc on my day. Don’t laugh….old ladies at square dances can be quite forward…but that’s for a different post.
There was a show I watched some time ago about successful entrepreneurs that really got my attention. One of the things that many of them kept talking about was the importance of “staying on task.” Several mentioned their struggle with time management and just how easy it is to get distracted. Several of them had learned firsthand how majoring in the minor things can absolutely can kill an entrepreneur and their business.
Sure it’s easy to rationalize some things as necessary tasks but are you the person it makes the most financial sense to have doing those tasks? If you are truly committed to success you can’t let the minor distractions dictate how much time and attention you pay to the major things in your business. It was great advice and something that has stuck with me ever since.
So the real question you should ask yourself is this:
Are the minor things keeping me from my major things?
If you answered yes (and who wouldn’t) then here’s a few tips to keep you on task:
1. Start every day with a plan. Know what you need to get accomplished and don’t waver from the task at hand.
2. Eliminate distractions. Refuse to open up Twitter, Facebook or any other social media until you’re done with the major things you need to get done. Don’t worry your legion of friends and followers can wait.
3. Turn off your cell phone so you can’t be interrupted by texts, phone calls or other push notifications.
4. Make the commitment to yourself that whatever needs to get done will get done PERIOD.
5. Hire an assistant or delegate responsibility to a member of your team to help you carry some of the minor load.
It’s amazing how much more you get out of your day when you remove these minor impediments. You find a whole new level of productivity and efficiency which feels amazing and can make all the difference in your personal and professional life. When you refuse to let the minor things get in the way and distract you, the major things become your priority and that’s when the good stuff starts to happen.