It can happen. And it does happen. Solopreneurs – by nature of being a one person band – sometimes fall behind schedule on their projects and tasks. Though it’s natural to occasionally veer off the productivity track, it’s important to find your way back to the straight and narrow as quickly as possible so you can meet commitments and fulfill responsibilities. Your reputation as a business professional depends on it!
Picking up the slack isn’t always easy, but it’s possible with some assessment, short range planning and willingness to take action.
- Look at your to do list and prioritize – Carefully review everything that you need to do and decide which tasks should get your immediate attention. Among the things that should receive top honors:
- Work that’s revenue producing
- Something that you’ve promised and is overdue or almost overdue
- Anything related to compliance with rules and regulations
- Responding to clients’ and prospective clients’ messages that are nearing 24-hours old
Organize and number your list from most important to least important starting with the high priority items and ending with the less urgent stuff.
- Look at your calendar to see where you can shift and shuffle – With your list in front of you, take a good hard look at your calendar and schedule time for each and every task and responsibility. Move lower-priority items to later dates and schedule the “must do now” tasks as soon as possible. If you’ve got appointments or projects scheduled that can wait – make them wait. Move them out on your schedule so you can make room for the things that need your attention ASAP. Above all, get all of your “on deck” work on your calendar! If you have your projects and tasks planned, you’ll be better able to offer realistic timelines to clients and be less likely to miss deadlines.
- Do administrative tasks on your off hours – Rather than take up your valuable work day with administrative stuff that requires less brain power than the work you do for clients, do it on your off hours instead. Yeah, it does suck to work evenings and weekends. But when you need to get caught up on your work, it’s often the best option. Things like adding new Twitter followers to lists or G+ connections to your circles, deleting electronic files that you no longer need, organizing your email, etc. All are things you can do via a laptop or tablet while sitting in the living room with your family. No, it won’t be quality time with your loved ones, but at least you’ll be there and can interact.
And please, when you do fall behind, don’t be too hard on yourself. It happens to ALL of us! But do realize that the more attention you give to staying organized, the less often you’ll find yourself going into emergency pick up the slack mode.
How do you keep organized and manage things when you’re falling behind schedule? Share your secrets here!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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