It’s the Little Things That Matter, But Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Business
Time and time again, we hear, “It’s the little things that matter.” And that’s a beautiful thing…well, usually anyway!
As a solopreneur, sometimes little things – minutiae and little non-urgent tasks set aside for later – threaten to distract from and inhibit productivity on the things that matter in a BIG way to your business. It’s those nagging, need-to-eventually-do-but-not-today thorns in the side that for some reason creep into mind when your focus should be on far more meaningful work.
Generally, one or two unattended little things (examples: thank you cards that need to be sent, logging business mileage, reviewing profiles of new Twitter followers, etc…) don’t create too much of a problem, but it’s when you’ve got three or four or five or more that start boggling your brain simultaneously that you’ll run into a foggy situation.
And working from an in-home office adds even more opportunity for derailment as personal obligations can sneakily find their way into the mix. Ahhh, the perks and pitfalls of a collocated home/work environment!
So how do you put the little things “out of sight, out of mind” and regain focus? The way I see it, you’ve got two options…
- Take care of them immediately as they surface. Great in theory, but in practice it could fragment your days and constantly interrupt your real work.
- Document, prioritize and plan to tackle them. This, in my opinion, is the way to go! Keep an ongoing and independent to do list (perhaps in Evernote) of all the non-urgent things that find their way into your day, every day. Give a “*” to any that you deem of higher priority than the others. Then set aside a chunk of time on your calendar each week specifically for knocking out the tasks (especially the * items) that you’ve collected on your list.
By writing the little things down and officially putting them on your schedule, you’ll liberate your mind from toiling to remember them – and you’ll be free to zero in on what’s most important to your business. So, appreciate the little things, but don’t sweat the small stuff!
Your turn! What’s worked best for you in managing all the little, non-urgent tasks on your plate? Do you ever find your mind wandering to those unattended items when you should be focused on other projects and more meaningful work?