It is important to have specific goals and tasks. When you are creating your plan, don’t use vague references like ‘eat breakfast’ – make it specific: ‘eat eggs, toast and bacon for breakfast’. That way when you sit down to actually accomplish the necessary tasks to run your business, you know exactly what you need to do.
It is also when you are creating the plan that you will set your goals and make sure you are able to perform whatever you need to without being interrupted or having everything in ‘pending’. For example you can’t have eggs for breakfast unless you first go to the store to buy the eggs. So take some real time on the details to create your plan so that it will run smoothly and you can actually do what you need to do rather than to keep going back to the planning stage.
Lists are great but if you have too many things to do they can actually make it worse for you psychologically in that for one thing you may not have everything you need in place yet to accomplish something on the list. Or you may even react negatively to having a big scribbled mess with some things crossed out that are done, some things crossed out because they are cancelled, notes here and there about the status of various tasks, etc. It is just adding more chaos to your day.
The purpose of having a plan is to be organized and methodical so that you don’t miss any details. The main reason not to have a scribbley mess in your directions, however is that you may start to feel guilty or like you are falling behind when you do not accomplish what you set out to. There is so much to learn and to do that it is important to stay positive and not let any obstacles stop you from your progress to develop your business.
This is why it is best to have a couple different lists with your goals being defined between those that are needed and possible right now, (today) those that can be done in the near future, (this week or month) and then long-term goals which might cover as long as a year. Keep clear notes here about the status or things that may be pending and why – know what you need to do in the meantime to be able to eventually do what is needed.
So start with 3 pieces of paper or online documents to begin your planning. Don’t put anything on your ‘To Do’ list for today unless you are absolutely sure you can do them today. Should something happen unexpectedly that keeps you from doing it, then cross it off and start a new list for tomorrow – or add it to the near future list with exact date to be determined. Be sure to note anything that is keeping you from actually doing the task and what you need to do to eliminate that so you can finish what you need to do.
It is sometimes difficult for people to be their own boss. We are mostly used to going into a company that will tell us what our job duties are and show us what that involves, including orientation and training, etc; they will tell us what time to show up and what time to go home. So they are creating the foundation for us and we just need to go in and do it. When you are starting your own business you will have to do all of this yourself including motivating yourself to follow your own directions!
It is very easy to say ‘not now’ or ‘maybe later’ when you are in charge of yourself; however you can’t allow this to be the case. You have to somehow force yourself to treat your business just like you would a job. Of course we are free to set our own hours and etc., but if we are seriously hoping to start a business that will provide a full-time or substantial income down the line, we need to actually follow a plan and do the work on a consistent basis. Work at midnight if that is what you prefer but just be sure you get everything done, no matter what.
Take a few days off if you need to, but again, make sure everything that needs to be done, gets done before you leave or after you return. You might even want to build this in to your plan as it is very important to take breaks and have time away as in a weekend or vacation that you could expect from a regular job.
When people first start out it seems to be extreme in one way or the other; either they take it for granted and think there is some magical process that will create traffic and sales just because they joined a program, and there is no necessity to actually work it; or they will work 15-hours a day until they completely burn themselves out and can’t figure out why nothing is working for them. The truth is it takes time either way.