If you have worked a job you know that there are certain things you need to do for your position and there are deadlines and expectations with it. When you are working to turn a dream into a goal and achieve those goals it never fails that there is always busy work to occupy your time. Some of it needs to be done but does it need your attention when you start adding it to your list over your primary product?
When I first started writing I focused on getting those hours to write in until that first rough draft was done. That was my primary focus and I didn’t sway from that on my scheduled times to write. Once the rough draft was completed and more people I knew found out about it the advice of how to market, building a following, finding my niche and many other things began to fill my plate of things to do. Editing my book and getting it to editors and proofreaders was the next step but somewhere along that journey the other parts took over and dominated my time.
Wanting to gleam knowledge from others that were achievers and successful I joined a mentorship program. That program helped me when I started to realize what my true passion was and that was writing over my photography. The advice given was good and the things I needed to do to turn myself into a brand seemed right. I began with the website, writing a blog, creating a Facebook page, getting on social media platforms and reading tons of recommended books. What I learned was valuable information to help me on my journey.
At the same time all of that information was also holding me back. I had more items on my things to do list that had nothing to do with actual writing and it took a lot of time to make all those steps happen. Being that I had limited time around a job and family I was juggling this list and doing my best to squeeze in all that I could, but I wasn’t able to stick to the constant writing schedule I had created before due to all of those things. It’s easy to get sucked into the thing to do list that just keeps on growing. It was all items that needed to be done but not in the order in which I was doing them.
You need to take the time to consider your product. If you are writing a book then you need to finish it. If you are an artist then you need to have completed art pieces. If you are a chef then you need to have final recipes. If you are an inventor then you need a prototype to show that it works before you can get investors or begin production. Without the product all of the busy work is just that busy work. Learning how to juggle the busy work and the time you need to spend on the actual product is key to your success.
Here are a few tips to overcome the time sync of busy work in your life.
1. Stick to a schedule for your product. If it’s writing then write until you have completed that book. That includes edits, rewrites, proofreading and editors. Until that part is done you do not have a product to share with the world.
2. Schedule time for the busy work. Create a list of all the things you need to do for your product and then figure out which items need to be done first. Once you have them numbered 1 through 100 in order of importance of completion then figure out how long each one will take. In your schedule plan for item number one and the time you think it will take. You may only have one day a week, with just a couple hours to put towards it, that’s okay it’s still getting done.
3. Do you need to do it? When it comes to building websites, designing logos, figuring out marketing strategies and so forth you may not be the one that needs to do it. When you are first starting out and have limited funds to make your dream happen then it does fall upon you, but if you have a few extra funds use it to do the things you would rather someone else take care of for you.
4. Stay focused. It’s easy to see that long list of things to do and want to dive in and start getting them done. You need to remain focused on your plan and schedule. If all you have is three nights a week for about four hours to work on your product and these items then spend one night on the things to do and the other two nights moving your product forward. Without the product the rest doesn’t do you much good.
5. Accountability. Get yourself an accountability partner and go over your goals with them. Set deadlines and have them hold your feet to the fire to make them happen. Meet with them regularly to show your progress and let them encourage you at what you have accomplished when you feel you aren’t making much headway. That positive reinforcement will be key at various times throughout your journey.
6. Follow your gut. There are times that all the advice given or books read lead you to go one way but you feel you need to go another. Don’t ignore that feeling. You may need to spend all of your time for several weeks working on the product and not the other things at all. When the product is complete you may need to spend all of your time working on that list of things to do before you launch the product. Some items on the list you may feel you don’t need to do at this time then don’t do them. Being in business for yourself is a lot about trusting your own instincts until the experience guides you.
7. Do research. No matter your product if you want to reach a target audience you need to do some research. Adding this to your things to do list will help you know if you need to use this marketing method or that one, define your niche more, your target audience age range and so much more. It also helps you see what else is out there, how they market their product, if it’s working or not, and what changes you might need to make for your own. This also will tell you if everything you thought you needed to do before you launch your product is necessary or not.
8. Business requirements. A lot of us can get hung up on the process of dotting every I and crossing every T in order to set up the business side. What you think you need may not be necessary when you first start out. Take the time to get authoritative advice on these topics so you don’t waste time or money doing more than is necessary when you are first starting out.
Remember that the busy work to your business may not need to be taken care of right away. If you don’t have a product that should be your main focus, the rest will fall into place by prioritizing them and making a time for them until all is completed. The list may seem long but you know everything you need to tackle and this will help you stay focused and on track to reach your goal and have success.
Have a blessed week!