Many service business owners I talk to feel “behind the curve”. They feel like they’re struggling to keep up and everything is piling up in front of them. Just as they’re taking care of something, they know that new tasks and demands and obligations are piling up ahead. It’s like a conveyor belt in a factory where one person’s job is to attach one widget to another. Every time they complete one task, they look up and see the conveyor belt of tasks heading toward them. It’s never ending!
How can you get on top of everything? It’s hard! It probably feels impossible. But it’s not.
Here’s the quickest way you can get on top of curve: Skip ahead. Schedule time each day to skip over today’s problems and challenges and tasks and work on one of the things you need to work on in the future. Take 30 – 60 minutes and work on that future task. Pick something that is one day away or one week away and work on it. You might not finish it but do as much as you can. If you do finish it, start something else.
Better yet, set aside some time on a Saturday and work through several upcoming tasks for the week before they’re due. (I realize you’re probably tired from the week and don’t want to do EXTRA work but trust me that this short term effort will provide long term gain).
Here’s what happens when you do this:
- You quickly realize that many of today’s projects, although important, aren’t going to create a permanent problem if you don’t get them completely finished. You might even discover some tasks that can be delegated to someone else.
- You’ll feel a little extra busy – perhaps even a little extra stressed – during the first week or so of doing this. But then…
- You’ll start discovering that your list of tasks each day begins to diminish because you’ve already taken care of some of them. It’s like your “past self“ reached into the future and did your work for you!
- You’ll have more time to start working on your business (and also to continue this practice).
- You’ll build some “buffer” into your schedule so that each day doesn’t feel like you’re constantly playing catch-up.
Working on future tasks won’t reduce your workload… you’ll still be doing the same amount of work. (There are other strategies to address this and I talk about them in my book The Secrets Of Business Mastery). But working “ahead of the curve” is a way to do your “future self” a huge favor and lighten the load. At first it won’t seem to make a difference but it will have a positive cumulative effect on your business and eventually you’ll get to the point where you’ll only need to work on future tasks!