Let us take you back to your Primary School days, your earliest memories of education...
How good did it feel when you looked in your exercise book and saw a tick? Maybe you even saw a few of them!
Affirmation that you were getting it right, reassurance that you were getting there, guidance that you were at least getting somewhere!
Well, green ticks and red crosses may have been removed from many of the Primary School books of today, and maybe that’s PC gone mad, but that’s a debate for another day, as we’re here to tell you that ticks are still pretty powerful tools in the world of a business owner.
Certainly, in terms of productivity anyway...
Hands up if you’ve ever had one of those days (or one of those weeks) when there just seems to be too much to do.
You start one task and before you’re even half way through, your mind skips to the endless number of other things you need to get sorted before the day is done.
It can be pretty overwhelming, to see the inbox pinging and the postman dropping things on the mat, all whilst the phone is buzzing away and you’re trying to deal with clients, staff, orders, queries, questions and God knows what else.
The Firth of Forth Bridge is a great analogy here, you know, by the time they’ve finished painting it, it’s already time to start painting the other side again…
Well, what if we told you that something as simple as making a list could boost your productivity, change your mind set, and make a real difference to running your business?
Let’s find out…
“Something as simple as making a list could boost your productivity, change your mind set, and make a real difference to running your business.”
There, we said it, but it’s not just the making of the list that’s important, it’s how you use it.
It doesn’t matter where you make it.
It could be in the notes section of your phone, on a good old fashioned piece of paper, on a whiteboard on the fridge.
You could even make a lovely little spreadsheet on Excel if you’re that way inclined, but please remember not cross too far over the line into procrastination territory here…
Once you’ve composed your list, make sure it’s always in view, always accessible, because then you’ll be able to see the road more clearly, keep yourself accountable, and give yourself credit too.
Remember those ticks we talked about?
The little green ones on your smartphone, the great big fancy ones with your fountain pen, the multicoloured ones in the whiteboard markers, the thingymabobs on excel!
Instead of using ticks to mark off where you’ve been and what you’ve done, you could just get rid of the tasks that you’ve completed.
Delete them, rub them out, cross them off!
It sounds like such a simple tactic, but it works.
As soon as you see that you’re making headway with the things you need to conquer, the motivation you need to get through the rest kicks in, because that’s how lists work, and that’s how ticks work.
Bodybuilders, cross trainers and gym bunnies use them too.
Why? Because of the same reasons that business owners should.
Now, a list won’t solve all your problems and make you into a machine overnight, we’re not saying that, but a list will help address that mindset of misery, and help you turn mountains into molehills.
Make a healthy breakfast. Tick.
Practice Yoga or exercise for 30 minutes. Tick.
Self affirmation. Tick.
See, you haven’t even started work yet, and the ticks are rolling in. The list is getting shorter.
The list doesn’t have to be limited to the ‘work’ side of things, as the examples above clearly aren’t. Nor does it need to be a specific as this example is, it’s all about personal preference.
We would absolutely challenge anyone in business though, to go back to basics, and write a list for your day’s tasks. It’ll only take five to ten minutes of your time, and guess what…
…if you want to be extra cheeky, you could even put down, as your first thing to do that day…
…and you’ll be off to a flyer with a tick in no time!
We have a saying at Trinity U, that every day can feel like a Thursday, slightly different to The Smiths telling us all that every day is like Sunday, but a similar sort of message.
Groundhog Day and all that, but a quick glance at our lists and the lists of our clients, shows us that this is not the case at all, that the variety of running a business is endless, and that if we give ourselves credit for the small things, and hold ourselves accountable to them as well, the big things follow and, ultimately, take care of themselves.
We’re not reinventing the wheel here, we know we’re not, but just as you would for a child learning a new skill, breaking things down into manageable chunks, bitesize tasks, milestones and way markers, can make all the difference.
Ticks are back.
Use them at your leisure!
Weekly blog. Tick.
Podcast recorded. Tick.
Cup of tea. That’s next.