Time really is money for entrepreneurs, especially those who are just managing to get their business idea off the ground. With all the unavoidable costs and uncertainties in the future, it’s more important than ever for small business owners to be able to prioritise effectively. While there are always going to be little nuances and special circumstances tied to a business, here are a few universal secrets that will ensure you prioritise effectively.
Focus on What’s Going to Drive Growth
With most entrepreneurs, of the countless things that make it onto their “to do” list, only a handful of these will lead to any serious, exponential growth. In may scenarios, if you and your management focus on these few things that will really stimulate the growth of your organisation, the rest of the incremental improvements will begin to take care of themselves. Typically, you should be looking out for large and disruptive changes to make in your organisation, and peeling away from more routine ones. If you’re expanding rapidly and there seems to be issues in the way your management is running their teams, you’d be much better off investing in employee scheduling software, rather than sending your higher-ups away for a teambuilding day.
Dispel Notions of Perfectionism
While there’s a wide range of people who wind up starting a business, a lot of entrepreneurs are high-achieving type A personalities. For many of them, it’s extremely hard to let their work go unfinished, or unperfected. It’s understandable that you might want to focus all your time and resources to perfecting an isolated area of your business. However, if you’re serious about efficiency through effective prioritisation, you need to be able to drop some tasks in the middle, and divert your energy to the ones that have greater potential to deliver the results you need. This may sound counterintuitive, and it can be if it’s approached in the wrong way. However, when a business is first starting to grow, the drive towards the next big milestone can be very rough and chaotic, and this is where perfectionism becomes an issue. Sooner or later, you’re going to have to get used to the idea of leaving things halfway to focus on more pressing priorities.
Tackle the Hardest Things First
Despite what many people think, procrastination isn’t just a simple manifestation of laziness. It’s a completely natural form of avoidance, applied to the things that we really don’t want to do. As understandable as this is, it’s something that every CEO needs to avoid like the plague to ensure a brighter future for the business. If you really want to make sure you’re prioritising effectively, go into the office knowing everything you need to take care of that day, and start with the things you dread doing the most. If you put off these tasks and push them towards the end of your day, the nagging dread of the work will hang over you, and sap the energy out of all your other work. If the task is inevitable, then why bury your head in the sand?