Go Ugly Early — Or, “How to get things done when you’re bat-shit busy”

What can we do to better manage our workday, to free up time for what’s important to our life?

This is a constant challenge for me as a small business owner, and for my clients. I have some things that seem to work in my world…

1. Go ugly early. Pick the biggest, baddest task on your list (you DO have a list, right?), and knock it out first. Ignore the pain; bodybuilders tell us “no pain, no gain,” and it applies to work priorities as well. Knock out the hard stuff first.

2. Got lists? Speaking of lists… make sure you have at least two. One for “all things I must do sometime,” and one for today. And make the one for today actually do-able. You are infinitely better off mentally to complete four out of four tasks that day, then to only complete four of nine. The completion is the same; your mental state is better.

3. Success, not perfection. Perfection is great if you’re doing brain surgery or dropping atomic bombs. For the rest of us, it’s an added level of effort we can’t afford. We want a task done successfully, not perfectly. Don’t waste half your day on rewrites, trivial edits, or consternations about what you could do better.

In reality, prioritization and successful time management (if there is such a thing) is mostly about discipline. Decide you’re going to do it, set a timeframe for it, and “git-r-done.” Reward yourself handsomely for accomplishments.


Kevin Berchelmann

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