[This is a 47hats Tip.]
As the CEO, VP for Development, Marketing and Tech Support and a few dozen other hats at your microISV, how today, this week, and for that matter the rest of this year is going to go is largely up to you. Today’s 47hats tip is simple: take control of your week.
Now, if you have achieved black belt Getting Things Done status, you can go ahead and just skip this post – you already planned this week during your last Weekly Review; all of those nagging uncompleted tasks and issues have been corralled into your trusted system; your in-boxes (email, task and paper) were empty when you woke up this morning to birds singing and rays of sunshine. Good for you!
For the rest of us, it’s back to the salt mines, trying to dig our way from where we are to where we want to be, one shovel of you-know-what at a time.
Implementing GTD is a whole different set of posts, but for now, here’s a few time and blogger tested ways of reasserting control of your week before it completely slides off the track into whack-a-mole crisis management, mind-numbing web surfing and that nasty feeling that you’ve just blown another week of your life.
These steps are by no means the only way to establish your priorities – but they work for me, and if you don’t have something better in place, maybe they will work for you. (If you do, please tell us all about it by commenting on this post.)
- Stop. Take one whole minute and do absolutely nothing. Breathe in, breathe out, watching the second hand on your watch. By second 30, you will realize that a minute can be a really long time. By second 45 you’ll realize the frenzy and stress you’ve been feeling because your time is running out is artificial. By second 60, you’ll feel more in control of what you are doing. I’m serious – take a minute and just reassert control of your self.
- Look. What is the one thing you can do today that will make you feel best about yourself? It might be working on that next product update, because you’ve been putting it off for so long. It might be spending an hour finding something to post about at your microISVs blog. It might be sitting down and finally looking at that new version of technology from MAG (Microsoft, Apple, Google) you’ve been wanting to get to. The key is doing that one thing that you already know you should be doing, but for some reason you haven’t. (The reason is called Resistance, and the book you want to read is called the “The War of Art”, but that’s whole another post.) Doing that one thing on the top of your internal “I really should be doing” list will heighten your self-esteem, boost your energy, clear your mind and make you more attractive to the opposite sex (Okay – maybe – you’ll just feel that way.)
- Listen. Listen to yourself and ask, what three completed tasks this week will really move my microISV forward? Those are the priorities for this week, those are the things you need to focus on, those are were you need to put the majority of rest of your time today, Tuesday and Wednesday. If you don’t prioritize, you don’t accomplish. We live in a world with overwhelming choice, information and relationships can completely swamp your sense of self and your resolution of what and where you want to go. Pick just those three tasks and focus on them – there will be time enough for everything else after those are done.
- Get Tough. If you don’t take control of your day, your week, your email, your web, your microISV then most assuredly others will – and you won’t like the results. You can spend the rest of today reading 50 different lists each with 50 different tips of all the ways you can stop drifting, stop procrastinating and be more productive or you can get tough with yourself, refuse to be distracted and get to work. It’s your choice.
And if it sounds like I’m taking my own advice with this post – I am! 🙂