One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is knowing that you will never, ever, ever finish everything on your to-do list. You can start the day with the intention of completing all your tasks; you can pare it down to what you think is a reasonable number. You can schedule specific times to work on specific items.
But then your phone rings or an email comes in or you get lost in a sea of status updates and Instagram posts. Or you look at your list and are so overwhelmed that you pick the low-hanging fruit just so you can cross something, anything off. Or you have an idea for a great marketing project or content plan or event series, etc. etc. ad nauseum.
I know the rules: only check email at certain times. Same thing for social media. Work on the important stuff first. Turn off notifications and let people know to call at this time or that time. Yada yada yada. I’ve tried it all, but it doesn’t mitigate the sheer overwhelming number of things I have to do on a daily basis. I’ve tried paper lists and electronic lists and no list at all.
It doesn’t matter how many lists I make or rules I follow or prioritization techniques I try. I will never get it all done. Never.
And I’m OK with that.
I have big dreams. If I had tiny ones my list would be tiny. I’d get everything done by noon – especially since I’m typically at my desk by 7am. My dreams, however, are HUGE. Like, world domination huge. Which is great for motivation and it certainly ensures I’m up early every day, but sometimes I think it holds me back. They’re so big that they’re almost amorphous. How do you add “conquer the world” to a to-do list?
Like eating an elephant, one conquering task at a time.
I do have a tendency to go for the easy things, or the things I want to do, first. I know – shocking. Writing, although my raison d’être, is HARD. But in my line of work it’s core. Without content why would anyone visit The Local Tourist? My business IS content. Period.
That’s part of my renewed commitment to this blog. I’m exercising my chops in a different context, which means they’ll be more limber for my “day job.” That will open more time to conquer the other tasks on my list, like scheduling Chef’s Table events, hosting AlphaBeer, adding more cities, and marketing the heck out of everything. The list goes on, and on, and on…
And so do I. So I’m just going to hit “Publish” now, and that will be one more thing off my list. Check!
What do you do to tackle your never-ending to-do list? Share in the comments!