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20 Days to Build A Better Business: Day 16 Do More, By Doing Less

20 Days To A Better Business

Each Monday we focus on one activity you can do today or over the next week to build yourself a better business. These short, actionable posts will show you what steps you need to take to take your business to the next level.

In case you’ve missed the previous posts, you can catch up here: 20 Days to Build A Better Business.

This is Day 16: Do More, By Doing Less

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sit back put your feet up and still get more done? Of course it would, but unless you’re of independent means, it’s unlikely that it’s going to happen soon.

The truth for most entrepreneurs is that they are constantly juggling, shifting and balancing changing priorities and reacting to issues as they occur.

Telling an entrepreneur that to do more he (or she) needs to do less would get you ridiculed. But the truth of the matter is that changing from one task to another takes time.

Breaking off from what you’re doing to answer the phone or check an email takes time. Not only the time you need to spend to do it, but the thinking time that it takes to forget about the task you were doing, concentrate on the task that you are doing and then more time to think about where you were before you broke off to do the other task.

Switching takes time. So it follows that the more projects you have on the go at any point in time, the less time you have to focus on each one.

Entrepreneurs by their very nature have a million ideas at a time, but an idea without action is just an idea. The secret therefore is to work on one project at a time, even though you might have a number of different projects on the go at the same time.

Here’s how you do it:

Have a separate project file for each of your projects (either a physical files or electronic folders) and keep all of your notes and information relating to the project in the file. Next, create a project task list relating to each of the projects in the file and work on the task list until you come to a natural stop in the project. For example ordering stock or awaiting a design.

Once you reach the natural stop in the project,  you then move  on to the next project until you reach a natural stop in that project. Once you reach a natural stop in that second project you then go back to the first project. If that first project has still not passed it’s natural break point, ie you’re still awaiting for the stock to arrive, then you move on to project 3 and work on the task list until you get to a natural breakpoint.  Then it’s back to project 1 all over again and so on.

This way you can work on multiple projects but without the switching time flitting from project to project in a haphazard way.

4 Comments »

  • BizSugar.com said:

    Do More By Doing Less…

    How to cope with working on multiple projects at the same time. Each Monday we focus on one activity you can do today or over the next week to build yourself a better business. These short, actionable posts will show you what steps you need to take to …

  • Rick Byrd said:

    Hey Matthew:

    I really like the idea but for me this is easier said than done. Then again I will not know if I can do it without at least trying.

    This also helps in breaking down projects into smaller steps/tasks instead of trying to focus on the big picture and floundering around trying to get tasks accomplished, which I tend to do sometimes.

    – Rick

  • Terje Sannarnes said:

    As an entrepreneur myself I can say that it is important to work hard in order to achieve the best results in online business. Nevertheless, you should know how to optimize work process and gain the maximal benefits from it. This great post provides highly valuable tips in these regards.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Thanks for your comment Terje, much appreciated.