Boundaries or Business Tumbleweeds?
What is a Business Tumbleweed, you may be asking?
With all the technology, family and other demands on our lives we are quite often trying to please everyone and do everything.
Steve Jobs said:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.“
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Email, phone calls, voice messages, customer demands, snail mail, employees, family, pets, work emergencies, bills, and the list goes on and on and on…..
Where do you start and when do you say “NO“?
If you are like me or partly like me, I want to please all my clients as well as my family.
My daughter would have a soccer game and while she was playing I would be answering voice messages and emails.
If a client would call for a “quick job’ or an “emergency job” and knowing we were already booked I would just squeeze them in to the schedule. This would result in frustration on my part and a lot of frustrated employees.
Do you: (like me)
- Have a list of things to do nicely written on my white board in the office only to stay on the wall for weeks and sometimes months at a time without being crossed off?
- Have mail that I would place on the corner of my desk to get to later but only to move it two more times until I eventually got to it or threw it away?
- Do you have a few clients who are expecting a call or email back but you just say to your self “I’ll get to it tomorrow”?
- Skip the gym in the morning and tell yourself you will get there after lunch?
Sometimes the list never ended when I looked at MY “To Do” List and all the things I pushed around my desk and my brain where my Business Tumbleweeds.
Work, family, responsibilities that I pushed around my mind and desk until I could get to it. I would awaken in the middle of the night or lay restless trying to get to sleep only to have my mind racing through “To Do” list over and over. these were my Tumbleweeds.
How I controlled my Tumbleweeds with just two things:
- A LIST, yes just a list but not any ordinary list. My list would have between 3 and 5 items on it an no more. I would then underline the most important item on the list and make sure that was done everyday. If i finished more or all of the list it was all a bonus.
- JAM SESSION:What is a jam session?
- A designated time frame with no distractions usually between 30 and 90 minutes in duration.
- A concentrated effort to complete the task assigned to this time frame.
I also find if I write my lists the end of the day for the next day or the evening before allows me to think through the tasks on the lists before setting them in motion.
Simple yet effective, and as an old Zen phrase “Mind Like Water” allows clear thinking and maximum productivity.
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