Does it always seem like whenever you start to do something – and making some progress – something comes out of nowhere to stand in your way, threatening your success?
We call them obstacles … or something like that.
These conflicts can arise in several places and at any time. You’re starting out to build your business, you have all these exciting ideas and everything is going well, and then all of a sudden, your vehicle breaks down. And now you have to spend the little money you saved up to invest in your business to fix the car!
You see, these challenges can affect your focus, level of productivity and output, and they can derail your march to success.
The problems overlap between your personal and professional lives. For example, problems at work can create hostility at home, and vice versa. To be successful, you need to become a master at handling obstacles with ease.
Learn to recognize these obstacles and how you can stay on track when they do appear.
1. The Obstacle of Being Overwhelmed
Being overwhelmed can have serious impact on your productivity.
Trying to grow your business while maintaining what you already have can easily become overwhelming. And when you throw in your family and other personal commitments, you can quickly get burnt out.
This is why you need to have a schedule for when tasks need to be completed.
You need a task list. Every single thing that you have to accomplish each day for your business should be on this list. And those stuff that impact your business the most should be top priority.
You can’t control when the unexpected happens, but by sticking to a schedule, you have a better chance at getting things done. If an obstacle arises that tanks a days’ worth of productivity, you need to map out a plan to double up on other days until you’re back on schedule.
But if you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed, it’s possible that you may be biting off more than you can chew. You will need to work on your organizational skills.
Start by prioritizing your tasks in order of importance. The first few tasks on your list should be whatever it is that you have to get done in order to keep the business functioning.
Remember, you must keep the doors open or the site operational, and the sales coming in and the payroll going, and the customers happy. The only other alternative to those is to go out of business … obviously, that’s not what you want.
Once you have taken care of the immediate priorities, you can put off other important, but not urgent, matters until later date and time. Some business owners find it helpful to use one of the “year at a glance” calendars to keep track of the tasks that have to be done in the future.
In addition, you’ll need to find a way to delegate or outsource what can be passed on for someone else to do.
Simplify everything to keep productivity moving along when you’re struggling. That means if you spent money on a software tool that is too confusing to use and has a steep learning, stop using it. Get rid of “productivity tools” that are taking you more time to learn than the benefit they actually offer.
You may also find it helpful to seek a mentor or hire the services of a coach to help you clearly see your goals and how things are fitting into your life.
Get rid of clutter. They slow productivity and create overwhelm. If you have a cluttered office or a cluttered online system, it can make it difficult for you to find what you need when you need it. Cluttered home or office inhibit the flow of energy.
Keep everything organized as you go along to prevent this from being an obstacle. Sometimes that means letting go of projects you once thought were viable, but never have time for.
2. The Obstacle of Procrastination
Taking on too much at once can lead to a time crunch. So too, can procrastination. A major obstacle to productivity is lack of planning for every step of a project – especially if the project isn’t due right away.
It can be too easy to think that you have a lot of time, so you do other things first (or, if we’re honest, waste time on social networking site). Then before you know it, you’re suddenly faced with the deadline – and you’re not sure where to start.
Everything that you need to take care of in your business should have an action plan. You should know every area of your business that has a completion date. One of the easiest ways to blow your reputation is by being the person who can’t get jobs completed when you say they’ll get done.
A simple solution to the obstacle of procrastination is to make sure that each project you have going on has a detailed list of action steps.
You don’t want to tackle a big project all at once. It can lead to you feeling overwhelmed. The best way to handle this is to break down the project into small tasks.
Use a calendar or other means to divide the project up into chunks. If you have a project that you know is going to take three months to complete, do a little bit of work on it each week.
This way, when the due date arrives, you can be finished up with plenty of time to have done the job thoroughly and professionally. Rushed jobs can often affect the quality of the finished product and you don’t want to present work that’s less than your best effort.
Another smart way to deal with obstacle of procrastination is to outsource some of your work. Many businesses have entire areas that they outsource to someone else, which not only saves them time, but allows them to focus on their core expertise.
For example, an ad agency that takes in too many client projects may decide to hire freelance copywriters to write the ads.
This saves them time and money and allows them to be more productive. Focus on the skills you excel at and enjoy most – and find others to take over the tasks you least enjoy.
Other businesses allow an outside phone service to take care of their incoming calls. This way, they can focus on running the business and still maintain good customer service.
You might hire a virtual assistant to handle your customer service issues online. It’s all about freeing you up for the most important money-making and personally gratifying tasks.