Get More (er, Something) Accomplished on Your To-Do List

Choose Priorities - Don't confuse motion with action.  Just because you're busy doing things doesn't mean you're doing anything productive.  

Pick three really important goals you have for yourself.  I know you have more than that, but you must choose the three most important.  Keep them big and grand, like "Sell more weddings," or "Reduce costs," or "Manage time better."  

Write them down, put them in a 5"x7" frame and set it next to where you work on your computer. 

Align Priorities - Look at your (monster) list of things you want to do. These could be any to-do: experimental designs, books to read, podcasts to listen to, editing your website, rewording your sales material, changing your pricing, calling that planner you met to ask her how you can work more together.  What ever.  

Now, take your framed goals/priorities and use them as a filter to see if the items on your to-do list fstill make sense - and if one doesn't, cut it.  Immediately.  Stay hyper-focused on ideas and inspiration that tie in to your goals.  Push everything else to the (way) back burner.   Be vigilant. 

Say No - The wedding industry is filled with people-pleasers and conflict-avoiders.  You are likely one of them!  It's okay.  Self-awareness is the step just before self-regulation...

Seriously, you've got to say no to the things that don't move toward your goals.  Be polite and consistent about the things you opt not to do.  I think you'll find this is the best way to keep yourself energized and focused.

Always remember the biggest cost to saying yes too much is just, you know, the opportunity to fulfill your dreams.  #hamsterwheel     

Schedule Project Time - If you're not making progress on your long-term goals, it's very likely because you don't have enough time dedicated to activities that support them.  

Start with your calendar.  You should have about half your time blocked off for tasks and commitments that further your core strategies.  When I say blocked off, I mean you actually have to schedule them into your calendar so you know you have time for them.  Just put "Project Time" as a placeholder, and treat it as a sacred space for you and your goals.

I recommend starting early in the morning when you're fresh and the day hasn't gotten away from you.  Do two-hour chunks with a 10-minute break in the middle.  Turn off your email and notifications on your phone (because when you're interrupted or distracted it can take 20 minutes to get back on track).

Make Problems Easy to Solve - Dale Carnegie had it right when he suggested taking the biggest problems and breaking them into smaller, easier to approach issues.  

For your goals, this means creating smaller projects out of the big-picture goals you set out.  If you want to cut expenses, for example, you could break it up into labor, marketing, vendor expenses and monthly recurring - or what ever you see as low-hanging fruit.  

When you can see a plan of attack and not feel so overwhelmed, you're likely to quit procrastinating and start tackling the real challenges holding you back.

Sam Jacobson