Most entrepreneurs who run their own businesses have had the experience of falling into a seemingly never ending loop of crisis response. You come in to work in the morning and almost right from the go you’re dealing with a constant stream of urgent matters.
Emails, phone calls, complaints, urgent requests from clients, employees, partners and vendors. You’re in response mode. Dealing with situations as they arise. This way of working comes at a cost. There’s the frustration that comes with knowing that you’re not doing your real work – the creative or strategic work. You’re not using the entrepreneurial part of you that started a business in the first place. The work you’re doing, in fact, is a distraction from the work that will help you to really move your business forward. At times you may feel really, really busy, yet at the same time, you’re not really getting anywhere. Sound familiar? Let’s face it, much of the time, you’re spinning your wheels. It happens to the best of us. Here’s how to stop.
Intro to GTD: Getting Things Done
You may of heard of GTD. It’s a decades-old productivity method and a best-selling book created by renowned management consultant / executive coach David Allen. What makes it unique is an emphasis on relaxation or stress-free productivity. Learn more about David Allen and Getting Things Done by visiting the website. While GTD is considered the “gold-standard” in organizational productivity, in my experience, it is particularly useful for creative and entrepreneurial people – independent artists and small business owners. Anyone who has to balance the real work of creating with the daily work of running their businesses.
In a nutshell, the solution to the overwhelming, crisis response hamster wheel situation described above is to automate as much of your workday as possible. With more of our day automated, we can focus more of our energy on the high-value creative tasks. This automation is achieved through five phases of the GTD system:
- Collect every single thing you have to do on a list
- Process each thing on the list by the desired outcome and the next action to do it
- Set reminders for the things you have to do
- Review reminders on a regular basis
- Do the actions
Learning more about GTD
Over the next few blog posts, we will cover GTD and how you can use this method to increase your productivity. While GTD is widely taught, and you can learn about it through seminars, one-on-one coaching and other venues, we’ll be looking at productivity expert, Tiago Forte’s Skillshare class, Get Stuff Done Like A Boss: Design Your Workflow and Double Your Productivity in 21 Days, to help us, help you with GTD. If you like what you see here, try the class for just $29.
Automating administrative tasks
Our own application, SimplifyThis was built with productivity in mind. Take appointments directly through your website with SimplifyThis — two in one appointment scheduling and invoicing software. Automate and streamline administrative tasks and focus your energy on growing your business.