Quickly after we begin our journeys as an entrepreneurs, we realize that life becomes a hell of a lot more complicated. Embarking on your entrepreneurial quest will bring unforeseen challenges that are bound to rock your daily to-do list at its very core. The onslaught of new tasks and responsibilities can be extremely overwhelming.
Over the past five years, my businesses have started, failed, grown and matured. Each new venture brought amazing new obstacles that forced me to adjust my daily routine and adapt to a growing list of deliverables. Throughout this time, I have come to learn that the best way to deal with these obstacles is to attack them head on. By that I mean that you should always prepare yourself and your business to be on offense.
With a growing list of high priority tasks, its easy to fall into the trap of ignoring problems before they arise. This is often the case when you see symptoms of a potentially huge problem and you fail to address them until its too late. You know your business processes are letting things slip through the cracks, but you refuse to act because it’s not causing you any problems Today.
I encourage you to take a step back from your business and identify holes in your processes. What are the areas in which problems are allowed to build and build until they become a huge, impassible iceberg? Who are the people with whom you need to connect but you keep kicking down the road? What are the financial challenges that will continue to grow worse if you don’t attach them head on today?
I have found the best way to stay on offense is to have an ironclad system for assigning and prioritizing tasks. Getting tasks out of my head and onto paper (or in my case, podio) allows me to objectively take a look at the big picture. I can categorize my tasks by responsibility so that I have a clear path to my goals. Everything should funnel to your task list: Get an email you need to respond to? Add it to the list. Get a maintenance request from a tenant? Add it to the list. Winter is coming and you need to schedule winter prep for your units? Add it to the list (This is an example of a proactive task that will save you headaches down the road).
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write it down. Take the pressure off your brain and allow your system to organize and file your growing list of responsibilities. This will allow you to understand your priorities and attach your problems with a clear mind and an offensive demeanor.