Multitasking seems to come with the territory of being an entrepreneur. It’s amazing how many things you can do at once when you have to. It’s not uncommon for me to find myself watching a Facebook LIVE while writing content and making dinner. I feel like superwoman. Look at me, I’m bringing home the bacon and frying it up – all at once!
But here’s the thing. Multitasking is not actually possible, even for us entrepreneurs. Our human brains literally cannot focus on two things at once. When we think we’re multitasking, we’re actually just rapidly going back and forth between multiple thoughts. Not surprisingly, women have an easier time doing this.
The problem is that it’s not efficient. It feels like it should be, but every time we have to switch and reengage with what we were doing, it takes the brain time to get back into that flow. And if we’re constantly asking our brains to jump around like this, we end up feeling incredibly busy and overwhelmed, but never actually accomplish anything.
To combat this constant temptation to multitask, we have to become laser focused on our goals and big vision for our lives. Otherwise you’ll spend your days hopping from one task to another without ever really getting anything done. This goal-setting exercise completely changed my business and even my life. By starting with your values, you’ll naturally create the right goals to get you closer to your dream life.
Start with Three
Start by thinking about what you want out of your life. We have to know where we want to go in order to get there. How would I know what day-to-day tasks to work on if I don’t know the overarching goals for my biz and life? What are the three goals for your life? Mine include always being able to put my family first and achieving financial independence. Don’t edit or censor yourself. Just write down what comes to mind.
Now that you have a general idea of what your life’s priorities are, you can start breaking down your goals for the year. What are 3 long-term (6 months to a year) goals for your business or career? If you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur, maybe your goals would be to create a blog or e-book. You could focus on learning social media strategies or attending a conference or class. Think about 3 things that will move you closer to those overall life goals.
And now comes the hardest part for me… just pick 1 goal at a time. It would be impossible to make any progress if you jumped in with all three, but that’s often what we do. Look at the goals you’ve written and come up with an order for how you’ll tackle them. I think you’ll find that you often need to accomplish one before the others will be possible.
Once you’ve picked 1 long-term goal to work towards, come up with 3 priorities that you will accomplish in the next 2 weeks to a month to move you towards that goal. These should be very specific tasks that you will know when you’ve accomplished them. For example, if your goal is to launch a blog, some steps would be to research blogging platforms, call your friend who has a blog and ask her to coffee so you can pick her brain, and register the social media handles.
Don’t spend too much time worrying that you’re not picking the right short-term goals. You’re going to be knocking these out pretty quickly, so just keep moving forward. You’ll learn as you go. The most important thing is to take steps forward.
Okay, now we’re back at that daily to-do list. Looking at your short-term goals, come up with 3 tasks that you will accomplish in the next 1-2 days that will get you closer to accomplishing these goals. Limit yourself to 3, because truly, you’re not going to accomplish more than 3 in a day, so why stress yourself out with trying to add more?
You’ll be updating this list every couple days, so pick tasks you know you will make the time for.
What happens if something comes up and you don’t get to them? Don’t beat yourself up or just accept the fact that you’re not cut out for creating a business from home. Life happens, especially when you work for yourself. Just brush yourself off and start fresh the next day. This happens to everyone, so don’t let it derail you.
Once you’ve accomplished all three tasks, check your short term goals and come up with three more tasks. By staying focused, you will be crushing those long-term goals in no time!