As owners and leaders, we can often get sidetracked by seemingly urgent yet unimportant tasks in our businesses. We get hung up on the things that distract us from the critical task of working ON our business. Urgent is not always important. You need to focus on crucial questions, challenges, and issues and make them urgent if you are to achieve your business and career goals.
This becomes the lens through which you focus your actions and strategies. It provides the impetus to encourage you to spend time working ON your business or career, not just IN it.
Keep your important goal(s) prominently displayed for you to see every day. Whether that is a one-page business plan incorporating actions and strategies to accomplish your goal, or a vision statement, it is essential to keep them at the forefront of your mind in whatever way works best for you.
Make it a habit to write down your weekly intentions. What do you want to accomplish this week? How do those objectives fit into your grand scheme of things? How are they related to your goal? At the end of the week, reflect on them by asking what barriers prevented you from delivering on your intentions. Finally, how can you avoid those barriers the following week?
Double down on this by being intentional about everything you do in your day. When you are about to embark on a task — emails, phone calls, meetings, etc. — ask yourself how each contributes to your desired outcome. Does it need to be done? Can someone else do it? Are you the best person to do it? Think about how your actions will help you reach your strategic goal and help you make better decisions.
Stop micromanaging. Be clear on your expectations and ensure your employees or colleagues understand them. Have a check-in process in place but then let them do the work, take on the responsibility, and take ownership of their work. It comes down to having them work IN the business while you focus ON the business.
The important thing is to get into the routine of working ON your business regularly; daily or weekly is best. Set aside uninterrupted time and demonstrate to your colleagues and staff that this is your priority.
Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach,
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