• Stephen Carlock

Efficient business: Part 2 - STOP

[I would like to start this blog post by apologizing for the delay in publishing it. My business has been undergoing some changes and, true to my practice of prioritizing, writing this post simply didn’t make my cut last week. Moving forward you may see this a bit more frequently as I make a major shift in my brand.]


In the last post we discussed how planning ahead can help us to better deal with interruptions to our work, such as bad days (we all have them) or other issues. As a reminder, 2 key tools can set us up for success:


  • Prioritizing

  • Stopping activities

We’ve already visited prioritizing, or building a solid-yet-flexible schedule, and how it can enable you to differentiate what needs to be done from what you’d simply like to do when crunch moments or crises arise. Having this type of system in place is a game-changer when running a business.

But the buck doesn’t stop there. The truth is..

.

Your schedule is only as strong as the tasks in it are relevant.


This means that a well articulated schedule that is filled with irrelevant or un-impactful tasks is still a poor schedule.


As a business owner you should be revisiting your goals and their associated tasks at least annually, preferably bi-annually or even quarterly, to assess progress and efficiency. As you review your goals and the tasks they translate into you may discover that they are no longer an effective use of your time.


STOP


The first thing to determine is whether or not you should continue to pursue certain goals or tasks. But let me be clear - stopping does not always mean you are completely eliminating a goal or tasks. Stopping goals can sometimes mean tabling them for later. Stopping a task can mean delegating it to another.


When reviewing goals or tasks, ask some of the following questions:


Goals

  • “Have any new goals emerged which are a higher priority than my existing goals?”

  • “Are there any goals that I mistakenly thought were more urgent than they are?”

  • “Are any of my goals contradictory to the aim of my business (taking me in the wrong direction)?”

Tasks

  • “Are all of my tasks directly contributing to my stated goals?”“

  • Are there more effective tasks I can be doing to work toward my goals?”

  • “Can any of my tasks be out-sourced to someone else?”

If you find that any of your goals or tasks are less than an efficient use of your time, the next step is to determine if these tasks should be eliminated or simply delegated.


For example:


Delegating: Let’s say you’re a new voiceover talent. Developing your brand is key, and a good business logo is very important. Maybe you’re artistic and you wanted to develop your own logo, but after a few weeks you find you just can’t get what you want. For a (generally) nominal fee, you could instead delegate that work to a freelance graphic artist, and spend your time focusing on other tasks.


Eliminating: These days, everyone wants to have a blog, but not everyone has something worthwhile to say. Successful blogging takes good content, good SEO, and a good network to generate interest. Maybe you’ve spent a few hours per week for the last month writing posts, but it’s a grind and it’s taking time away from auditioning for new work, marketing, etc. This may be something to eliminate entirely.


Assessing your goals and tasks is key to your success, but it can be a bit of an art. The most important thing is to do it. Make sure that your goals and your tasks are relevant, impactful and truly moving you in the direction you want to go.


For a deeper dive into this idea, I highly suggest listening to the following Podcast on effective time and task management from leader Craig Groeschel: https://www.life.church/leadershippodcast/its-about-time-part-1/


As always, I hope these blog posts are helpful to you, and I welcome any requests for specific topics you’d like me to cover. Simply comment below with questions or thoughts and Ill touch base with you soon.


Cheers,

Stephen

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