Have you ever started a project, and when you’re half-way through, started another project, gotten through that one a bit, started another…. and so on and so on? I know that used to happen to me all the time. I think it has to do with the entrepreneurial brain or something. But I’m getting better and better at choosing what to work on, and then how to work on it so that I actually complete it before moving on to something else. I get things done in order to get ahead in online business.
It started with a desire to work smarter, not harder or longer. I decided some things had to change if I wanted to work less than the 50-70 hour work weeks I’d been putting in. First, I decided to REALLY know what I want my business to look like in 2-5 years. I call this vision for my business my “North Star”… But you can call it whatever you’d like, and/or even create a vision board around it.
So now, when a new idea comes into my mind, I check it against my North Star: Will this idea lead me closer to my goals? Or distract me from them? It’s almost always clear cut now and the decision is made easy. If I decide to take on a new project, I know it will help me get closer to the ideal business in my mind. And if it won’t? I simply won’t do it (even if it will make me more money in the short-term.)
But a new project idea is only good if I can complete it. One completed project is 100 times more valuable than 10 partially-completed projects. So another thing I’ve learned (and has definitely become a mantra of sorts for me) is that “done is better than perfect.”
Coming from a bit of perfectionist like me, this idea is not one I took easily to. But, wow! It sure has been helpful when I’ve spent weeks, or even months on something and, even though it may not be perfect, I know I’ve done the best I can on it, and I “release it” into the world, so to speak.
But the little trick I learned this week for actually getting things done in order to get ahead in my online business are the 4 D’s of getting things done. They are:
Or Dump it.
The 4 D’s have been around for a long time, so you may have heard of it before. If not, here’s a little more insight:
Do it: If the project is important to you, do it. Prioritize it, break down the steps you need to take to get in done in a planner, notebook, or to do list, and DO IT. Oh, and don’t start any other big projects until this one is DONE.
Delegate it: If you don’t need to be hands on, or can delegate any part of it, do that. It will free up more of your time to work on the things you’re best at. What can you delegate? All kinds of online tasks with a virtual assistant (social media, websites, accounting) or even things like shipping or housekeeping with someone locally. Anything that can help you spend time on what you’re best at will be helpful.
Delay it: This one is hard for me, but with so many ideas and so little time, sometimes you have to delay even the most amazing projects. One tip I’ve learned with this is to make sure I write down my ideas, in great detail (so I don’t forget any of the good stuff!), and then then keep a running list of big projects I want to work on next. I sometimes use that list to motivate myself to get through the current project I’m working on, because an upcoming project might seem more fun while I’m working on the “boring” parts of my current project!
Dump it: Sometimes, you just have to let things go. This could involve scrapping ideas completely, or even just unsubscribing to emails so you’re not bogged down everyday with an over-flowing inbox. It could also apply to past projects, future ideas, or side gigs: if they won’t get you closer to your North Star? Dump them.
So that’s how I get things done in order to get ahead in online business. Do you have things that work well for you, too? Please feel free to share them in the comments below!