6 Rules I Follow to Get the Big Stuff Done
We all need to get everyday work stuff done. Often though, doing the everyday work stuff leaves little time to get the big work stuff done. Stuff that can make a huge difference in your practice (and your life). In this article, the author describes six rules he follows to get those important matters done.
We all need to get everyday work stuff done. Often though, doing the everyday work stuff leaves little time to get the big work stuff done. Stuff that can make a huge difference in your practice (and your life).
Stuff that can make those valuation projects go faster. Or stuff that changes, augments, or extends your practice. The stuff we say we do not have time for (usually because it is stuff that is important, but not urgent).
Full disclosure: I do not always get the big stuff done as efficiently and effectively as I would like. But when I do, I have found that following these six rules clear the path and keep me on track.
Rule #1: Being productive is making progress on my biggest priorities, not achieving inbox zero. It does not have anything to do with the number of hours I work. I am at my best when I am as busy as I want to be, not when I am as busy as I possibly could be.
Rule #2: E-mail and, sometimes, social media are distractions that can make me feel busy, but often result in me producing stuff of little value by the end of the day. It contributes to my loss of focus on the big stuff that will really make a difference in my practice. So, when Iâ€™m working on getting big stuff done, I dial back on the small stuff.
Rule #3: I do not say â€śyesâ€ť to stuff I should say â€śnoâ€ť toâ€”because it is usually the big stuff that I push aside when I say â€śyesâ€ť to the small stuff. I even created an e-mail script to handle these situations:
Thanks for reaching out to me. Much appreciated!
As you know, it’s just me here. And I’m in the process of moving my practice in a new direction. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s going great and I’m glad I’m doing itâ€”but it’s consuming all my time and energy.
So, while it’s super tempting to say “Yes!” to your request, I know I will be buried when the time comes around for your event and wonâ€™t be able to give it the full attention it deserves.
Again, thanks for thinking of me!
Rule #4: Doing any stuff outside of my area of competence just to save money always costs me more than I would have spent on the right person to do that stuff. And then there is the value of the lost hours that I will never get back.
Rule #5: I can get big stuff done in a week if I block out one to two hours every dayâ€”just like it was client work. And those undistracted 5â€“10 hours per week allow me to make progress on the outcomes I need on my most important projects.
Rule #6: I can get real big stuff done in a month if I block out 5â€“10 hours every week. There are few outcomes that I cannot accomplish in those focused 20â€“40 hours. But even if I cannot bring closure in that time frame, I am a month closer to my goal.
I think some people show up to work, wait passively in front of their computer, and respond to stuff that comes their way. These people start work with the intention of doing whatever stuff is required of them. They let others direct their stuff.
I think there are other people who start their work with a different intention. They minimize distractions and dedicate time to the big stuff that produces results that will make a big difference in their practices. They direct their own stuff.
Who do you want to be? Assuming it is door #2 â€¦
- What big stuff deserves your attention this week/month?
- What distractions do you need to avoid so you can tackle that stuff?
Everyone has a different idea of what a successful practice is. The practice you want is personal because it is based on what â€śsuccessfulâ€ť means to you. I help practitioners focus on the strategies, tactics, tools, and tech to build/grow/scale their versions of successful practices. If you want some help with that, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.