“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.”– Jay Z
My dad has run his own company for more than 2 decades now. Needless to say he knows a lot about business, and is also just a really cool and interesting guy. I recently talked to him about how he approaches his day in order to run a company without being frazzled all the time. He explained that he goes into each day with a plan about what he needs to accomplish, and a general timeline about when he’ll do these things. He sets aside some chunks of time throughout the day for unexpected meetings he may need to have or tasks he may need to accomplish. But for the most part he sticks to a pretty set schedule. And once he starts something on his list, he sees it through to completion.
This makes perfect sense. Instead of starting and stopping something a billion times, which can make your thoughts disjointed and makes it easier to forget to finish said task, he gets each item off his plate and then moves on.
Now of course his approach is a little different because most of us aren’t at the CEO level yet, but the same principle still applies no matter where you’re at in your career. If you didn’t block out an hour to spend on Gchat with your best friend, don’t do it. If you didn’t plan to spend 20 minutes taking Buzzfeed quizzes, then don’t. If you know you need to finish a proposal, sit down and finish it. Don’t start it, go grab a coffee, bullshit with a co-worker, answer a few e-mails, and then hopefully remember to get the proposal done.
Also, get better at saying no. It’s okay if you can’t talk on the phone for an hour after working a 10-hour day. It’s okay if you can’t help someone finish a project because you’ve got your own stuff to handle. It’s okay if you can’t sit in on that meeting that you don’t really need to be at. Keep focused on your most important tasks and don’t let outside distractions take you away from your numero uno priority.