Have you ever put off a project or task for days or weeks that turned out to only take you 20 minutes to complete? When you finally get the task done, it’s relieving and discouraging at the very same moment. Relieving because you got it done and discouraging because you wasted so much time avoiding it. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about identifying which projects and tasks wreck your productivity so you can say no to them.
When you are working for yourself or the owner of a company, there are going to be a lot of things expected out of you that are outside of your wheelhouse or comfort zone. It feels like it makes sense to hold onto those tasks, but sometimes, it actually hurts you more than it helps you. If you have ongoing tasks or jobs that cause you to develop a block on them, it’s better to find someone else to do them or say no altogether if possible.
Here are a few things you should consider to determine if something should be handed off to another person in your company or on your team, or if you should just deny the work.
How Do You Feel When You Think About Doing The Task?
These are a few questions you can ask yourself to gauge your feelings about the task:
- Does the thought of this task stress me out?
- Do I find myself working on non-essential tasks because I’m avoiding this one thing?
- Do I feel guilty that I haven’t completed it yet?
- Does it end up on my to-do list every week, but never get crossed off?
- Is the client giving me negative feedback about how long it is taking me to get the work done?
- Are other people being held up because I haven’t gotten this done yet?
If you have negative emotions around the task or tend to put it off, it’s likely keeping you from doing other things. When you don’t feel successful, it keeps you from being motivated in other areas.
Is There A Learning Curve To The Task?
There have been plenty of times in business that I have been asked to do a project I didn’t know how to do. When I first started out, I didn’t say no to anything but I also didn’t know how to do a lot of things. I needed to say yes and push through hard things so I could grow my skills.
As I’ve grown our client base, I’ve learned that it’s better to say no to a task that I don’t know how to do, unless I want to develop the skills to offer it.
Even before I decide I want to develop the skills to expand this service to my clients, I have to figure out if I have an existing market for it. For example, I have a client that has asked me to take on a particular task for him. He’s got 5 clients that need this service. So, if I decided to put the time and energy into the education, it would bring me a return pretty quickly. But, in the meantime, I have to figure out how much it will affect my ability to produce for the rest of my clients.
Should You Hand Off This Task or Say “No” To It?
Sometimes, it’s hard to push past doing a new project or task that you don’t do often. But once you do, you’re fine and it’s not an issue. Other times, you never get over the negative feelings that you have towards it and it keeps you from getting things done.
If this is a task you do a lot, then do it a few times and see if your feelings change towards it. But, if it is something you did one time before and it’s not going to be a regular part of your job, it’ll probably be better for you to say “no” to it. Or, better yet, you may be able to find someone that you can pay to do this job.
One task that we constantly hear about people struggling with is blogging. They say “I know I should blog more and it’s important, I just never get around to it!” R5 Website Management can take this off your plate and give you great results on your blog.
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Until next week, get out there and start breaking the mental chains that are keeping you from producing!