The RTI deadline has now passed, but a lot of businesses are yet to make the switch-over. For a lot of people, it’s become one of those tasks that you know you need to do but keeps on getting pushed back. Here our Sage Business Experts share their tips on how to just get those little things done.
Grace Marshall – Grace Marshall
Think impact, not urgency. Yes we do need to put out fires from time to time, but thinking about what really matters to your business is often the thing that helps you to make progress rather than just tread water. Rather than just reacting to stuff that needs doing, ask yourself: “is there an action here worth doing?”, “what’s the impact of this?” and “what’s going to make the biggest difference?”
Joanne Summer – Joanne Summer
Use a 15 minutes to 5 minutes ratio of work to play. You can do pretty much anything for 15 minutes, so set a timer and absolutely go for it. Then when the buzzer goes, make a cup of tea, and stretch. When the buzzer goes again, spend another 15 minutes totally focusing, followed by 5 minutes rest or play, and so forth. Within a couple of rounds you’ll have got into the task and won’t need to use the timer to keep going.
Sarah Arrow – Sark eMedia
Turn off your notifications. You don’t need to be updated every time a friend tweets you, or know what’s posted on Facebook and by whom. Put your phone on airplane mode and get stuff done.
Kuldip Singh – Mr Singh’s Sauce
I once read a story about a survivor:
“When surviving it is crucial to have at least one victory a day. So, every morning, I found and ate a frog for breakfast. The reason: I knew that having eaten a frog, I had completed a big task already. All other challenges would then seem simple in comparison”
I love this story and use it every day. Complete your big task first. Eat your frog! Then compile a list of only 3-4 small tasks and be strict with yourself to complete them.
Jacky Tustain – Concord Business Solutions
There are often little tasks that seem to hang around forever. The trick to clearing them is making it easy for yourself. Consider bunching related items together, for example group together those tasks that need a trip to town or tackle various financial chores in one sitting. Make sure you plan to do these tasks at the right time for you, so early birds should tackle those items that take the most energy first thing and leave simple mundane chores for later in the day.
Tabitha Potts – Mimi Myne
I’m a ‘To Do List’ addict. I’ve tried lots of different systems over the years but am a very loyal Gmail user and so tend to use Google for organising myself. I do this using Gmail and Google tasks. When I get an email that I want to action, I choose the option ‘Add to Tasks’ and put it on my Task List in Google. If I add a date to complete the task, it automatically appears in my Google Calendar on that day. I do the same thing with events so I don’t forget them (and I set up the calendar to email me a schedule every morning). I have separate Google calendars for work and for home and I’ve even used Google calendars for meal planning! Everything is coordinated to my smartphone and my desktop with automatic reminders so I don’t forget things. I am not by nature an organised person, in fact when I was younger I was routinely late for everything or would turn up on the wrong day, so I’ve had to force myself to acquire these important life skills.
Angela Boothroyd – Online English Lessons
Find your favourite tools that will help you to be more organized. One of my favourite tools is Microsoft’s OneNote. I have OneNote folders for individual projects and all the different aspects of my work; because they’re stored in ‘the cloud’ as well as on my computer, I can access these folders from anywhere. I also keep a spreadsheet to record weekly progress on website traffic, newsletter subscribers, and social media. This helps me to keep focused on the small things that need doing, so they’re much less likely to get forgotten or overlooked.