I keep going back to my first blog post about keeping things simple to help keep things going. Well, I confess that I got a week behind in my blog posts 🙁  Fortunately, I do track these types of tasks in my PSA (ConnectWise Manage) AND I fire off my ticket template a week in advance, so I’m only a little late and have to double up my creative juices this week.

I decided to use this as my object lesson today and I’m finding every blog post I’ve written ends up being about more than one thing, which is unlike me. So to try and help, NEXT WEEK’s lesson will be: It’s okay to mess up. I got behind, it happens. I spent a day or two trying to figure out how it happened. But for today, this post wasn’t the only thing I was behind on. Where did all my time go?  I’d been working 10-12 hours a day, and was exhausted, but my actual work wasn’t done.

This is where I hear my mentor*, author of “Relax, Focus, Succeed”, Karl Palachuk’s imaginary voice, coaching me. I had been caught up in checking my emails every morning, trying to put each one to bed as I touched it.  Next thing you know, my bank accounts had been reconciled, I had ordered new business cards, I had evaluated a new monitor to increase productivity, and even taken a closer look at implementing Connect Booster in my own business.  All things that had to get done, but not a single one of them more urgent or more important than taking care of those tickets in my PSA that clients (and prospects) were counting on.

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I’ve been fairly well disciplined at waking up at 6am, getting to work, and shortly after my last call (between 5pm and 6pm), closing my laptop and being DONE with work. First, 11-12 hours has to be enough.  Second, I find I can’t sleep if I do work just before bed. Here is where I have been messing up.  I need to spend either 5 minutes at the end of my day, or 5 minutes at the beginning of my day, determining what my day (or next day’s) priorities are going to be.  I’m back on the wagon now. I wake up, spend 5 minutes while my computer is booting up deciding what is #1.  My answers usually look like:

“I’m going to work on client facing tickets, first and foremost. This means ignoring emails until midday, and then only handling clients,” or
“I need to work on internal tickets today to drive our future,” or maybe even
“This morning, I’m going to take an hour off and eat breakfast with the family”

I have to give myself that initial focus and planning time to make things happen. Without it, the hours slip away and some of the LEAST important stuff gets done. Also, if I ever need encouragement to work more for some reason, I like to tackle the important hard-work (for me that’s client facing tickets) in the morning, while i am fresh and focused.  Then, if I want to catch up on a few things in the evening, I can do more fun stuff, like researching the best monitor, or counting our stacks of cash (reconciling).

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Here is some bonus fun for those that caught the “*” by my mentor, above:
*Karl is not my official mentor, but he knows I call him that, and he has a lot of information and systems I love, other that I try and sell against 😉 He recently described us as “fierce competitors” , which I assure you is tongue-and-cheek. I assume that was code for I owe him another beer. He has good stuff available in and out of the IT sector. I’ll be adding “Relax, Focus, Succeed” to our book recommendations list momentarily, to join his other book, Managed Services in a Month, on our list.