I struggle…a lot with getting things done (GTD).
There are so many ways to get things done and so many distractions preventing me from just doing it. The saying I try to live by is, “You always have time for what you do first.” After this bit of learning what I’d add to that is, “Do the deep work first”. Being honest, the reasons I don’t take the time to do the deep, focused work are tied to distraction, laziness and avoidance. This brings me to a talk I went to while at WPPI 2016 in Las Vegas. The presenter was Dane Sanders, whom I’ve seen before and enjoyed.
His topic was Rebuilding Your Business from the Ground Up. The target audience for his talk included those just starting their business all the way through those that have been in business for some time and looking for a re-think.
Dane covered the categories to consider when evaluating your business. Things like: value creation, marketing, sales, value delivery, business model (whether you’re freelance or a signature brand), what systems you use to process your work and finally how you work with people. Obviously, there’s a lot of content in each of these categories that I won’t cover here. The one I want to spend a little time on is a point that would fall within the systems category having to do with how you organize your day and how you get things done.
The reason why I feel like this one is a big deal is that if you don’t have the focus and wherewithal to do some deep work to sort through questions like:
- What can I bring to the client experience that only I can do?
- What’s the best way to identify and target clients in a meaningful way?
- What can I do to make sure my brand presence is consistent from end-to-end?
These are all pretty hard topics and not something you’ll likely figure out easily. Without diving into these topics, my business will not flourish as quickly as if I did take that time. Dane suggested several books but one stood out and I’ve just finished reading it, its called "Deep Work" by Cal Newport. "Knowledge workers are forgetting the value of going deep”, Cal tells us. According to a McKinsey study, "60% of the work week is spent doing internet searching with 30% of that time spent answering emails alone.” Hard to hear but it doesn’t seem far off to me.