Ron Ashkenas has a brillant post “Do You Have Too Much on Your Plate?” from Harvard Business Review yesterday in which he advises larger organizations on how to streamline and manage projects. His first point, “Review the workload across strategic priorities,” has more meaning for companies who have multiple management levels, a departmental structure, and a strategic plan. But for small businesses, this point can be adapted to “Have strategic priorities to reference in managing your time and projects. ”
Have Strategic Priorities
Small business owners often act as project managers without being business analysts and strategic planners. If you conduct business on a project level, seeking to solve every problem that crops up immediately, redirect your energy to developing strategic priorities.
Having a strategy with priorities will allow you to evaluate what to do and what not to do in terms of projects. Taking this larger view of what your real problems are and developing project plans for solving them that utilize the right mix of skills and resources is the most effective way to prevent spinning your wheels with non-essential tasks.
My advice for when your plate as a small business owner is full? Instead of looking at what’s on your plate, or even in your kitchen, look at what’s available and in season. (Tweet this!)