Ah, the first of a New Year. Fresh start. Clean slate. What business owner does not love the first day of the first quarter of a new year? I do, and I was just thinking on Sunday afternoon about all the things I wanted to change, or to see happen, or to see stop happening, or to try a different way. I love the start of a fresh first quarter so much that, by the time I had made my opening day To-Do list, I was very stressed and all crabbed out. It is not that all my priorities are unachievable but that all these projects would make for a grinding three months of toil with some probable failure. Ugh. It is not how I like to work. My solution to saving my first quarter and my attitude is this: pick your two most painful tasks and start there.
If You Keep Doing The Same Things You Will Keep Getting The Same Results
That is the definition of insanity and it is also a recipe for boredom, disappointment, and likely less productivity. From my list of things to do, I picked two of them. They were important, they could have long-ranging results, they were achievable in a 3-month quarter, and, they were making me crazy. At first, this seemed too simple a resolution. The in-my-head counter-argument was “why not do lots of the easy stuff first? You can then be warmed up to work on the hard parts.” The year is long. I know from all my years in business that some priorities may work themselves out and that some will change on their own as other events unfold. Maybe just ease into a new year and hope for the best.
Maybe It Is A Trust Issue? Nah! It Should Be About Pain!
Could you be satisfied with succeeding where you believe you can instead of pushing to get it all done right now? I think it is a trust issue for many. Can we trust that things will work out for us? That four business quarters will be enough to get it all done and that we will keep working our To-Do lists for fifty-two weeks? Please. If we are being honest—the first two things from your long list that you should address are those two things causing you the most pain. Pain is a great motivator. I’ll bet if you take each task on your To-Do list, you could attach a “pain score” to each one. Those two top pain score items should, by definition, be the two you go after first. Then you don’t waste time deciding which two of many to begin your new year with.
I believe that every positive step each of us takes to contribute to growth incrementally affects the overall economy. It is a worthy goal. At Aptica, we will continue to monitor and protect the IT networks of our clients and to reach out to others who could use our care and our security protocols. After the recent foreign cyber invasion, if you have any doubt about your network and your defenses, give us a call. It always starts with a conversation, then we make a plan.
Jason Newburg, 260.243.5100, ext 2101, is the founder and owner of Aptica LLC. This IT management and support company has been serving small to medium-sized businesses for 19 years in the region that includes Angola, South Bend, and Fort Wayne, IN, Battle Creek, MI, and Toledo OH.