If you're anything like me, there's at least one email getting stale in your inbox . . . 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks without reply. It's just an email! But there is some aspect of it causing indecision or hesitation. Heck, maybe you have dozens of emails that require you to take action, and yet they never quite make the morning cut. You might be bottlenecking your business in other ways:
- Your to-do list: How many items have been hovering in the "low priority" pile and for how long?
- If you have a team: how many tasks are they waiting on you for, unable to proceed without your input? What about your customers or clients?
- Maybe you feel the lack of "efficiency oxygen" in your day-to-day work: You are running around like a chicken with your head cut off—furiously treading water just to get the minimum required done, barely touching your most strategic tasks.
Earlier this year there was a day that I was so frenzied I had to strategize when I could get up to brush my teeth in-between calls. There have also been days where I have to build "take shower" into my to-do list. Systems alert!
In what ways are you a bottleneck for your business?
Wikipedia defines a bottleneck as "A phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is limited by a single or limited number of components or resources."
You might feel a vague sense of where you're operating inefficiently, but if you already knew exactly what was clogging up the works, you probably would have fixed it by now!
As with many habit changes, awareness is the first step: I created this new Bottleneck Buster Template when I was spending too much time weed-whacking in my day-to-day work; it helped me stop complaining and start strategizing.
The template still in beta . . . which means that I need your feedback! I'm curious to know if it works for you too, and what else would help bust up your bottlenecks.
How to Use the Bottleneck Buster Template:
- Open the template
- Go to File --> Make a Copy
- Week One: Just observe what's piling up or falling through the cracks; do not start troubleshooting yet!
- Week Two: For each item, brainstorm one next step, system, or small improvement that would help improve your workflow.
- Week Three: Review—did you notice any improvement? Continue refining . . .
I can't wait to hear what you think if you try it out!
And if you're feeling generous . . . would love for you to help spread the word :)