The truth is, even the best laid plans can be found trailing a bit “behind.” Whether because of emerging priorities or procrastination, there are times when we just get behind on the tasks before us. Seems an oxymoron to say “behind on that which is before us”… the truth is, it is.
Survival Step #1: Reprioritize and put the tasks before you.
The first thing you need to do is look at the list of tasks you have fallen behind on and and get them in front of you. I know this seems a bit simple, but the truth is, as long as the stigma of “defeat” or “failure” in not meeting a deadline is hovering over the tasks, it will take you twice as long to complete it. Now the task has become an emotional energy and usually one that is negative. So instead of just accomplishing the task, you have to feel the burden of having let it fall behind.
If you need to email a client, change a milestone, update a calendar… whatever your process is, you need to get that task in front of you (because honestly, it IS in front of you… we simply can’t go backward).
Be realistic in your priority and understand the importance of meeting the next deadline for this task. And if it needs to be done right now… then DO IT RIGHT NOW! But first change the deadline for it to RIGHT NOW (not last week).
When you remove the negative energy around a task that has fallen behind, you will have a different mind frame around completing the task.
Survival Step #2: Assess: why didn’t you get it completed to begin with?
This step is important because if you don’t know why you didn’t complete it to begin with, the reality is you will likely just miss the deadline again. I currently have a marketing project in my task list that I have changed the timeline on 3 times… why? Simply put, I don’t want to be the implementer of this process. I don’t have time and I know someone else could do it much better than I. Currently, I am working with a new team member to get them trained up to do the tasks needed to complete this project. However, the development of the new team member is moving at a slower pace than I would prefer and I refuse to give up on this initiative, so… it stays as a “behind” project. Knowing this allows me to understand why and how I am going to accomplish this milestone and move it into a successful, complete project.
So I ask you… why is that task behind? Why are you not completing it? What do you need to complete it? Many times when we let a task or project fall behind it’s because there is a piece missing for us. A missing element in the strategy, implementation or resource will cause us to lag behind. But if we do not evaluate what that is and begin to fill that missing piece, we will just continue to lag behind on the project and not complete it to the level of excellence we have started out with. So find out what you need to find out, implement what needs to be implemented, and get the resource you need BEFORE your next deadline.
Survival Step #3: Get Over It.
Many times, we stay behind because we can’t get out of our own heads. Let’s be honest, as Online Business Managers, our core purpose is to help people. We take it very seriously, and take our ability to get things done very seriously. I deem myself as the “Master Implementer” meaning… I get things done! So when something doesn’t get done on time or I start running behind… the first thing that happens is that I get caught up in my head… building a big, tiresome bridge that needs to be crossed to get the task accomplished.
Assuming I am not the only one who does this, I want to say: Get Over It!
Take the complication out of the “doing” of the task and simply DO IT. Push through the discomfort, the negative energy, the feelings, and simply do the task. Do not be ruled by what seemed a failure of yesterday.. but determine to make it a success today!
You can’t go backward, you can’t change with is “behind” you.. push it forward and then own it, rule it, master it and COMPLETE it! When you change your mind and determine to do that thing that is haunting you from yesterday, it will be the freedom you need today.