stay on top of all the things with Tash Corbin“I have too many things to do and not enough time to do them!”

If that is something that has popped into your brain or out of your mouth in the last few months, know that you are not alone.

It is a common challenge for business owners to feel like it’s hard to stay on top of everything.

The good news is that in this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast, I’m going to share with you how to stay on top of all the things.

I have some very practical strategies for you.

Let’s dive in!

stay on top of all the things Tash Corbin Podcast

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Before we dive in, I want to acknowledge that as a business owner, there’s always more that you can be doing.

If you told me you had 28 days straight to work solely on growing your business, I could fill that 28 days. If you finish your projects early, there are always other things that you can be working on.

As a business owner, that’s one of the biggest challenges. We have so many options.

We can ALWAYS:

  • Make up new ideas to get more clients
  • Deliver more effectively to current clients
  • Improve our business
  • Grow our audience

There’s always something that we can add to our to-do list.

Because of that, it’s a very common challenge that we struggle to stay on top of everything that we need to do as a business owner.

Before I dive into how to stay on top of all the things, I want to first say that it’s NOT going to be all the things.

We have an opportunity cost when we choose to take on a task or strategy.

Opportunity cost means that if I decide to write and publish a book as my project for next month, that means there are going to be other things that I could have done that I’ll need to say no to.

That’s the opportunity cost.

Every decision to say yes to something is saying no to many other things.

Knowing that opportunity cost is going to be one of the factors in making decisions, means we need to be better at prioritising. We need to be better at discerning.

Do I actually need to do this?
Does this need to be on my list right now?

That is way more strategic than it being one of the things you could do and therefore you just automatically put it onto your to-do list.

Firstly, we want to establish that you’re not going to be able to do all the things.

This podcast episode is a bit clickbaity in its headline because the simple answer is that you can’t do all the things.

Yet we believe that we need to do all the things and stay on top of all of the things as business owners.

Those people who most resonate with “I cannot stay on top of all the things” are usually the ones who need to take a bunch of things off their to-do list first.

We need to stay on top of LESS things but do a BETTER job of it.

The other thing I quickly want to say before I dive into some of the practical strategies is that the decision that you need to stay on top of all the things can also bring up some of that all-or-nothing thinking.

Have you ever had one of those days where there’s so much to do on your list that you end up doing nothing at all?

If that’s something that happens for you then be very mindful of even using the phrase “all the things”. That is going to elicit that all-or-nothing thinking where if you don’t feel like you can stay on top of it all, then you might just decide to opt-out altogether for the day, the week, or even the month (which I have seen happen).

If your to-do list is too long and it’s humanly impossible for you to stay on top of all the things, then there’s no way you can succeed. You will always fail.

Be mindful that sometimes our desire to stay on top of everything means we end up doing nothing.

Instead of telling you how to stay on top of all the things, I’m going to give you some ways to be more productive and more strategic about how to stay on top of the important things in your business.

I’m going to share with you the framework to be more productive, more effective, and make strategic decisions about what is included in all the things for you, what needs to drop away for now, and what needs to be struck off the list altogether.

1. Get clear on your goals

What are the important goals that you want to achieve in your business?

When we talk about goals in this framework, we mustn’t make tasks and projects into goals.

When I say goals, I mean the outcome goals:

How much money do you want to make in your business?
How many people do you want on your mailing list?

Something that is NOT an outcome goal is that you want to write a book or have it published.

I’m talking about the actual tangible goals – the result of the work that you do in your business.

What is your goal? Do you want to be bringing in $100,000 a year working less than 20 hours a week?

That’s an important goal for us to know at the very outset of setting you up to make strategic decisions about what you’re going to do in your business and what is a priority focus for you right now.

So get clear on what the outcomes goals are that you’re focused on.

As much as possible, bring the goals down to the top one or two.

The more goals that you have, the more scattered your strategy will need to be and the more disparate your tasks will be.

The more tasks that end up on your to-do list, the less likely you are to be able to nail those and get them done consistently.

Firstly, we want to focus on what the most important goals are for you and your business.

2. What do you need to do to achieve those goals?

If you have a goal of growing your income significantly, but you’re focused on publishing a 99-cent book on Amazon, is that the most strategic way for you to achieve that goal? How many copies of your book do you need to sell to reach your income goal?

Be strategic about what your outputs are (what you’re going to generate, do and create) in order to maximise the chances that you’re going to achieve those goals.

Ultimately, if you’ve got a goal and you don’t have tasks that will maximise your chance of getting to that goal, then you’re going to struggle with the sense that you’re working really hard but not getting closer to your goals.

Have you experienced that feeling before? If so, you may need to get more strategic about the right strategy that is most likely to help you achieve those goals.

3. Know yourself more closely and more deeply

This is important because when it comes to creating a strategy and setting yourself up to be more productive and effective, what works for me may not work for you.

What works for that productivity expert (who just so happens to be a straight white male who hasn’t done a day of housework in his life) may not work for a single mum with little people to look after.

Know yourself and know what works for you. Know what your drivers are, what your personality type is, and what your most productive working environment is.

Who are you?
What drives you?
What keeps you focused?
And what keeps you energised?

For me, if I spend too long sitting at a desk and I don’t get up, move my body and get outside, I’m going to feel drained very quickly.

I’m also an extrovert, so if I have to sit on my own and think about things for too long without having human-to-human interaction, then I’m going to feel quite drained.

I love being surrounded by people and having connection with others.

That might be online or in person. But for me, even just imagining the people that I’m creating content for when I’m recording this podcast, helps me to stay energised and get it done.

I know that about myself.

I also know that I’m far more likely to create great podcast episodes if I record a few of them at a time, because I get into a rhythm and feel that real sense of energy, motivation and momentum.

If I start recording a podcast episode but I’ve got another meeting in half an hour and I have to jam it in, then I’m going to get in the flow but not be able to keep going. That’s more likely for me to then NOT get the maximum number of podcasts created.

I’ve had that experience over the last few weeks. I’ve had to record one or two podcasts at a time, so it’s taken me a long time to get back into recording podcasts.

Whereas in other recording batches, I’ve been able to record six or seven podcasts in one morning, because I got myself into a rhythm. I didn’t have any time pressure, and I just got excited and energised for it. So I kept going and going, and I was able to ride that wave of momentum.

Get to know yourself. Get to know what drives you, what the right working environment for you is, and what keeps you energised and motivated. That’s really important to maximise your capacity to get those things done.

4. Look after yourself

It’s one thing to know who you are and what you need. It’s another thing to give those things to yourself.

How many people are wondering why they can’t stay focused on their work in the afternoons, but they’re completely dehydrated and have not looked after their physiological needs all day?

If you are undernourished, you haven’t moved your body, you haven’t had enough sleep, and you aren’t hydrated enough, then why are you expecting yourself to run like a finely tuned Ferrari engine at maximum capacity?

You’re not looking after your baseline needs as a human being.

Look after yourself! Give yourself what it is that you need – both in and out of your business – to maximise your productivity and effectiveness.

If I am dehydrated, I don’t think very well. Most people don’t think well when they’re dehydrated.

That’s a really simple baseline need that I find more entrepreneurs deprive themselves of than we would care to admit.

Are you looking after yourself? Both in your business AND outside of your business.

5. Give yourself what it is that you need to succeed

What is your best working environment? Create that for yourself.

What are the tools that you need to make your business feel easy, effective and streamlined? Get those tools for yourself.

If you’re battling a decades-old computer that takes an hour to fire up in the mornings and then crashes in the middle of your work, then you’re not going to be particularly productive.

If you have to do workarounds when you’re invoicing your clients because you can only send a maximum of five invoices from your specific software, and doing those workarounds ends up wreaking havoc and losing you clients, then that’s not a great business tool.

You don’t have the tools at your disposal that you need to run your business.

Give yourself those tools.

I understand some of those tools cost money. But you are the CEO of your business.

If your business is not making enough money to fund the tools that you need to pay the $15 a month for the next level of system or software, then instead of trying to run your business without it, why not identify that as a baseline income need that your business needs to cover, and find a way to get that baseline need met as soon as possible and as consistently as possible.

As soon as you make another $180 in sales in your business, buy a year’s worth of that tool. That means that you don’t have to scrimp and do the workarounds, which ultimately costs you time, energy and sales anyway.

Why don’t you just get the tool? Give yourself what it is that you need.

The same goes for team, and the data and information that you need to make good decisions.

If you measure a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its life thinking it’s a failure.

Are you a bad strategic decision-maker in your business? Or is it just that you don’t have the data you need to make an informed decision?

Do you collect the numbers that you need in your business to inform your decision-making?

Do you have the team, support, structures and tools around you to set you up for success? Or are you expecting yourself to make do because that’s how you treat yourself in all elements of your life, not just in your business?

It makes my blood boil every time I hear an entrepreneur say that they can get by without something that they need. Because I know that in a lot of cases, just having that tool, looking after yourself, having that structure around yourself, or hiring that virtual assistant for a few hours a month would make the world of difference to your productivity, effectiveness, and strategic decision-making.

But just because you could survive without it in the past, you are making yourself try and build a business without it now.

Give yourself what it is that you need to be productive and strategic.

Do you need mentorship? Do you need a business consultant to come in and help you set up your data collection strategy so you know what numbers to look at, and what those numbers mean?

There’s so much that we deprive ourselves of – whether it be our physiological needs, our psychological needs, or anything else we need to be able to do our job.

Enough is enough! Stop depriving yourself of what it is that you need. Stop convincing yourself that you’re going to be able to make it work. We both know that that’s making it harder for you to feel like a success.

If you could just feel like a success a little more often, you wouldn’t be second-guessing yourself. You wouldn’t be sabotaging your results or going around in circles. You’d actually get things done.

Give yourself what it is that you need to succeed.

6. Give yourself the space and freedom to experiment, make mistakes and improve

No great business was built in a bubble of isolation. You need to get things out to the public, share them, and see what happens.

Similarly, when it comes to being productive and getting things done, you need to experiment with different ways of working.

Maybe you’ve heard about this idea of going on a solo retreat to get your content recorded.

That may sound like a great idea in theory to you, but you’re worried that you’re going to book yourself a hotel for three days to get all this content created, but instead, you’re going to lounge on the couch and watch Netflix the whole time.

And since you’re so afraid that you’re not going to be effective while you’re on that solo retreat, instead you’re just not going to do it.

The amount of people who tell me this story is wild.

My response to that is always the same… but what if you got amazing things done, AND you veg down on the couch watching Netflix? What if you could have both?

That’s what happens to me on solo retreats!

I don’t work eight hours a day while I’m on retreat to record a bunch of podcast episodes. I’m lucky to work three to four hours a day while I’m on retreat. But that’s what I need.

I need to have a space where I’m allowed to just veg out, look out the window for a while, watch some Netflix, work when I feel like working and chill out when I feel like chilling out.

The more consistently I give that to myself, the more productive I am.

That productivity doesn’t look like me sitting at a desk for 12 hours a day while I’m on solo retreat. That’s not what productive looks like for me.

What productive looks like for me is I have fun, I look after myself, I relax, I enjoy myself, I go and get my hair done, I have my food delivered to me (sometimes by Davey, sometimes by Uber Eats). And then when I feel like I’m itching to do something creatively or it’s time for me to record some podcast episodes, I just sit down and do it because I feel like doing it now.

But it takes going away on solo retreat for me to feel like doing it in that way.

Rather than deny myself that gorgeous solo retreat because I’m not very productive, I recognise that my productivity doesn’t look like other people’s beliefs about what is productive.

For me, productivity is three to four hours of focused activity and getting stuff done. That’s very, very strategic. I do it the very easy, very lazy, and very fun way.

Experiment. Allow yourself the opportunity to make mistakes and fail.

I once went on a solo retreat, and I didn’t record a single podcast episode. But I was a bit tired, and I was a bit sick.

Rather than beat myself up that I went on that solo retreat and I didn’t get all the things done that I wanted to get done, I just gave myself the grace, space and forgiveness to see that that’s what I needed.

I didn’t get anything done on that retreat because I wasn’t capable of getting anything done on that retreat. I needed a break. So that’s what I did – I had that break.

You’re allowed a break as well.

Give yourself that space to experiment, make some mistakes, and then improve it as you go.

I know this probably doesn’t sound like the advice that you would think I would be giving you in a podcast episode titled “How to stay on top of all the things”. But honestly, it’s the best advice I could possibly give you.

In my experience, when it comes to online business owners (especially my audience), you don’t need someone to tell you how to work harder. You already work hard enough. It’s part of the reason why you can’t stay on top of everything – you’re working too hard.

What you need is to learn how to work smarter, to learn how to work easier, and to be more strategic with what you choose to invest your time and energy in.

And very importantly, give yourself more of the tools, support, environment, team, data, information and mentorship that are going to make it easier for you to succeed as a business owner, and be productive, strategic and effective.

If you like the flavour of this message, and you also like the idea of working smarter and more strategically, I have a great free resource for you with today’s episode of the podcast.

It is my Quarterly Planning Template.

Given that Q3 is almost here, it’s perfect timing for it.

You can grab that free template here:

I also would love to invite you to join the waitlist for the Heart-Centred Business Planning System.

This Planning System is a year-long program in which I help online business owners find their productive and strategic way of working, as well as their way of self-managing and prioritising so that they get the important things done.

This helps them to achieve their goals because they’re letting go of all of that busy work and instead focusing on what is critical, what is important, and what is aligned with what it is that you actually want to achieve.

I do have a cheeky little end-of-financial-year offer for people who are on the waitlist of the Heart-Centred Business Planning System.

If you’re reading this podcast episode before the 30th of June, then make sure you jump on the waitlist for my Planning System for 2025.

I will be in touch to let you know about my end-of-financial-year productivity CEO bundle.

Make sure you’re on the waitlist to receive that offer:

Also keep an eye out for the Heart-Centred Business Planning System when we go into launch in October and November of 2024.

This is the exact framework, structure and process that I use to help people get more done in less time. It helps them to achieve their goals because when they sit down to get work done in their business, they know exactly what to do and how to get it done.

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist