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Is Your To Do List Hurting Your Small Business?

Small business to do listI have a confession to make. I’m writing this post as much for myself as I am for any other small business owner who’s reading. As a Virtual Assistant, I pride myself on the fact that I excel in keeping others organized and on point. After doing this for 15 years, I know that my client doesn’t have to worry about that follow up phone call they need to make next month. I’ll remind them. Or they don’t have to remember all the details of that important conference call. I’ll keep notes for them. That’s part of what I do. I take care of the smaller, although just as important, details so that my client can put his or her focus on the larger stuff that helps grow their business.

I realized the other day that while I handle my clients To Do lists, just fine, I was sucking wind with my own. I had a mini- meltdown one day last week as I was trying to go though my own To Do list for Clerical Essentials. I’m sure my list looks similar to yours if you’re trying to grow your business. Check emails. Work on website updates. Think about blog posts. Try to think of witty and engaging things to say on all my social media sites. Work on advertising, networking, business plan, getting new clients in the door, and on, and on, and on. All this while taking care of client projects and issues.  Me, a Virtual Assistant, felt like I needed a Virtual Assistant!

After I took a few deep breaths, I started thinking about how other small business owners must feel while trying to run their own company. I mean, I AM a VA! I’m used to taking care of the details and checking off lists like there’s no tomorrow. But what if that’s NOT where you shine? How are you taking care of it all? Sometimes the dreaded To Do list actually HURTS your business instead of moving it forward. You have so much to take care of daily and that list can either help you or paralyze you. Mine paralyzed me for a bit until my inner admin kicked in and shook me out of my stupor. I just had list overload and hope to never have it again, but I’m not holding my breath. I had some good advice from fellow VA’s to just step back for a while to bring my focus back to what needed to be done. It’s funny how something so simple can bring such clarity.

So, my question for you today is what do you do when your list gets overwhelming?  As a small business owner or solopreneur who has no administrative help, do you feel like your To Do list is getting the better of you?


Angi Shields is a Virtual Assistant and owner of Clerical Essentials

  1. I make a new to do list everyday, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It does in fact get overwhelming at times, but you have to remain focused. I spend about 1 hour each morning on my own admin tasks. It actually works for me. I set a time limit for each task I need to complete. For instance, checking facebook messages, posts, etc… 7 minutes, same with Twitter and LinkedIn. Right there I have 21 minutes. The remaining 39 minutes are spent checking email, voice mail messages, Invoices, running reports, etc…

    Hope this makes sense 🙂

    If you would like to chat sometime over “virtual” coffee send me a email.

  2. That’s great that you stick to your 1 hour schedule Barbara! I need an egg timer on my desk. : ) I’m an early bird, so my time is usually at the crack of dawn, before business hours. I’d love to chat with you sometime over email! Thanks!

  3. Angi, we can chat over email anytime you can reach me at

    Talk Soon!

  4. If you are like most people you run your life off of some form of a ‘to do’ list. It’s a great way to prioritize and stay focused on what needs to be done in a day.

    It is important to understand what is on your to do list though, especially as it relates to your business. I have found that for a lot of people there are some vital things missing and it can have a huge impact on your business.

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