We’ve all had those days: the barista outdoes himself, and from your first coffee, everything is going great. Your priority tasks are getting ticked off, you’re tackling the hard chores head on, and you’re winning, then suddenly it’s 5:31 and you still have a page of overdue jobs on your list: Bills to pay, creditors to call, mystery transactions to investigate. Your client shut up shop half an hour ago. You’re tired and don’t trust yourself to check that important account until tomorrow. Somehow, it’s always the same tasks which get rolled over to tomorrow, to next week, or until the red-ink on the overdue notice makes you drop the job in hand and pay up (with interest of course!).
These frustrating days don’t happen in isolation, they’re part of a cycle of frustration. You’re trying to focus on the things you’re passionate about (and good at), but you end up stressed out and behind, as the sheer volume of small distractions builds up, and overwhelms your good intentions.
To break the cycle, you have to increase your time available. Obviously, you could have fewer clients, or work longer hours. But those approaches only resize the problem without improving your situation. Moving permanently from frustration to focus requires increasing the proportion of your time focused on your passions, and reducing the downtime you suffer when you switch tasks. Specialisation and expertise are the keys to solving this puzzle. Sometimes the best answer is to develop your own expertise, so you can tackle those problem tasks efficiently. But, if you don’t have that luxury, the best answer is to outsource the expertise you need.
The “Personal Outsourcing” revolution means harnessing the same efficiency gains blue chip companies have long achieved by outsourcing expertise to both experienced contractors and automated (“expert”) systems. Both human experts and expert systems have their strengths – but when harnessed in tandem, they are complementary and your efficiency gains can be amazing.
Personal outsourcing is a powerful and versatile tool, with providers ranging from generalists who reduce the menial tasks associated with running a business, through to bespoke services like Bill Butler, which are designed to totally eliminate an entire class of time-draining chores from your life.
Of course there is no “magic bullet”. Focused, enjoyable productivity is the holy grail in today’s ever-accelerating world. To achieve this, you will need to constantly review and tweak both your automated tools, and your relationship with traditional “outsourced service” providers such as your accountant and lawyer. Adding an expert outsourcing provider such as Bill Butler is the best way to take the next step towards breaking the frustration cycle. This will allow you to focus on what really matters – building your business, and building your key relationships (no, not just with the barista!).
Lead Thought Provoker
Jay began his career in London with Rabobank, CLS bank and a Lloyd’s of London syndicate. Jay’s work has spanned corporate communications, content editing, newspaper articles, courseware, blogging, policy drafting, technical writing, and a regular crossword. He is passionate about 8-bit tunes, self-improvement, and the Oxford comma.