Are You a Mad Hatter?

January 14th, 2009 by | Print



As a solopreneur, time is precious. You have a bandwidth of one. You don’t have the option of passing off decisions to a partner or offloading your workload to employees. Since you wear all the hats, reduce your stress and make the most of your day by asking the challenging question of, “What is the best thing I can do for my business right now?”


I confess. I am not always an angel when it comes to time management. Some days, I wake up with a clear head. And through some form of divine intervention, the clouds part and the plans for the day are handed down to me. However on other days, I am a work-wandering sinner.


I don’t believe that I am unique with this affliction. I am simply human.


The key to success is being able to differentiate work day wandering from the path of purposeful, prioritized accomplishment – and getting on the path quickly.


Is all work good work? Doesn’t it all help out the cause?


Take this test and we will see. Write down all the activities that you do in support of your business as a solopreneur. Let me help you out with some examples.


  1. Answer the phones
  2. Respond to emails
  3. Manage your blog / website
  4. Create products and / or services
  5. Create marketing campaigns
  6. Create marketing collateral
  7. Manage your finances
  8. Perform market research
  9. Balance your books
  10. Pay your bills
  11. Purchase office equipment and supplies
  12. Organize your office
  13. Make a sale


This is just a short list of 13 common activities. Write up a list of at least 30.


Now with this list, evaluate the following:


  • Which of these activities MUST be done by you? Take a serious look at cleaning up your list by outsourcing the tasks that you are inefficient at. Free up your time so you can do what you do best to add to the bottom line. Re-evaluate your list every month.
  • Based upon goals, deadlines and due dates, how much time do you need to get each activity done on time? Back date the start date of each of these activities and build in a little extra buffer time.
  • Which activity is going to have the biggest impact, either positively or negatively, if you don’t get it done today?
  • Which task is screaming for attention – not allowing you to focus on your other work? Sometimes the best thing you can get done for your business right now is to clear the most annoying task off the list first so you can re-energize and refocus.


Don’t wake up each day and put on the same hats in the same order without taking the “what’s best right now” challenge. Decrease your stress and improve your productivity. Take off the hats that aren’t right for you to wear. Then put the hats on in the right order based upon what’s needed for the day.


Don’t become a “mad” hatter.


All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide


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