You've probably heard the phrase 'low hanging fruit'. It refers to the fruit that's easiest to pick when harvesting, because the picker doesn't have to reach for it. It's the same in business where we generally want to be as efficient as possible.
In my coaching practice my job is often about helping clients identify and access the low hanging fruit available to them. For my marketing clients it may be identifying the most likely and easy to access source of business. For leadership clients it may identifying the team members who will respond to leadership and then build around them.
Here's an exercise you can use to discover what 'low hanging fruit' may be available to you. Ask yourself these four questions.
1. Do I have a lot of messes in my life? Messes can be environmental, legal, relationship, health, administrative or financial. Often messes are easier to clean up than you think they are and when they are cleaned up the minimum benefit is a lot of recovered 'mental energy' [because you're not worrying about the mess anymore]. Step One: identify the messes in your life. Step Two: pick out an easy one to clean up.
2. Do I suffer from analysis paralysis? That's the symptom of too much think time in relation to action that might be taken. As a coach I try to help my clients progress in little steps. So if a client suffers from analysis paralysis we'll identify a range of activities that might be affected. Then we'll create a strategy to get going with less analysis on the most minor of the affected actions. That gives the client some optimism that they can do it, and then they'll try something a little tougher and so on. With success they'll have more of a 'just do it' mentality.
3. Do I regret a lot of seemingly wasted time? Some people do too much of the wrong stuff and not enough of the right stuff. I try to get my clients to figure out what the best right stuff is and then schedule to do more of it. That leaves a lot less time to do the wrong stuff. A short list of good 'right stuff' activities is low hanging fruit.
4. Do I leave a lot of big projects un-started until the last minute? One way of employing the 'low hanging fruit' paradigm is to chunk big projects down into their component parts and then get going on the parts that can be completed effectively quickly. There will always be hurdles that will be more difficult. But it's motivational to do the easier parts first and then the harder parts will seem less complicated.
Take a bite.