You Can’t Do It All, So Don’t. Learn How To Prioritize and Cut Back Tasks

With a plethora of mobile devices to help us get through the day’s work, you may feel confident you can take on a lot. After all, with a device at your fingertips, you probably believe you can easily shift from one task to another to keep up with everything on your plate. Sorry to burst that bubble, but your dedication to doing it all – and doing it all at once - is not helping your productivity. In fact, it may be hurting it.

The fact is that the brain is actually not wired for multitasking. It focuses on one concept at a time or sequentially.  As you move your focus from one thing to another, your brain has to shift focus; it can’t process both things, says John Medina, author of “Brain Rules.” Medina says “…research shows that we can’t multitask. We are biologically incapable of processing attention-rich inputs simultaneously.” [1]

That being the case, rather than trying to do it all, learn how to cut back on some things and focus on what absolutely needs to be done to keep your spa or massage practice moving along smoothly and profitably. Priorities include having enough massage treatment products on hand, refilling the shelves with retail products or updating the website for a seasonal promotion. Micromanaging your staff is a huge time suck. Here are some things to do to cut back when your “to do” list starts piling up.

Prioritize Your “To Do” List

Step Back

Don’t just start whittling away at your “to do” list. Clear you head and take time to think about everything you need to do. Make a list of tasks and projects. Keep in mind that not everything that crosses your desk is something you have to deal with or deal with immediately.

Set Limits

Set limits on yourself to do the most important things each day. Maybe there are three things that you absolutely need to do on a Monday to make sure the week gets off to the right start. For example, calling, emailing or texting clients to confirm appointments might be your biggest priority. No shows will set back your week and your revenue.


If something needs to be done, ask yourself who else could do it? Learning to delegate is not the same thing as farming out assignments either. You may need to train someone to start taking on new responsibilities. Also communicate responsibilities, deadlines and goals so that whoever takes on a project understands how the work fits into the big picture of running your business successfully. 


In addition to staff, there are professionals who can take on managing various aspects of your business, such as marketing, social media outreach or payroll.  The time you save may enable you to take on more clients, which may more than compensate for the outsourcing expense.

Exercise Discipline

If your plate seems too full, you may be taking on projects or getting involved with activities, such as giving away lots of time as a volunteer, that don’t move your business ahead. Think mission-critical versus enjoyable. There will be a time for spending time on other activities when your business reaches the level of profitability you want.

Limit Your Time

Your plate may seem to be brimming because you are spending too much time on certain tasks. As you prioritize your tasks, also set a limit on how much time you can spend on each and still achieve your project goal.

Just remember. Control your work; don’t let it control you.


[1] “The brain cannot multitask,” Excerpt from “Rain Rules,” March 16, 2008.
Business & marketingMassage therapyRetailSpa therapy