Two weeks ago, something happened to me that has never happened before - I completed everything on my to-do list for the week. It surprised me when I reviewed it the following Sunday. I asked myself why this happened. Then when I looked at the list, I realized that as usual, I put things on it that were necessary to be completed. However, it was the first time that I didn't try to set myself up to not complete the list.

Usually, I live by the rule "What are the activities that absolutely have to be done today before I leave?" because I try to write everything down that needs to be done whether they need to be done that week or not.

If you are like me, you try to cram too many things into a week or month that we know will be incredibly busy and set ourselves up for failure. And then when they don't get done, we feel bad about it.

Don't get me wrong. The to-do list contained bite-size pieces of goals that will take a while to complete. But it was the first time I realistically looked at the time that I had that week and what could realistically be accomplished during that time. It felt good to get it done and I'm trying to continue this good habit.

So what does this mean for you? When it gets hot, you can still complete major tasks if you break them down into bite-size pieces and put each piece on the to-do list to be completed in a week's time. The excuse "I'm too busy now" doesn't have to apply. The major tasks might take a little longer than if you devoted more time during a slower time of the year. However, they'll still get done.

Make the time

Here's an example. Most company owners know that they need an employee manual but wouldn't dream of spending the time to put one together during a busy time of the year. But I know of a company that didn't have a choice in the matter; the manual had to get done even though it was July. So they broke the manual activity up into bite-size pieces and assigned time frames to each piece for the employees working on the manual.

One of the tasks was to find out who had manuals they could borrow from. Making a few telephone calls each day didn't take more than 30 minutes. Reviewing the manuals as they came in was another matter. They set aside 30 minutes per day.

The whole process got done in a month, during a traditionally busy time of the year, simply because the tremendous task was divided into small, bite-size pieces that could be fitted into each day while accomplishing other tasks.

Putting something off simply because the weather's too hot and you are busy is just an excuse. I know many people who won't go to a class or meeting because they're too busy, but still take the time off to play golf or tennis every week. And then they take two weeks of vacation in the summer. We can make the time to do the things we want to do, even in the busy times of the year.

One of the ways that you can keep up with your reading in busy times is to put all of your trade and business magazines in a pile. While you are on hold on the telephone or waiting for an appointment, skim the magazines or read an article. You can also go through mail while you are on hold. You might find an idea that will help you motivate your employees, save money or increase profits.

You can accomplish a lot of things even when it's "busy." Don't use the time of year as an excuse to put off things that need to be done and can help your business.