We all have a to-do list. Like you, mine seems to be growing every day instead of shrinking. But in constantly striving for personal improvement, prioritising my to-do list has become one of my most important tasks. I am going to cover three areas but I am not going to tell you what to do – I am going to tell you what NOT to do.
If your day is structured (or not structured as the case may be) like I outline below then you will never perform at your best. It’s just simply not possible. Recognising that the way you organise your day has a massive impact on what you get out of each day is the first step to realising that there is a better way.
Don’t try to do everything
If you want a fast track to success and burnout, try to do everything on your to-do list. Here’s a reality check that you might not be ready for. You’re never going to finish everything on your to-do list. It just doesn’t end. There’s always something added to it.
Instead, you should think about the Pareto principle. 20% of your tasks will yield 80% of your results. Concentrate on them. There are other important tasks that will need to be done but they don’t necessarily need to be done by you. Some tasks you should consider outsourcing. Let me give you an example. Let’s say you bill out for consulting work at $150 per hour but you have some bookkeeping to do. This work is worth maybe $55 per hour. Why not pay someone $55 per hour to do your bookkeeping so you can earn $150 per hour – keeping the $95 per hour difference.
Let me share an example from my own business. I used to do all my own quoting for new clients. This was on top of finding the clients and having meetings and calls with them. Then I would have to go home at the end of the day and write out all of the quotes for each of these potential clients. It was just becoming too much. So, I decided to create a formula and a process for quotes so I could outsource this work to a VA. The cost to do this was minimal and the return on investment was well worth the money I spent.
Don’t leave each day to chance
Do you wake up every morning, fall out of bed, shower quickly get dressed, skip breakfast, grab a drive-through coffee and get to the office with your hair half done? Does your day fly by without you even realising where the hours are gone? Do you feel like you’ve achieved nothing?
Have you considered creating a morning ritual or an evening ritual – maybe both? There may be a different solution for you but I am particularly protective of my mornings – I wake up early, I meditate, I exercise and I journal. I know others who religiously keep a journal at the end of the day – planning out their next day. Either of these might work for you. It’s important to structure your day as this will help you get more done to achieve your goals.
Don’t allow others to hijack your time
Your time is valuable and you should treat it as such. Stop answering every random call, email or accepting meeting request that doesn’t have a specific agenda or end time. Actively guard your time and stop the timewasters from eating into your productivity. The irony is that when you do this, people will both respect you more and value your time more.
By stopping these 3 things and adding some prioritisation and structure you are guaranteed to get more out of your day and finish your to-do list (well nearly).
Want more help in implementing these ideas. Contact me for a free 15 minute goal setting call.