It’s one of the most common problems facing entrepreneurs…
How do you get all the crap on your to do list actually done so you can make some money?
There is a really simple answer… you don’t get it all done.
Instead, you get the RIGHT things done and either eliminate, automate or outsource the rest of it.
I’ve talked before about the 80/20 rule and how, as an entrepreneur, your job is to do the 20% of the work that yields the 80% of your profit. It’s the work only you can do.
The rest of it has to get off your list and off your mind.
It’s taken me years of tinkering with planners, calendars, schedules and the like to figure out how to actually sort through the chaos and truly be profitably productive.
Here is how to finally, once and for all get your sh-t done and make massive progress on your goals.
You’ve heard me say it a million times – you need a plan to keep you focused on making the right short-term decisions to reach your long-term vision for your company.
There’s no use having a to do list if half the stuff on it isn’t driving you to your biggest goals.
Take the time (you can do it in an hour) and write a one-page strategic plan. You can grab the one I like best (mine) at SimpleSuccessPlans.com/plan
Write It ALL down
Once you know what the heck you are working towards, it’s time to get your task list out of your head and onto a sheet of paper. One sheet, one list. And, yes, it should be on paper or in a spreadsheet for now. You have work to do on it.
Stop Doing What You Hate
Face it. Half the stuff on your list isn’t getting done because you hate doing it. It’s boring or it’s not something you’re good at or any one of a million other things.
The truth is, if you hate doing it you won’t do it. It’s not how you’re wired.
So, put a circle next to every item on your list that you hate doing.
Stop Doing Dumb Stuff
There are likely several things on your list that you don’t need to do. They just don’t add huge value to your business.
For example, I used to spend lots of time filing things. It took up time, make me feel organized and was a waste. Given the search capabilities in every computer on the planet, you don’t need to file electronically. For paper stuff, filing by month is plenty good enough.
Go through your list and scratch off every item that doesn’t drive profit, enhance the customer experience or improve the lives of your employees.
Stop Being A Control Freak
Now we are getting to the hard part. You’re a control freak, right? And, you’re convinced no one can do things as well as you can.
You’re right. They probably can’t. But that doesn’t mean they can’t do it all, especially if you let someone do things their way.
You’re going to have to give up some low-level tasks if you’re going to grow. That means deciding what you can outsource to someone else.
It’s time to go through your list and put a circle next to every single task that someone else COULD do.
For example, my assistant handles all customer service inquiries (via our ticketing system), sets up all webinars, loads blog posts into WordPress, manages communications with our joint venture partners for promotions, and about 20 other things that she’s been doing so long I have forgotten she does them. She does it all in about 10-15 hours a week.
A note on outsourcing – you do not have to hire a full-time employee, pay a salary and give benefits. Heck, you might even have those things yourself yet! You do have to hire someone as a contractor, very part-time, and give them things to do.
GreatAssistant.com is a terrific, done-for-you hiring program to get a virtual assistant for as little as 10 hours/week.
123employee.com is a great place to get on-demand, offshore virtual assistants to do lots of back office work for you.
I personally know the owners of both companies and would stake my reputation on them.
Organize Each Day
Your task list is never going to go away. But you can create a doable, profitable list of tasks each day and check them all off.
Imagine leaving the office (or your spare bedroom that doubles as an office) at 4pm (or earlier) every day, knowing you did everything that you needed to do to drive growth and profit. Imagine going home (or downstairs) feeling accomplished, satisfied and confident.
That’s the power of a Daily Success Checklist. You can swipe a sample copy of my personal checklist here.
Each morning, spend 3 minutes filling in your checklist. Each afternoon, spend three minutes reviewing your day. It’s that simple to stay focused and get the right things done at the right time.
In just one week, you can have everything above done and in place. You can get your Simple Success Plan done, sort your to do list, hire some help and get focused every day.
The only thing stopping you is your belief in your ability to change and your trust in someone else to help you grow.
It’s time to toss out the head trash and start moving your company forward.
You owe it to yourself, your family, your clients and the community you serve.