Table Of Contents
The 80/20 Rule
The Power of To-Do Lists
Batching Tasks for Speed and Efficiency
Outsourcing and Delegating
Make Yourself Uncomfortable
Urgent vs. Important
Downloading Your Brain
Technology and the To-Do List
Check Marks the Spot: The Magic of Checklists
Breaking Down/Chunking Icky Tasks
Sample Content Preview
“Time is money.” That three word sentence sums up the life of the work-at-home entrepreneur. When your staff consists of only you and your dog, you realize quickly that passing the buck isn’t an option. Instead, you must quickly learn to sort through the multitude of tasks facing you each day and narrow down to only the key revenue-generating activities, while letting the majority of the “noise” fade away.
It’s a fact that you and every other entrepreneur in existence have one thing in common – a 24 hour day. However, what you DO with those 24 hours can be the single difference between having a profitable business or having to take on a side job waiting tables at Chili’s to make the mortgage.
In this special report, I’ll review several ways you can increase your productivity by narrowing down and focusing on the tasks that are going to move you towards your biggest money-making goals. You’ll learn how to prioritize your daily tasks, how to group them for greater efficiency, and how to keep on top of all the various projects you have going, so you don’t drop any critical elements.
Though you may already feel pressed for time (and the thought of reading this report seems like just another of countless things to do), I encourage you to take a break from your crazy schedule, sit down and read through this entire report. The time you invest will be paid back in greater efficiency – and therefore profit.
The 80/20 Rule
What if I told you you could take your daily To Do list, and eliminate over half the items on there, with no negative impact on your bottom line? You’d probably think I’m nuts, but the truth is, most of us spend most of our time on irrelevant tasks that have little or nothing to do with the attainment of our most important goals.
The information that I’m about to share with you was life-altering to me, so I hope that you don’t skim this section thinking it’s not appropriate to your business (it is) or that it’s too complex (it isn’t).
There is an economic principle called the 80/20 Rule, or Pareto Principle, that means that 80 percent of the value of any group comes from only 20 percent of the members of this group.
Let me explain a bit better. The 80/20 Rule basically means that 80% of the effects of anything in your life will come from 20% of the causes.
The 80/20 Rule has been applied to sales forces, wealth distribution, test scores, etc. Heck, it can be applied to parenting, marriage, health and exercise. It’s true in… well 80% of your life, I’d imagine.
When applied to your To Do list, it means that 80 percent of the value of your daily list comes from only 20 percent of the items on it. In other words, if you have 10 items on your list, you could focus on only two tasks and get the vast majority of success just from those two activities – while ignoring the other 8 items entirely.
So, by now you’re probably ready to go after your To-Do list, cutting out those low-payoff items. Before you get out the hatchet, read this short list of suggestions so that you cut the right ones out, and focus on the high-reward tasks:
1. Know what your goals are.
You can’t choose your biggest payoff tasks if you don’t know what your goals are. Thoughtful planning is critical so you know what you’re trying to accomplish and how to rank your items accordingly.
2. Write it all down.
Write every task down, from the largest to the seemingly least important. If you’re finding yourself getting sidetracked during the day, it may be because you’ve failed to write critical activities on your list. Before you can rank your items, you need a complete view of your work world.
With your goals in mind, ask yourself, “What are the top three activities I can complete today that will move me closer to those goals?” Put an asterisk next to those tasks, and start the day there. If you complete any of the other items, it’ll be a bonus.
4. Track your success.
At the end of the week, review your daily lists. Have you made significant progress towards your goals? Which tasks turned out to be the most important? Which did you think were important but proved to be less critical?
5. Keep refining.
Use your weekly reviews to inform your decisions going forward. If you notice that you often rank your social media efforts as critical, but they don’t seem to be impacting your progress towards your goals, resist putting those as starred items on your daily list. Conversely, if you notice a pattern in your highest impact activities, keep those high on your list.
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