‘To-do lists’ help many people to remember the things that need to be done. However they can quickly become counter-productive, when crossing tasks off becomes more important than the outcome of completing the task itself!
To-do lists often force us to focus on what is most urgent, rather than what is most important and would add the most value. For instance, one action on your to-do list may be to define your marketing channels to reach your target market and hit your sales objectives for the year whilst another may be to catch up on emails. In reality the emails could probably wait until later in the day, or even tomorrow. Frequently though the more important business growth tasks don’t shout as loudly as the tasks that other people feel are urgent and we often feel pressure to respond immediately.
Quality versus quantity
It’s a case of quality versus quantity and Pareto’s 80/20 principle can be applied – in a business context, 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your efforts. Turning this around it means that 80% of your time could be used more effectively to grow your business!
So follow the to do list advice of successful business owners and focus on activities that grow your business and make these a priority. To work like this, abandon the traditional to do list templates and instead use a Smart to-do list.
Create your own smart to-do list
Start by creating a vision of where you want to be in the future and then determine the actions you need to take to achieve those goals. They are likely to be strategic objectives rather than the ‘nuts and bolts’ of the everyday running of your business.
Of course the everyday tasks still need to be done, so one of your smart actions may be to find someone who can manage your normal list, allowing you to create your own smart to-do list. Evaluate which activities really add value and delegate the rest.
Many may think it easy to stick to a simple yet effective smart to-do list, however day-to-day distractions can get in the way. It takes focus and will power to stick to your smart to-do list. Start by focusing on just one thing from your smart to-do list and you will be one step closer to achieving your goals. A good tip is to start the day working on your important actions and then move on to the ‘urgent’ ones. That way you will always make some progress on your own objectives.
So what is the first action on your smart to-do list? Maybe it could be to get some support to handle your to-do list so you can concentrate on your smart to-do list!
If you would like help from one of our to do list task managers so that you can concentrate on your smart to-do list or would like to know more about our other virtual business assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or request a free consultation.