How to Win the Battle of Busy vs. Productive in 2 steps

“I worked all day and feel like I got NOTHING done.” “Why won’t this to-do list end?!?”

Does that sound like you?

That feeling of frustration and overwhelm is the realization that you’ve been busy but NOT productive. One of the biggest challenges to being truly productive is how we organize our thinking — specifically the way we build our To-Do List.

The traditional process is to grab a piece of paper and write every thing you have to do from sweeping the kitchen to designing your signature program. At the end of that brainstorm you have a mile long  to-do list with no clue where to start.

Out of instinct, you might start with the little things – organize desk, refill forms in the client binder, make copies, etc. But after a full day of these tiny tasks the large tasks with the potential to make the greatest impact for your business is still on your to-do list for tomorrow.

It’s time to stop this vicious cycle for good. So, if you’re ready to make the transition from busy to productive, here are my 2 steps for reframing the way we create to-do lists.

STEP 1. Prioritize Your Task by Value

To combat this “never done” to-do list I use a model called the “LEAP method” for prioritizing. Here’s how it works:

List all your tasks.

Establish task value. All tasks fall into one of 4 value categories:

A. Time sensitive and important

     B. Not time sensitive and important
     C. Time sensitive but not important
     D. Not time sensitive and not important

Automate C’s and D’s. For tasks that may be time sensitive but don’t require a      lot of thought you can use a Virtual Assistant, Create a Canned Response for        those common customer questions, Put the bill on autopay do it’s on time but      doesn’t require any extra effort on your part.

Put in the work. A’s and B’s are the unique business tasks that only you can do      for your business. These might include partner calls, product creation, and            sales calls. If it’s something that requires your direct service it should be at the    top of your to-do list.

STEP 2. Group your newly prioritized list by Theme.

Now that you know what tasks matter most organize them by type so that every day you’re focused on doing ONLY items that feed into a major goal.

For example: Monday might be a housekeeping day – respond to all your emails, review your calendars, print necessary materials for the week, etc. Tuesday might be branding day – plan your social media posts, connect with possible partners, engage with Social Media comments, write your blog posts, all items that build your brand recognition.

And so forth and so on. By theming tasks, you get more projects completed vs. starting 4 different projects and leaving you with nothing finished. Remember the goal is to get things done, so try to avoid multitasking.

Your time is your most valuable asset. Don’t waste it, mucking through a never ending to-do list!  

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