Other than money, the one thing no entrepreneur or professional has enough of is TIME. When faced with a long To Do list, ask yourself these questions to decide what to do. The more you take off your plate, the simpler your life becomes. And be honest.
Question 1: Does the task or project help me ACCOMPLISH one of my top three goals?
“The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.” (Goethe)
> If YES, go to Question #2.
> If NO, DON’T DO IT. If it doesn’t contribute to accomplishing what you want, it isn’t worth your time.
Action Item: Be clear on your goals. Then focus your time there.
Question 2: Does this task need to be done in the NEXT 12 HOURS, before the three next most important tasks?
There are probably three or four things that need to be done right away. Compare the deadlines and consider if they are artificial.
> If YES, go to Question #3.
> If NO, DELAY it until you have completed more important tasks.
Action Item: Be clear on when tasks are really, really due.
Question 3: Is this a task that ONLY I have the skills or knowledge to complete to the quality needed?
There are two considerations here: Do I need to be the only person who can do this? What quality is needed?
> If YES, go to Question #4.
> If NO, DELEGATE. They may not do it perfectly, but it will be good enough. Resisting perfectionist tendencies can free up time. Done is better than perfect.
Action Item: Be honest - are you the only person who can do it? Learn to delegate, a critical skill for anyone who wants to accomplish big things.
Question #4: Does the task or project need to be completed in its ENTIRETY to be of value?
Sometimes completing only step one is sufficient.
> If YES, go to Question #5.
> If NO, CHUNK it into small steps, do only the first part. Complete the rest only if necessary.
Action Item: Consider proactive procrastination.
Question #5: Is this the BEST use of my time, right now?
> If YES, then DO IT. It is worth it.
> If NO, DELAY and do another more important task.
Action Item: We come back to “what do you really want out of life, and what do you have to do to get it?” Then do at least one thing every day to get you there.
Every time you delay, delete or delegate a task, you make your day simpler and free up time. My mission is to make the business of business simpler so business owners and professionals can dare to do what they are meant to do. If you want a one-page summary of this, or want help exploring how you can simplify your life, so that you can dare to dream and do what you are meant to do, let’s have coffee. Call or email 647-823-8845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.