The Fine Art of Prioritizing
Running a business usually means putting in over 40 hours a week. In fact, if you’re the typical entrepreneur, you have more ideas to implement than you have time for! That’s when proactive, strategic, prioritization can make all the difference.
So Hard to Choose
If you have lots of ideas in your head that are not getting done, you’re certainly not alone. Here’s a process for helping you decide what to do first, next, and not at all.
Step 1: Create a “To-Do” list; even items you need to do on a daily basis. Use a spreadsheet and list each item in a row by itself. Later you’ll want to be able to sort the list, so we recommend using Excel or another spreadsheet software. If you’re anti-spreadsheet, your iPhone’s reminder app is pretty useful also.
Once you have everything down on paper, you will be amazed at how much this unclutters your thinking. You will also have all your great ideas captured so you don’t forget them. You might also get very overwhelmed with everything you wrote down, but don’t stop now. Relief is on the way.
Step 2: Add some information to your spreadsheet about each item, creating four additional columns:
Step 3: Analyze your choices. Once you have Step 2 done, you can go wild with opportunities. Here are some very cool eye-opening activities to try:
This last bullet is really important because the last thing you want to do is go backwards and give yourself a pay decrease; but that’s exactly what you’re doing each time you do a task below your market rate.
Step 4: Prioritize with confidence. With all of this information in an organized spreadsheet, you will gain the clarity you need to make some powerful decisions about how to spend your time.
There’s nothing more precious and scarce than our time. Every day, we have a choice about how to spend it, but too often we get caught up in the urgent, but not important, daily fires. This exercise helps us take a step back and look at what’s important instead of what’s urgent.