Are You Failing to Prioritize Your Tasks?
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Complete YOUR to-do list with the help of Victoria Cook, the Guilt-Free Marketing CoachEven if you successfully get into the habit of limiting yourself to a less than 10 items in your daily to-do list, you’re probably going to run into some obstacles along the way. For one, you may find that the same few tasks seem to get forwarded on from day to day, never quite getting finished. You also might discover that you spend the bulk of your productive time on the easiest tasks on your list, leaving the tougher (and often more important) items for last.

Human nature being what it is, it’s common to start with the easy stuff and avoid what we don’t really want to do. This tendency can be especially true if you’re self-employed and setting your own goals and job responsibilities (funny how that works!).

The way to combat this bad habit is to prioritize your list. Not all items on your list are going to be created equal, and one critical step to getting the most out of your list is to rank the items you’re aiming to complete. You can rank in a couple of ways:

  • Time urgency – external. These are tasks that have to get done NOW because of an external deadline – filing applications for permits, submitting taxes, applying for grants, etc.
  • Time urgency – serial. These are things that have to get done before you can do something else. They have dependencies. There may not be a firm external deadline, but there’s still time urgency. For instance, you have to make the appointment with your bookkeeper before you can file your taxes; you have to meet with the graphic designer before you can update your website; you need to create your marketing plan before rolling out a new product or service.
  • Importance – external. These tasks are ones that someone else has determined is of high priority – your boss, a client, the government, etc. Examples includes filing a call report for a recent prospect, creating a marketing plan for a new client, or filing compliance reports.
  • Importance – internal. Some productivity programs call these items “important but not urgent,” but the result is the same; they’re things you want to accomplish because YOU have decided they’re important. They could include writing a press release to promote a new product you’ve released, writing a blog post, or even exercising.

As you might guess, the items with external pressures tend to get completed sooner than the ones where no one is breathing down your neck, asking when it will be finished. BUT it’s often the internally important items that will have the largest impact on your life, business, and income. Your job is to objectively rank your daily to-dos each morning (or the night before, if you prefer) and then tackle them in order, moving on to the next only when you have hit a wall (waiting for a return phone call, for instance) or when the item is complete. Remember that your goals and ambitions are equally important to those others set for you, and in many cases, even more important to your overall health and well-being.

{ Your Guilt-Free Assignment }

1. Make a realistic to-do list with no more than 10 items. Creating a smaller list creates a vivid plan and makes the tasks more manageable.

2. Prioritize your list by rankings of time urgency, and importance (as shown above). This will give you an extra push to accomplish your goals!

Having trouble completing your important business goals? Never seem to complete your WHOLE to-do list? Get my free audio 5 Tips for Taming Time as my gift to you!

About Victoria Cook

Victoria Cook, ACC is a certified coach, speaker, author, and expert on guilt-free results. Her unique 7-step process has helped thousands of business owners achieve professional success and personal fulfillment.
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