Spend your time getting the REALLY impactful stuff done first…and let the other stuff fall where it may. - Brian Hilliard Click to tweet
Let’s face it: As Busy Entrepreneurs, we’re often overwhelmed at the sheer volume of tasks we need to do each day.
We’re the Chief Cook & Head Bottle Washer all rolled into one and sometimes people ask, “Brian, you seem to get a lot of stuff done. How do you make it happen with all of the speaking, coaching and traveling without really seeming like overwhelmed?”
Great question and I’m happy to share my strategy.
I create a prioritized, daily to-do list based on a book a read by Gary Keller, The One Thing. It’s an awesome read if you get a chance.
In Keller’s book he talks about the 80/20 rule, where 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. This principle is nothing short of a revelation for busy entrepreneurs.
The 80/20 rule prompted me to reshape how I organize my day and carry out my tasks.
Frequently, we go into our day trying to get EVERYTHING done, which is totally wrong.Literally.Every single item on their list is what most people are trying to do. - Brian Hilliard Click to tweet
But like I said, that approach is totally wrong.
However, using the 80/20 Rule…
I recommend people find the top 5 to 7 things on their list that will be responsible for 80% of their results.
In other words, as a business person, what few things can you do today that will disproportionately contribute to a large majority of your business revenue?
Keller says that if you can get the most important things done that are the most impactful for your business, then a lot of the other stuff simply does not have to happen.
So for me, my Top 3 might look like this:
- Write a blog,
- Make calls to potential speaking clients,
- Publish my online newsletter.
Over the years, I’ve found that 80% of my revenue comes from sales and marketing activities in the areas of delivering presentations and online marketing.
Hence my to do list.
For you, your Top 3 might be something like this:
- Attend a networking event (in which your target market will be in attendance),
- Make follow up calls/emails to good contacts from that event,
- Publish an online newsletter.
Since you might find a large majority of your business comes from networking, meeting new folks and following up with potential clients and referral partners you met afterwards.
Spend your time getting the REALLY impactful stuff done first…and let the other stuff fall where it may.
(Read: It might not get done. And that’s alright. 🙂
So here’s what I recommend: Examine your to-do list, and identify the top three things that will have the biggest impact on your business—not the easiest (because that’s what I did), not the quickest (again, that’s what I used to do). What are the most impactful, important things that you need to do?
Is it working on your website? Publishing a blog? Making some phone calls? Or maybe it’s networking and following up with some of those folks.
Then, start working on your top three priorities.
You might realize that your top priority requires several steps. If so, what are the most important things that you need to do right now to start working on completing that task?
If multiple steps are involved, rank those as well. Then tackle the first item on the list.
Now, here’s the thing. You’re still not going to get everything done. But the things you do finish will fall into the 80% of the most impactful for your business. Conversely, the items you won’t complete won’t be nearly as important to the bottom-line growth of your business.
If you create—and then actually work from—the prioritized to-do list, you will be able to not only get stuff done, but you will also see more business and referrals as a result.