Prioritization can be tricky when everything feels urgent. That's where your “not-to-do list” comes into play…
As every entrepreneur knows, it's easy to get swept up into the day-to-day of running a company. Your business is your baby; it's only natural that you want to do everything in your power to make sure it thrives.
As you grow your business and take on more responsibility, your energy becomes your most sacred — and scarce — resource. That means it's absolutely critical that you manage your time effectively.
In order to keep the needle moving in your finances, health, relationships, and business, you must learn how to set strong priorities and to say no to things that aren't going to make a significant impact.
Creating a not-to-do list is an amazing tool for getting focused on what really matters and to stop wasting time on things that don’t push you forward. It identifies the things that don’t produce an ROI (return on investment) or a ROT (return on time). Here's how it works…
What's a Not-To-Do List?
A “not-to-do list” helps pare down your “need-to-do list” so you can work more effectively. It allows you to clearly determine what tasks are actual priorities, and which ones you can delegate, delay or delete.
Remember, you don’t have to have a big business to start delegating small things. Even if it’s hiring someone to take over your calendar or a virtual assistant to organize your life for a few hours a week, you deserve to have help and delegate the things that are not in your zone of genius. That way, you can focus or attention on the things that matter.
It's important to intentionally reserve time to think about the big picture — to work on the business instead of in the business — but you won't be able to do that if you're tying to do everything else.
Give yourself the gift of delegating and hone the skill of saying “no” to the things that you don’t need to be holding.
Do you have a hard time letting go? You're not alone.
Giving yourself permission to cut things out of your to-do list is often the first step. Take time to assess how you’re doing in this area and see how you can call in more support to stay more focused and available for the things that DO move the needle for you.
How to Make Your List
Step 1. Have a brain dump session where you put everything you need to accomplish into one long list. Holding all of this information in your mind will drain your energy and distract you from what actually needs to get done. Put it on paper and keep moving.
Step 2. Rank each item on a scale of 1-10 based on how impactful each task is. Evaluate which tasks will actually make a difference in your business — recognize that while there are many things you want to do (and can do eventually), there are only a handful of items on your list that really, truly matter. Which tasks are the real needle movers for your business? Get brutally honest and rate accordingly.
Step 3. Reorganize your list in priority order.
Step 4. Split up the list into three categories: to-do, to delegate, and not-to-do. Fill each category with 30% of your original list until it is divided evenly. That means 1/3 of your list will land on your to-do list, 1/3 will be delegated, and 1/3 will be delayed or removed from your plate completely.
Getting clear on your priorities is the single most powerful move you can make as an entrepreneur. Implementing a not-to-do list is guaranteed to improve productivity and change the way you go about your business for the better.
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