As entrepreneurs, our to-do lists can get pretty long. It can often feel overwhelming, sometimes impossible, to accomplish everything. In today’s video, I’m showing you how to prioritize tasks, so you can achieve more in less time.
As someone with two companies, a speaking career, not to mention a young son, I know firsthand the challenges of getting it all done. But by prioritizing certain tasks over others, not only will you accomplish more on your to-do list, you’ll shorten it too.
Look at your current to-do list. This can be for the week, the month, even the year. Look through all your tasks and determine whether they are important or not important. Examples of important tasks could be creating a new product or pitching a new client. Non-important tasks may include certain social media marketing, answering certain emails, even watching YouTube videos.
Next, go through your to-do lists items again and determine whether they are urgent or non-urgent. Urgent items are things with deadlines: client deliverables, project proposals, and other tasks that have due dates. Non-urgent items are not as time sensitive like planning and strategizing, relationship building, or professional development.
Once you’ve attached these labels to your to-do list, it’s time to put them into the priority matrix. This system was created by Todd Herman of the 90 Day Year program and it has proven to be one of the most valuable tools I’ve implemented in my business.
The prioritization matrix puts all your to-do list items into one of four quadrants:
- Important and urgent
- Non-important and urgent
- Important and non-urgent
- Non-important and urgent
Here’s an example of what this matrix may look like with all the tasks filled in.
This may seem straightforward, perhaps it’s something you’re already doing. I certainly was. But what Todd shed light on is that most of us start in the important and urgent quadrant and then work our way around the matrix counter-clockwise. But in order to grow your business, you must first start in the important and NON-urgent column and then work your way around counter-clockwise.
The important, non-urgent tasks tend to be some of the most important projects for growing your business, but since they’re not urgent, they’re often put aside until they’re either forgotten, or they become urgent. By starting with the important, non-urgent items first, you ensure that you continue to move your business forward and don’t get distracted by all the urgent items being thrown at you.
Then, as you move around the matrix, you’ll see that the non-important, non-urgent quadrant is dealt with last, and by the time you get there, you may have run out of time in your day or week. This makes it easier to delete those items that don’t really need to be done.
When you start your day, look at the non-urgent and important quadrant of your matrix and DECIDE which items you’re going to tackle. If you can get them all, great, but you may not always have time to accomplish everything.
Then shift to the urgent and important quadrant and DO all the items in this list. If they’re important and urgent, then they need to get done.
When you get down to the urgent and non-important quadrant, consider DELETING these items. After all, if it’s so crucial that you get them done, wouldn’t they be in the important section?
By determining whether your tasks are important or not, urgent or not, you can better prioritize key activities. You’ll be able to focus on the areas that are driving your business forward and delete the tasks that don’t really accomplish anything. Not only will you accomplish the most important items on your to-do list, you’ll also be able to reduce the number of items on that list.