How well do you get the most important things that ought to be done in order to improve your business? With all the distractions in our modern world, we are prone to doing busy work instead of investing the time necessary for high leverage, growth oriented endeavours such as brand building, customer acquisition, service improvement among others. Prioritization is a must for the entrepreneur who can ever hope to avoid spending her days only on the inevitable laundry list of low leverage activities that just about every business is froth with.
The average person's To-do list for the day, week or month often looks like a shopping list one would take to the market to buy ingredients for Egusi soup. In this case it would be an absolute waste of precious time and effort if one has to rank Egusi over pepper or meat over salt. You simply just list everything you need, cost them and hit the door. However when it comes to your business or careers in general, only in rare cases can two tasks or projects be considered of equal importance and so it is an absolute mistake to treat one's to-do list as just a list of tasks to perform today.
Without prioritizing, it is infinitely easy to fall into the trap of doing the easily accomplished actions and forever hoping to get around to the more important ones when "time permits" as these are often the tasks that are more demanding in time and effort. As humans, our energy, willpower and mental alertness gradually taper off as we go through the day so it is imperative that first things must come first and last things last. How can we stay focused, and ensure that our energies are directed at the most important tasks of the day since there is almost always an endless list of things to do? The 1-2-3 To-do list can help here.
The idea is to divide the activities of the day into your One big must do task, two medium tasks and three small tasks. Your one big task would usually be your highest leverage activity for the day, such that even if you ended up doing this one task alone, you would not have that listless feeling that your day was a waste. So, you attack this one task first and upon completion you move to your two medium tasks and then on to your three smaller tasks.
The beauty of this system is that it provides order and helps ensure you work on your priorities and by the same token it sees that you work on them when you are most energetic and mentally alert because your levels of energy and alertness inevitably depletes as you go through the day.
So on an average day you might spend three to four hours on your one big task, say one or two hours each on your medium tasks and thirty minutes to an hour on each of the small tasks. Why don't you give this a shot for a week and holler back to let us know how it went?