The One Business Plan that Will Work Today

choosing work priorities

You can’t get everything off your to-do list, regardless of your best efforts. It’s a daily frustration and it’s holding your business back.

You probably dream of the day where you will stop living in reaction mode and start making positive choices with your time.

Well, there is a way to take control of your business workday, and you can do it by following these essential tips:

Become an “A-Lister”

Success is not about the amount of hours you put in — it’s about where you concentrate your energy during those hours. You can do this by becoming an “A-Lister.”

Begin every day by creating a priority task list. Please read this earlier blog post if you’re not sure how to begin.  To quickly summarize: the key to choosing A-Level priority tasks is to select the few important tasks that absolutely must be done today.

Think to yourself if there would be direct negative consequences in terms of your business, your relationships, a deadline, or the timeline of your goals if the task isn’t completed. That’s an A-level task. The rest fall into B or C level categories.

Show Some Respect

Success comes from forming positive habits. Once you’ve identified your top priorities, it’s important to protect them. Discipline yourself to always follow-through on your A-level tasks. Always.

Where people often fail is by not respecting the magnitude of these tasks. You must always carry the mindset that dire consequences await your business if you don’t follow through – regardless of whether it happens today, tomorrow, or sometime down the line in the long-term growth of your business.

Setting an A-level task is making a commitment to your business and yourself – honor your word.

Increase Your Focus!

Finding focus is difficult when you’re juggling 10 different things at once. Overcome this by planning periods of “on-task” time for the important tasks. Essentially, concentrate on one task and do it very, very well. For most people, productivity comes in waves, take advantage of those times.

There are two main ways you can increase focus on key tasks: First, by starting your day working on your most important task first; or by scheduling several smaller “on-task” periods during the day.

However you choose, be sure to shut yourself off to distraction whenever possible.  Focused attention helps you gain progress toward your goals in large chunks and small bites.

Learn to Let Go

Choosing what’s important means that you’ll also have to sacrifice time on the less important. All too often in business, people get stuck on the trivial tasks, the minutia, without considering the long term value. You instead need to learn where your time can be spent for maximum effectiveness, and let go of the rest.

For example, you may choose to return phone calls from only the important customers today. Or, you may have to forsake a local business committee meeting for time spent on a major project.

What would you rather do today — get everything done, or do the important things really well? The choice is yours.

Always Leave a Little Extra

Never forget the important time for yourself, to recharge, to plan, and to enjoy your success.

Key takeaways from this article: 

  • Assign important tasks a letter “A” on your to-do list. A-tasks are to be treated as gold — very important — so do not hand those out liberally.
  • Discipline yourself to always follow-through on A-Level tasks because they affect your short term business and long-term goals.
  • Focus on doing one thing and only one thing, and do it very well.
  • Learn where your time can be spent for maximum effectiveness, and let go of the rest.
[photo by renaissancechambra]
Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at [email protected]

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