I’ve learned to split my to-do list into, actually three to-do lists.
This is the best way I’ve found to move my business forward while somehow juggling all the other marginal things that require my time.
So, I don’t think I can really explain this in any better way than to simply show you what it looks like in real time.
I have a whole lot of things that need to get done tomorrow.
So I wrote up a list to give me a visual sense of how it will all play out.
My To-Do List
- Call the heating contractor to do some maintenance on the furnace (it’s starting to get cold, here).
- Write an article (deadline: 2 days)
- Construct a sales page
- Do 3 training videos for an upsell product for one of my sales funnels
- Conduct a Skype session with one of my clients
- Write a daily email for one of my mailing lists
- Get the oil changed for my car
- Edit yesterday’s videos to use in new training course
- Reformat yesterday’s videos into mp3 format for uploading to my video service
- Take the dog to the beach
- Attend a training webinar
- Prepare social media posts for campaign
- Review a client’s product (deadline: 3 days)
- Shoot a training video for a client (deadline: tomorrow)
- Do my daily blog visits
- Do my daily forum visits
- Finish the content for a lead magnet product
- Update the “Resource” section of several of my WSO products with new affiliate links
- Create an affiliate page for a new product that’s ready for launch
- Outline a sales funnel for a client
My Gold List (to-do list #1)
So here’s how I work this.
My To-Do List is random things that need to get done tomorrow. Some of the things on this list are hold-overs from prior To-Do lists. They remain undone, but still in queue. They will get done as soon as they trip my priority threshold.
All My To-Do Stuff gets thrown into my ‘Action Rotation’
The others have been jotted down as I worked on things today, and decided they needed to get put into my “action rotation.” From my big To-Do List of everything I’d like to get done tomorrow, I extract 2 or 3 things that I really must do in the next 24 hours to keep my business moving forward. These things go on my Gold List.
My Gold List is reserved for “productive” things… those things that will most directly or indirectly affect the profitability of my business. The things I put on my Gold List get done first thing in the day. Everything else.. everything else… gets done AFTER I complete my Gold List items.
My “B” List items are really important, but are best put off to later in the day.
The “After Hours” items are things I usually do in the evening, often while I listen to training replays, or watch television out of the corner of my eye. I know I shouldn’t multitask, but come evening, I lose the intensity I have in the earlier part of the day. I get things done, but at a more leisurely pace.
Remember… Everything else.. everything else… gets done only AFTER I complete my Gold List items
Now, it happens, that unexpected things occur and I have to ditch part of this plan.
If something has to get pushed down to the next day, I look to cut the “After Hours” items first. The next things I cut are my “B” List items, even if they include appointments. We’re talking about very important, even emergency situations before I’ll re-schedule an appointment with a client… but it happens sometimes.
My Gold List items almost never get abandoned. It happens, but only when there’s a real emergency or drastic interruption in my life that day.
Barring emergencies, my Gold List items get done first because they have high value. That is, they will improve the profitability of my business.
My “Gold List”
Notice the 3 things I listed on my Gold List above.
==> Write a daily email for each of my mailing lists ==>
This is because all the work I do as an internet marketer funnels my prospects, followers and customers onto one or more of my email lists. I need to keep in constant contact with them. Writing emails keeps my followers updated and engaged with what I’m doing, and keeps them as loyal and repeat customers.
For this reason, I always start my day by writing my emails. This is almost always the first item on my Gold List.
==> Update the “Resource” section of several of my WSO products with new affiliate links ==>
This is obvious.
I have resource links to some of my other products and services that get embedded in my front end products. Sometimes, the resources I recommend are links to affiliate products. Updating these affiliate links improves my chances for profitability. So, I don’t want to push this relatively simple task off.
==> Shoot a training video for a client (deadline: tomorrow) ==>
I never like to miss a deadline for work I’ve scheduled to do with or for a client. It’s a far more productive use of my time to give first rate service to existing clients, than to go hunting for new ones.
Everything on my Gold List relates to bottom line profits.
I do these things first because they usually demand my utmost energy, creativity and alertness. For me, that means that I need to do them first thing in the day.
Also, the later in the day you schedule an activity, not only do you start getting tired and lose some focus, but you increase the chances that something sudden can arise to derail your activities.
My “B” List
After my Gold List items are completed, I’ll move on to my “B” List. These are things that I really want to get done, but don’t absolutely have to.
My “B” List items are:
==> Conduct a Skype session with one of my clients ==>
This is scheduled for tomorrow. It must happen. I’ve scheduled it for later in the day because it doesn’t require quite the intensity that my Gold List items do. But it will get done tomorrow.
==> Take the dog to the beach ==>
This is not as critical to do as my client’s Skype session, but it gives me a much needed break after all the things I’ve done in the day, and my Blue Tick Hound likes nothing better. He’s from Tennessee so he’d rather hunt raccoons in the mountains and forest, but now he’s living near the beach so that’s not going to happen. He’ll settle for romps in the fenced in back-yard, but he gives me extra hugs when I take him to the beach for his run. That makes this a top priority item for me (for both of us, actually).
My After Hours List
Obviously, my After Hours items are important, but not totally necessary. Nonetheless, I usually get to them. They move my business forward, but are not directly related to it’s profitability. These items are usually more about connecting with people, building networks and maintaining relationships.
Now, all the rest of my To-Do List will get held over for the next day. They will be the basis for my next day’s To-Do List. If they’ve become obsolete for some reason, I drop them from my “action rotation.” That’s how I run my business on a day to day basis.
It works for me.
That doesn’t mean it’s the best strategy for everyone, but it’s a good format to model if you’re just flapping in the wind, aren’t being productive, and find yourself jumping from one path to another and never getting anywhere… or at least nowhere worthwhile, or just not quickly enough.
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So how about it?
Do you work from a To-Do List?
Has this article given you some ideas for a better way to work through it?
I’d love to read your comments below. If you share this out to your friends on social sites, I’ll put in a good word for you with Giuseppi, my Blue Tick Hound.
Thanks for visiting.