Never Mind “Just Do It”.Always Practise “Just Don’t Do It”.
One of my business heros, Jim Rohn, said;
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money but you can’t get more time”.
It’s a cracking quote that summarises my thinking here. You see I believe the key to running a successful business is the constant implementation of smart working practices that ensure you get more done in less time. And the payback? You’ll free up capacity to either take more work (and make more money) or spend more time with your loved ones.
And if you agree with me on that, you’ll LOVE the technique I’m sharing today.
So let’s get started…
If you’re like me your head is full of ideas you want to implement in your business. As a result, your To-Do list is bursting at the seams (sound familiar?)
Have you noticed how idea overwhelm can become a BIG problem. Your mile-long to-do list leaves you feeling stressed, you always underestimate how long things take and ideas either get done badly or not at all. Then you start to get frustrated at your lack of progress as time races by.
It’s NOT an ideal place to be.
But I reckon I’ve found a solution.
You see in addition to my To-Do list, I also have a To-Don’t list. In short it contains everything I’ve actively decided NOT to do in my business. And it’s a cracking productivity tool that helps me get more done in less time.
What are the benefits of a To-Don’t list?
If you’re a micro business or a one man band professional, it’s highly likely you do just about everything yourself.
When talking with SpinLessPlates’ users I’ve discovered this is partly due to a desire to cut costs but also a real fear of handing work over to someone else. After all, your business is your baby and no one cares for it as much as you do…
But the problem with this approach is you end up spending a lot of valuable time doing things that lie outside of your core skill set. As a result, you eat into the time that COULD be available to do some of the growth activities that have the potential to transform your small business fortunes.
With a To-Don’t list you tackle this issue head on.
Here’s a super simple way to create your To-Don’t list
I reckon a To-Don’t list could be a game changer for you.
That’s because it will force you to get real on the tasks you should be doing versus the tasks you shouldn’t.
But more than that. It also empowers you to re-assess your identity and position within your business and allow you to figure out exactly what YOU must do to achieve your goals.
Here’s how to create yours…
1. Identify your CORE skills
First get clear on the tasks only YOU can do. These will be the tasks and activities that are entirely reliant on your input. In addition to your professional work, you’ll want to include non-billable tasks such as goal setting, creating marketing campaigns and honing your customer relationship building strategy etc.
N.B: Please be honest here. It’s important you separate out the stuff you like to do (or feel you should do) from those core tasks that absolutely must have your input (there is a BIG difference).
2. What else are you doing?
Next jot down all the other stuff you do for your business. This is going to include a range of tasks such as invoicing, quoting, loading your autoresponders, bookkeeping, writing marketing copy etc.
3. Make a decision on what you can STOP
The final step is to actively choose from your second list those tasks you are no longer going to do.
You may decide some things add no value to your business whatsoever. These you can scrap for good.
In comparison, they’ll be other tasks which need doing BUT lie outside of your core skill set. For example you may decide to outsource your bookkeeping or your copywriting to someone who will do a better job because it’s their specialist field.
Finally, there’ll be yet more activities that a virtual assistant could do quicker and cheaper than you. This could include loading your autoresponders, chasing invoices and late payments, following up quotes etc. You may decide to outsource these.
Banish unhelpful mindsets, behaviours and practices
Now here’s a cool thing. Your To-Don’t list doesn’t have to be filled with practical tasks. In addition, you can also use it to get clear on the mindsets, behaviours and practices that sap your time and erode your efficiency. For example you may decide “To-Don’t”:
1. Beat yourself over mistakes - instead learn from them so they never happen again
2. Waste time faffing on social media - instead stick to a strategy
3. Lose focus of where you’re going - instead continually revisit your goals, keep them front of mind and do something everyday to ensure you move a little closer towards them
4. Be a slave to your phone - instead use a call answering service to create undisturbed time
5. Continue using inefficient tools - instead explore time saving tech solutions (such as SpinLessPlates!)
It’s time to change the game
Being successful requires tough decision making and constant implementation of “stuff” that keeps you competitive. And to ensure that happens, you need to figure out how to squeeze the most out of every minute of every working day.
So do keep striking at your To-Do list, BUT alongside that actively create more time to implement the important stuff by supporting your goals with a To-Don’t list.
I guarantee it will be a game-changer.
But what do you think? Please let me know in the comments below.
Hi, I'm Paul.
Husband of Michele, daddy to Isabella and Jemima, owner of over excitable dog Ben.
I developed SpinLessPlates to be the easiest to use, most time saving B2B micro business management software in the world. If you'd like to save tonnes of time managing your B2B business, simply click here to find out more.