Do you get to the end of the week and wonder what you got done? None of the items on your list have been completed. Here are some ways to set priorities and follow them.
To set priorities:
- Make as comprehensive a list as possible of everything you can think of that needs to be done.
- Make another list of your personal goals for the business, for example, have a certain profit level or number of clients over a certain time frame.
- Make one more list of what you want from this business. Lots of money? Personal satisfaction? Steady income and a good reputation.
- Compare list two and list three. Are they basically in agreement? If not, revise number two. Your business goals need to agree with what is important to you.
- Now go back that big long list from step one. Relate each of those items to list two, giving each job a priority based on how closely they align with the goals you are hoping to achieve.
- Now take one more pass through list one rating each of the high priority items by A: this needs to happen right away and B: these are not crucial immediately.
- Take the A items and choose three to work on in the next 24 hours.
- Don't even think about the other items unless you finish all three in that 24 hour period.
- Revisit your lists for a brief period at the same time each day, revising based on new information.
- When revising your lists, check off the items that are done by placing them on a done list. Then at intervals you can see visible proof of what you have accomplished!
- If you feel you are not making the progress on reaching your priorities at the pace you would like, it may be time to hire someone to help.
- Some businesses do not need daily lists. Weekly or even monthly can be sufficient in ventures that operate in a slow market with longer time frames.
- Keeping your lists on a computer allows you add, delete and move items around easily.
- Make certain your first list includes items like 'start planning for taxes. Don't wait for the deadline for something to give it a high priority. Give early planning a place on the list.