A good friend of mine, and mentor Stephen Woessner had me on his podcast Onward Nation earlier this year. Here's a link if you'd like to hear it. Surprisingly to myself I had a handful of great insights prepping for this interview. One that sticks out to me is the "Screw your to-do" method of mine. Let me give a quick outline of it, and explain why I find it so important.
Here's the way I used to work, and I think many people still work this way. They wake up and look at their email inbox, they think of the oldest tasks they have big or small, and they think of the things that make them feel guilty for not having done, and they create a "to-do" list for the day. There's nothing horribly wrong with this method but it really lacks what it takes to achieve great things. What you're really doing is giving up control of your outcome. Instead of deciding what you want and what's important to you, you let random chance decide your direction. You will not achieve great things this way.
Here's what I do and recommend. Make a "to-win" list.
Think about what you could get done today that would make you feel like "I WON!" at the end of the day when you rest your head on your pillow. This is the stuff that matters, the accomplishments, the BIG tasks that really move the needle of your life. This is the stuff that most people never get around to doing. Maybe it's a business plan, or a course you need to write, or a podcast you need to prep for. Whatever it is it's big and scary and you keep putting it off. This is exactly what you need to do, to win today. SO DO IT. Also, as you're making your TO-WIN list for the day try and pick out the scariest task. This is the one you must do first. Once this one is complete the rest of your day will seem easy and you'll have some serious momentum. This has been called the "Eat That Frog" method by Brian Tracy, here's a link to his book if you want more productivity tips.
Ok so what if your business depends on your boring "To-Do" list?
Good question. You STILL start out your day on your TO-WIN list and you leave time later in the day for the TO-DO. I get it, you have a business and your business needs you. Don't throw away your business. What you will find is that the more TO-WIN you're doing in your life the faster your business will grow and the more you'll be able to hire and free up your time. Which will lead to more TO-WIN time!! This is the nature of accomplishment.
Everyone in the beginning pays their dues, they start out as valuable as their time. In time however, they will find that their hard work will lead to more money which can free up their time if they hire. Maybe they hire an assistant, or they hire a customer service person, or they hire a manager for their business. Their time begins freeing up and their value shifts to their input and wisdom, not their time. This is a crucial step to getting more done. You can't do everything, I promise. As your time frees you can do more TO-WIN and accomplish bigger things. The big things that will change your business. MAKE THE SHIFT ASAP.