As a creative entrepreneur, you probably struggle with a never ending to-do list. I know I do. Even as your business grows and you have assistance, it can still seem overwhelming to get everything done in the allotted time you have.
The goal of your business is to make money. Otherwise, you have a hobby.
The key is to put money generating activities (MGAs) at the top of that list.
If you look at the last five things you did in your business, how many were related to sales or marketing in your business?
You need to prioritize those activities if you are going to bring income into your business. Remember that money flows where your attention goes.
Here are some tips to do that.
Capture all the things that you need to get done in one place.
No more sticky notes or little pieces of paper. This was big for me, as I like to make little notes everywhere.
Instead, create one master to-do list or one for each project. Just the act of getting the tasks out of your head frees up thinking and working energy.
My choice is to use a sheet of paper per project in a three-ring binder. The projects have their own individual tabs. I also use self-adhesive card pockets on the back of the project tab in case I come back with some notes that belong to the project.
If you prefer a digital option or have a team that you want input from, try asana or a similar app. You’ll be able to brainstorm and organize your ideas.
Go back and decide what you need to do today.
Yes, you will need to prioritize your tasks or you won’t get what needs to be done accomplished.
You can look at the list and ask yourself which three items will bring money into your business today and start there.
You can also use an A, B, C ranking system if that help. Mark those that will bring the most money into your business with an A. Continue that process with B and C. Then you need to rank the individual A’s.
Get going and finish your A1 task before moving to your A2 task. It will take disciple to stay focused on those A tasks, and that’s what you need to do to generate an income.
Regardless of which approach you use to select your tasks, I’d recommend focusing on no more than three a day. If you accomplish all three, congratulate yourself on the movement you made in your business.
If you finish the three tasks on your list, go back and pick another from your list.
You could also choose to handle some of the regular day-to-day business activity, like answering emails, posting on social media, etc. The important thing is that you tackled the MGAs first.
Look at the tasks you are doing with the thought that maybe someone else can do them.
Not everything on your list needs to be done or needs to be done by you.
Consider taking one of these tasks and train someone else to do it. You’ll be able to spend your time on MGAs while your team can handle other work. You’ll actually be happier and more productive.
Watch getting sidetracked by little tasks.
It’s easy to look at the list and think you can winnow the list down by doing some quick items, e.g., returning the phone call, answering email, checking your Instagram page.
I’ve tried that and what happens is that I don’t get back to the big stuff — the MGAs — because I did the little stuff.
Use my reminder card.
I suggest to my clients that they put a 3 x 5 card in front of the computer that says, “What am I doing today to bring money into my business?”
If this is the first thing you see in the morning, it’s a great reminder to focus on the MGAs.
At the end of the day, look at what you accomplished. Ta-da!
It’s your turn!
How are you going to focus on MGAs? If you made a reminder card, share a picture in the comments below.