by Cara Lumen
We can sure get caught up in doing stuff. Mindless stuff, unimportant stuff, meaningless stuff. And we are really, really busy doing it. We even get tired at the end of our day from doing all that stuff. How do we stop the merry-go-round? How do we address the meaningful? How do we even identify what is important?
What’s the point?
What is your bottom line? What is the vision you hold and what are the most important steps you need to take to make that happen? There’s no point in writing an information product if you don’t have a web presence to promote it on. There’s no point in writing a teleclass unless you have spent time building a community who will be interested in taking it. There’s no point in writing blog posts unless you are really clear about the purpose of your blog and know what your target audience needs and wants from you.
Carefully evaluate the purpose of each project and how it fits into the larger picture. Put your foundation in place first, and then start building.
How important is it in the overall scheme of things?
Examine your assumptions before you start building on them. What do you think is true that may not be? Did you research the needs of your target community or did you take an educated guess? Be clear about the reason you are doing a certain project in the first place. Will it get the job done? Will it achieve the results you want? Is it needed right now by your target community? Or is this some bright shiny idea that caught your eye and is momentarily exciting?
Before your chose an item from your “to do” list, check the ones that are the most important in the overall scheme of things. Are you working your Direct Outreach Strategy? Is your Cornerstone Content in place? Is your opt in offer getting the conversion rate you want? How vital is it that you do this particular task right this moment? Then make your choice.
Measure your results
If you haven’t set up ways to measure your success do so now. How will you know if a certain approach, product, or tactic is achieving the results you want? Is it in sales, conversions, attendees, referrals, or RSS feed sign ups? How can you tell if you are doing it right? Set up Google Analytics, learn to understand the cpanel in your web host, research your key words, and check your RSS feed subscriptions. If it’s not working, change it. If it is working keep doing more of the same.
Completion, completion, completion
It’s easy to get pulled off onto a new exciting idea but that only serves to keep us moving in circles. Capture the new idea by writing it down, but finish what you have decided is important to do in place first. You will feel a strong sense of accomplishment as you check a project off of your to do list.
What’s the most important thing I can be doing right now?
Chose only three things from your list to do each day. Just three. If you’re going to write an entire ebook maybe you assign yourself two hours of writing and then move onto another task. Or you may be on a writing roll and just keep writing for several days. If you are going to pick just three things to do choose the most important things you can do that day. It may have a deadline, it may be a strategy session that lays the foundation for a new project, or it may be completion of a project. What is important that you work on today? Then do those three things first. Three items do not make a large list. And accomplishing three things puts you three action steps closer to your goals.
What needs to come off your list?
By each task put the date it goes on the list. If it’s been on the list for six weeks move it to an “I’ll get to the eventually list.” Don’t keep your “to do” list filled with projects you keep putting off. That’s discouraging. If you keep choosing to do the tasks that are most important you will move forward. Drop the other items. They’ll pop up when and if they are needed.
I have a document on my computer labeled “Task Management” that I keep open all day. I have categories like Blog Posts, Product Ideas, Business Ideas, Personal and Resources that I can quickly pop an idea or reminder onto. I put links to relevant blog posts there. I put quotes that inspire me. I make lists of elements of a particular task there. My other open document is called “My Schedule” It is there I list three things to do that day and do them. That separates the wanna-be’s from the gonna-be’s!
Is it worth doing?
Do you need to drop it all together? Don’t be afraid to abandon a project or task. Measure each task for its value to your overall vision. Look out for the putting-things-off task that helps you avoid a challenging project. Talk your ideas out with others – a team or a friend or a peer. Even in the middle of a project recheck to see if it is still moving you in the direction you want to go. Maybe it’s pointing you in a new direction that you have to consider. Maybe it’s turning out to be too time consuming or too complicated. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. Is this action worth doing right now? Then do what is worthy of your time and energy.
© 2010 Cara Lumen
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