Doesn’t that sound like a great thing? Get more done in less time. We all could use a magic wand that would do that for us. The most successful people write down their goals. They also create action plans, and then they identify the action steps that need to happen. Another step that the most successful people do is they prioritize their action steps, or To Do lists, on the daily and weekly basis. There is one additional technique that only the best of the best use. This technique is the magic wand; it is the key to getting more done in less time. The technique is to ask yourself three questions about each item on your To Do list. Can this item be eliminated? Can this be automated? Can it be delegated.
Can this be ELIMINATED? If you have any thoughts at all about the item that sound something like “I would really like to do this” or “I really should do this”. That item is a good candidate to be eliminated off of your To Do list. An example might be an email newsletter that you get and there’s an article in this one that you would really like to read, but you don’t have the time right now, so you just save it, unopened. It does not take long for those unopened emails to stack up, so much so that you have tens, if not hundreds of unopened emails that you haven’t looked at in weeks or months. They are clogging up your inbox. If it wasn’t important enough to read immediately, then you might as well just eliminate it.
Can this be AUTOMATED? How can you set this item up so that it is part of a routine? Is it possible to set it up once, and then it happens automatically after that? An example of this could be paying bills online: you set it up once as a recurring payment, and it happens automatically after that. Another example could be creating content for social media: you create the content once and then you set it up so that it automatically posts to multiple social media sites. You can also establish a process where you create the content once, for one type of media, and then you reuse it in other types.
Can this be DELEGATED? Chances are you are not the one and only person who is able to do this item. If you have employees, this could be an opportunity to train a team member how to do it. It might slow you down a little bit the first time, or the second time that it is delegated, but once they learn how to do it think of all that time that you get back by taking that item off of your To Do list. If you don’t have employees, you still have the opportunity to delegate selected tasks by outsourcing.
Once you have challenged every item on your To Do List by asking these three questions, the items remaining are truly worthy of your time and attention. Using this technique every time you write it a To Do list guarantees you will get the most important things done in less time.
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