Planning 2015 Step #2: Day-to-Day Task List is as Simple as ABC

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calendar imageHere’s how to prioritize your action plan between the events you found the most appealing and worth waiting for, the anticipated highlights of your life. We talked about them last week, remember?

I’ve also mentioned the MED principle before, here’s how to apply it to your business efforts:

#1 Schedule Business Events

Place your product launches and other major events you organize in the calendar first, and then walk backwards adding the supportive “exercises”. Those could be for instance your own webinars.

Also add the target amount of other activities you choose to add in your marketing toolbox; speaking, giveaways, guest blogging, book releases, JV launches and so on.

And don’t forget your blog and newsletter, either.

#2 Comprehensive Task Lists

Pick up or create a detailed task list of each to get a clear picture of the amount of work those require.

#3 Use Your Time Wisely

All the tasks can be divided into 3 categories:

C = ‘craft’, which are the activities you do to create cash.

Translated to sports, these are the sport specific exercises, for instance golf player focusing on different areas of her own game. While you may be able to improve your performance with mental preparations and assisting exercises, your No #1 priority is always the sport itself.

B = ‘basic’, are tasks that have to get done but aren’t much fun

such as gathering documents that must be delivered to the bookkeeper.

And for comparison, example from sports: As a kettlebell lifter I need to improve my endurance. I do it by jogging, which I don’t like much, but because I want to succeed, I just do it.

A = ‘assisting’ tasks are something you enjoy, but you want to limit the time spent on those.

In my case these are tweaking the website and designing graphics. I could spend hours on those, when there’s actually better use for my time.

Here’s the only difference I’ve discovered so far, between building a business and a career as an athlete:

Athletes have to execute all these 3 types of workouts themselves, while in business you can outsource.

Here’s another secret:

Because the three capacities your business needs are the same as the elements of fitness; power (sales & money), stamina (brand awareness) and flexibility (good relationships), you should focus on activities that develop all three simultaneously.

(In fact, that’s one of the benefits and reasons I got hooked so quickly on kettlebell sport – because it does just that.)

Email marketing is for instance one such activity.

Knowing what you do to build your business each day isn’t just knowing the mechanics. Yes, you write blog posts and emails and your participation on discussion, but even more important than that is to figure out what to do on daily basis to encourage and provoke emotions.

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28 Comments

  • Meredith Wouters

    Reply Reply December 9, 2014

    I like your ABC tasks. I never thought of organizing tasks by category. I think I spend way too much time on some things, but maybe not the important things. This gives me a new way to divide up my time on a day to day basis.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      I also use color coding when I write these down in a calendar. C is green, B is yellow and A is red, and balance is important – just as in sports. The rule of thumb is to increase green, in time try to get rid of yellows and keep an eye on the time spent on reds. Absence of green is a clear indicator of biz in trouble. For visual people this works well.

  • That’s a very keen idea…to organize by the ABC method! It makes sense, when you really read it in black and white! LOL But I love being organized so this is a ‘do’ for me:) Thanks!

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      You’re welcome!

  • Niekka McDonald

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    I really like this post. I like how you used sports to break down the category task. I like working out and this makes the task easier for me to picture in my head, which makes it clear for me to write down.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      Glad to hear it’s useful!

  • Marquita Herald

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    Excellent article! I am SO into organization and working smarter rather than harder so I love to see what other people are doing and pick up new tips. Thanks! :-)

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      Thanks for stopping by!
      I’m not a natural born organizer myself so what I’ve created really came from a need. I’ve tried many other methods before to find the one that would work for me. So far it’s looking good with this one…

  • Ikechi

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    Hi Eve

    Wonderful way to organize using the ABC and to use the example of sports to explain the category task is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      Thank you Ikechi! Glad you liked it :)

  • Jeri

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    I tend to get stuck on “assisting” tasks, but have worked hard to improve my efforts this past year. I used to just make lists and get overwhelmed. Once I chunked my time and really looked at how long items on the list took to accomplish, my work habits greatly improved.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      Sounds like me before I realized the current system I use to categorize the importance.
      I also had 10-page todo lists and the overwhelm that comes along, now I just have a checklist so I remember to check my checklists… LOL

  • Lenie

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    I really like the ABCs – I think knowing how much time is spent on any particular task and the results will be invaluable in moving forward.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 10, 2014

      That’s exactly true!

  • Ken Dowell

    Reply Reply December 10, 2014

    What occurs to me as I read this is how important it is to realistically schedule product launches and then hit the date. In my experience I have been in situations where we’ve struggled with this and you can from this post how much is dependent on that working as planned.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 11, 2014

      Thanks for visiting my blog Ken!
      I’d say launch is like a competition date.
      For most people, setting the date makes it real and changes your mindset completely.
      For many deadlines make you stay on track and motivates.

      It’s then the higher maturity level of a biz/athlete when those become less important and other things the priority, you still launch/compete as scheduled, and you don’t need to think about the process that much anymore, or (in biz) someone else does the heavy lifting for you.

  • Susan cooper

    Reply Reply December 11, 2014

    Hi Eveliina, what a great tip….organizing by the abc idea. I have had so much on my plate that any new scheduling or organizational techniques that i can use going forward into 2015 are much needed. Thanks!!

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 11, 2014

      You’re welcome!

  • William Rusho

    Reply Reply December 11, 2014

    Time management is probably one of the most important things we can learn. It is vital for everything from business to our personal life, yet so few of us have learned how to do it properly. Great post.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 11, 2014

      Thanks! It does make life easier in the modern society when you’re “rather a little ahead than behind”.

  • Bola

    Reply Reply December 12, 2014

    Hi Eve. What a fab post. I like the way you’ve used the ABC method to organise tasks and I agree with your point about using your time wisely.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 13, 2014

      Thanks Bola!
      I know there are so many ways to do this, just need to pick the one that works for each individual.

  • andleeb

    Reply Reply December 12, 2014

    What a lovely Idea to organize tasks as ABC. I have a long list of tasks and always get confused where to find the required one and have to go through all my list sometimes. I agree that time management is important. It is actually key to success.

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 13, 2014

      Thank you andleeb! I’m with you about time management being one of the keys indeed.

  • Safariontheblog

    Reply Reply December 25, 2014

    I have never thought of organising tasks as category . . .
    What an awesome post!
    Thanks for the tips x

    • Eveliina

      Reply Reply December 28, 2014

      Thanks for stopping by!

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