Do you have trouble with “Time Management,” “Productivity Management,” or whatever you want to call getting stuff done during your week? If so, then in the spirit of “Sesame Street”, today’s tip is brought to you by the letter “W.”
Whenever you decide is the end of your business day, whether it be 3pm or midnight, your last task of the day should be to make your “TO DO” list for the next day. When you do, follow the formula of using the 5 “W” columns:
WHAT – The first column is your what. This is absolutely everything you feel you need to get accomplished. This column should include both business and personal items. Make sure you put down items such as eating, exercise, kid time, and chores as well as your business “to dos” such as marketing, cold calls, follow up, face to face appointments, emails and returning calls.
WHEN – In the second column, write down when the items in the first columns need to be accomplished. This can be an exact time or a time frame. This is your first chance to decide if something absolutely needs to be done the next day or can it be put off to a subsequent day. This is also when you start to prioritize your day.
WHERE – In the third column, write down where the event will take place. Often, without even realizing it, we have scheduled back to back events at the opposite ends of town. We wind up spending all day in the car getting from task to task – which is unproductive. As you look at the “where” column, begin to group your tasks in closer geographic locations to save you travel time.
WHO – In the fourth column, evaluate who really needs to do the task. Does the task need to be performed by you or is it more appropriate to delegate it to someone else? For example, if “clean the house” is one of your task, I would suggest that your time is too valuable to be doing this yourself. Assign to one of your children or hire a house keeper. If “make copies” is on your list, delegate to an assistant. You should be focused on activities that are productive, income generating and/or which grow your business or improve your life.
WHY – In the last column, write down why you need to do this task. Use notations such as marketing, follow up, income generating, networking or personal health. At this point, you may reassign to someone else, or may decide you don’t need to do it at all and remove it from your list. The key here, as stated above, is to have as many tasks as possible committed to either enriching your business or enriching your life.
Hopefully using these five “W”s will bring you a sixth – WEALTH. I want to wish you all the very best and much continued success.