I’ve always been a list-aholic; to-do, grocery, pro/con, they all hold a special fondness in my heart. I recognized early-on in my school days that lists are what I need to stay on track and to this day I have notebooks full of them. However, in rebranding my consulting business away from my namesake and into intraMuse Creative I’ve noticed that lists don’t always cut it. Growing a business is essentially an endless to-do list, there is always something important to be tackled, but how can I prioritize this list more effectively, since each task can’t be done at once?
The answer came in the form of a Facebook status update today from business coach and author of Escape from Cubicle Nation, Pamela Slim: “Do you want to do everything in your business, now? Try writing each major thing you want to do on a post-it. (i.e. “update website” “get new headshots” “create new product” “follow up with prospects”) Then lay them out on your desk, or a flip chart, and try to see if there is a natural order to things. What comes first? What should happen later? What is really most important? By sorting in a timeline, you will identify a smaller group of tasks that make sense to take care of now.“
Simple, yet effective. I promptly hauled out my sticky-pad, a sharpie and got busy. It proved to be a fantastic, tactile way to process the various tasks I want to accomplish. I can organize and reorganize as necessary, add or remove tasks, and have a simple visual representation of my agenda. Obviously there are similar list methods, but this one was truly a new spin on my tried and true idea that shed light on how I can function more effectively. The best part of it for me? I felt far less overwhelmed than when I write a list; each sticky contains only one idea and as I wrote them a natural order did develop, so that now I can break each large task into smaller pieces and move forward in accomplishing my goals.
Now that’s a process I can stick to! Yes, pun intended thank-you-very-much!