How To Prioritize Tasks For Your Business & Blog
It’s easy to get stuck on a laundry list of to-do items for your business.
Unfortunately, not all of these tasks make a huge difference and could simply be taking away your most valuable resource, time. That’s why, when it comes to your business, you need to be able to prioritize your to do list and find ways to make the most impact you can with what time you have.
Why Should You Prioritize?
Time management is one of those skills that can greatly influence your business. With great time management skills and habits, you will be able to maximize the impact of your business.
It’s not all about how you manage your time, it includes how you use it. In other words, a massive part of time management is how effective you are with your time and that derives from prioritization skills.
Prioritizing your tasks simply means to order your tasks from most important to least important and shows where you should direct your time and energy to. You can tell what you currently prioritize by taking a look at what you spend the most time doing when it comes to your business.
If you don’t know what you are currently prioritizing, it might be worth running a little experiment.
Spend one week and log in a notebook what you are spending your time on.
For example, it might look something like this:
- 2 hours: Marketing
- 4 hours: Product Development
- 1 hour: Sales
- 1 hour: Marketing
- 30 minutes: Customer Service
After doing this, tally up the time you spent for each category. Whatever you spend the most time doing, that is what you are currently prioritizing.
If you can prioritize in an effective way, your business may see massive growth.
Take Pareto’s principle, for example. Pareto’s principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the efforts.
This means that if you spent just one hour working on marketing your business, 80% of the results come from just 12 minutes of your time!
If you can prioritize wisely by determining the 20% of efforts causing 80% of your results, then you can maximize your business’ results and minimize your time spent.
For example, you might identify that Customer Service makes a huge impact on your profits, but referencing the example above, you’ve prioritized that last below everything else!
What Should You Prioritize For A Successful Business?
So, how do you know what to prioritize?
I recommend that you continually experiment and adjust what and how you prioritize anything. Because everyone and their business are so different, no one’s prioritizations will look the same.
To show you how this is true, let’s consider two different tech companies that develop the same product.
The first company’s business model focuses on quality of products, while the second company puts a massive emphasis on customer service. Each of these companies’ priorities will be completely different since their model is different.
That doesn’t mean the one that focuses on quality products won’t have great customer service, it just means they may not spend as much time ensuring their customer service is as good as their product.
While you do need to continually adjust and adapt your priorities to fit your business, especially as it evolves, you can start with a good baseline idea of what you should be prioritizing.
Ask yourself a few questions. Grab a pen and paper and write down your answers as we go along.
What are your business’ values?
These values are going to tell you what is important to your business’ success according to its model. They can typically lead to a specific area of your business you may want to emphasize more than others.
For example, say your business’ values are integrity, commitment to customers, and honesty. You’d probably put more of an emphasis on customer relations.
You might also find this post useful:
What are your business’ goals?
There’s a huge variation of what your goals are for your business. They might be related to money, they might be related to financial, something else, or even a mixture of things!
If you don’t have goals for your business, create some now! It will help you determine a direction for your business and help motivate you as well as strengthen the why behind your business.
Identifying your goals could be another factor helping you to determine your priorities.
For example, if your goal is to make the most cutting edge products, you will probably need to prioritize product development.
What drives profit for your business?
While we all love going after business goals, in order for your business to thrive, you must think about where your profits are coming from. What aspects of your business bring in profits?
For example, I have a blog. I could easily spend all day on social media engaging with my audience, but in order to profit from my blog, I need content. So creating content is a profit builder as well as gaining readers. I should highly consider prioritizing these two aspects when it comes to working on my blog.
What do your customers, clients, or users want from you?
While you most likely created your business out of your own passion or desire for something, your business is not for you. Your business is for who you serve. It’s important to find a balance and meet your target audience where they are. Thinking about your target market will help you gain a better understanding of what your business might need to emphasize focus on.
After answering these questions, take a look at what you wrote down. Is there one or maye few clear aspects of your business you might need to prioritize more?
If so, great! If not, determine which question is more important to you and your business and jot down a few ideas of areas you would like to prioritize first, such as prioritizing profits, a goal of reaching x new people, and product or service quality. These ideas alone are great ways to identify what you might want to prioritize.
There are two things I don’t want you to forget when determining what you should prioritize.
The first is that you are not prioritizing one thing. You should look at all aspects of your business and order them. Each aspect is important and should be worked on.
Prioritizing them is just helping you to be most effective with your time spent on growing your business. It’s not just an order of what you work on when, but where your efforts are being applied.
The second is to continually evolve and adapt your prioritizations. In the beginning, it may take a lot of experimenting to determine what’s best for your business, and that’s okay. Additionally, as your business evolves, so must your priorities.
When you’re new, you may focus on product development or customer relations more than when you’ve already scaled, for example.
How To Prioritize Your Tasks
Once you’ve determined what you should be prioritizing, you can now move onto how.
I highly recommend using a time blocking system for this. You can be as strict or loose with this as you’d like.
For example there are certain entrepreneurs that timeblock down to one minute intervals and have it labeled out by time. In other words, they may have a block in their day from 1:02 pm to 1:41 pm to work on something specific.
There’s also founders that block out days at a time. For example, Sara Blakely time blocks an entire day just to be creative and think about new products.
I personally take a middle approach. I like to keep flexibility, so I’ve ditched a time block that’s on a rigid schedule. Instead, I approach time blocks as a next task.
For example, I may write content for 60 minutes, then engage for 60 minutes, then do marketing for 30 minutes and so on. I’ve found that this technique allows for breaks when I need them as well as flexibility in my schedule if something comes up and I have to take care of it immediately without compromising my time blocks.
Another great way you can prioritize is by using the big 3 technique.
This technique essentially means to create a to-do list each morning of only 3 things. That’s right, you heard me right! – only three things. This allows you to focus your energy on those three things and those three things alone.
There are many other techniques and habits that’ll help your succeed, but these ones have been my favorites time and time again. Whatever you chose to use, you’re going to kill it!
Let us know in the comments what you prioritize for your business and why!
Our Guest blogger, Grace Nossaman is the founder and content creator for Life Chief Nation. Anyone has the opportunity to become successful and achieve their goals and aspirations. It is her passion and mission to help others start living the life they want by providing tips and tools in four key areas: Habits & Mindset, Productivity, Goals, and Money. So what are you waiting for? Check out how you can accelerate your success at Life Chief Nation! Start achieving more of your goals today!