Why Small Business Owners Shouldn’t Use To Do Lists

by | Jun 21, 2017

Why Small Business Owners Shouldn’t Use To Do Lists

The problem with to do lists is they stop you from achieving your goals!

to do lists


Do you find that you rarely get your to do list cleared? Or that you do not have the time to review the day and set to dos for the following day? To do lists are generally made up of ad hoc items with no reference to your short term or long term goals.

You aren’t able to track if you are doing the RIGHT things. Furthermore, the to do list does not contain the expected duration of each item, therefore you cannot assess if you even have enough hours in that day to complete it!

It’s actually perpetuating the cycle of working in the business and not on the business for Directors and CEOs. You always end the day feeling like you achieved very little.

What Is the Solution?

First, take some time to construct goals for your business. These should then be broken down into 1 month to 10 year goals (or whatever time period suits you).

You should then have a calendared view of ‘department’ activities e.g. marketing that you can refer to and take tasks from and add to your to do list. Even if you are a freelancer, create Asana boards to break down activities into different types this way.

At the start of the week you should construct your weekly goals list or to do list.

This should be split into categories. Mine are Work, Workout and Personal. I then split work down into Client Work, Sales & Marketing, Content Marketing, Business Development and Staff Development.

I have an ideal allocation of time each week, based on the hours I am working that week between categories. I then can allocate tasks from my calendar or goals list to the weekly goals list.

When finished, this list should add up to the total hours you have to work in the week. Always remember to leave 10% free for items that come up in the week.

You should then have a to do list that looks like this:

Work – 6 hours

Client Work

  • Project A – 30 mins
  • Review XYZ Returns – 1 hour
  • Meeting with ABC Limited – 30 mins

Sales & Marketing

  • Meeting X Lead – 30 mins
  • Developing Partnership Map – 30 mins

Content Marketing

  • Blog 1 – 45 mins
  • 5 Tweets scheduled for the week – 15 mins

Business Development

  • Internal Process documentation – new leads – 2 hours

Staff Development 

  • Arrange meeting with X Associate to discuss 1 year goals – n/a

Workout – 1 hour

  • 20 minute run
  • Stretching

Personal – 1 hour

  • Take bins out
  • Go and see parents 
  • Meditate

Now take your calendar and plan which order you will do things with blocks for each type of work. Try and get creative stuff done first e.g. content marketing but really it’s what works best for you.

Really, What’s The Point?

You have now been through the process of goal setting, you’ve thought about and set calendarised activities to help you achieve your goals, and created a weekly and daily task list that you can be sure will help you achieve your goals with repeated effort.

This process forces you to make sure you are doing the right things on a daily basis and driving your business forward to whatever goals you have set.

Let’s say you want 100 new customers by the end of year 1. Your goals would then be planned over 12 months on a Sales and Marketing, and Content Marketing Asana Board. Then you will take each month’s goals to a weekly and daily task list, ensuring there is daily progress towards those 100 new customers.

Take action today. Don’t get stuck in the same old routine and wonder why things aren’t changing in your business.

If you know GrowFactor at all, you’ll know that our business idol is Tony Robbins, in fact Simon our Managing Director just returned from Tony Robbins, Business Mastery in Amsterdam this afternoon! Our entire team attended UPW this year, read Why Small Business Owners Should Invest in Tony Robbins to find out our main takeaways from the four day extravaganza! The reason for the Tony shout out is because we’ve all individually listened to his RPM Planning podcasts. These are an amazing investment as you will soon have a team that creates weekly plans that you as a small business owner can quickly scan to see what their main outcomes of the week are. This means you have full clarity on team activities without having to look over their shoulder. This benefits your staff as well as they will feel less stressed and more fulfilled.



If you’d like a free eBook of Simon’s Unleash Your Business Potential click below!


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