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June 1, 2011

Tackling Your To Do List

As a small business owner you’re probably doing a ton of things yourself in your business – some you need to do but some also that maybe you shouldn’t be doing, right? In talking with hundreds of entrepreneurs every month I find that the majority of them (you/us) struggle with our to do lists. You’re either:

*Not sure what to even put ON your to do list

*Have an overflowing to do list – business and possibly personal too

*Organizing your to do’s in a way that’s not easy for you to manage

*Not organizing them at all so you’re flustered every day with what to get done

*Ignoring your to do list altogether because it could be overwhelming

*Or you’ve got it down and thoroughly organized like a well-oiled machine

*Well, if you’re NOT in the situation of the very last point then you may be interested to know a few things you can do to better tackle your to do list.

The following are 4 tips I suggest to better manage your to dos:

1. Make one big to do list so nothing is forgotten
– You may want to break it down to personal and business tasks, separating the two and then making sure everything you think up is on that list or transferred there at some point during the week so you don’t forget.

While I’m on this subject, your to do list may NOT be the best place to put your big ideas. You may want to grab a small journal or book to write your ideas down as until they are planned out and have a strategy around them they are just ideas and not technically to dos. You will be less distracted by bright shiny objects and to dos if you manage your ideas this way.

2. Segment out your to dos
– Also with those tasks if you have some that are really big such as ‘design my website’ or ‘launch that new program’ what you want to do is break down those bigger to dos into much more manageable, bite-sized tasks that when all completed will accomplish that to do. Because more than likely you will not have time to design and write your whole entire website in one sitting or one day. That’s just setting yourself up for overwhelm and failure right from the beginning. Instead break down all the tasks included in getting that one thing done – hire designer, choose template and layout, decide on pages, write copy for various pages (different to dos for each page), and so much more.

3. Delegate first – Then you have to take a serious look at your to do list and determine which tasks MUST be done by you and only you and which ones really should be delegated.

Just because you are the only one that knows how to do a specific task doesn’t mean you can’t get that process out of your head and then delegate it. There are some situations you may be less likely to delegate such as copywriting for example. Unless you hire an actual copywriter or marketing coach like me who would know what to write, you will most likely have to do that task yourself.

On average at least one third of all your to dos could probably be delegated, maybe half. If you disagree with that then really take a hard look at why you feel the need to be in so much control like that because 6 and 7 figure business owners hardly do anything themselves.

4. Minimize your list – Finally I like to transfer off 2-4 (regular sized) to dos from the big list into a very small, manageable to do list every day that I’m in the office and have time to work on those tasks (not every day you will have time). This way when these are done (don’t take too many!) then you can celebrate your success instead of wallow in your grief and guilt by looking at the bigger to do list at the end of the day.

I guarantee these steps will work for you if you follow them. Before you know it, that task list will be manageable and better yet, you’ll be accomplishing more than you ever thought you could which means LESS STRESS!

(c) Copyright 2011 K. Sawa Marketing International. Katrina Sawa is an Award-Winning Author & Speaker who’s helped hundreds of small business owners take dramatic steps in their businesses to get them to the next level in business, revenues & their personal life. Get her Free Entrepreneur’s Success Kit at!