Do you find yourself looking at other people thinking, “How come everyone has their shit together and I don't?”
Do you feel like your to-do list is only growing every day, and your mailbox is about to explode?
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Today, I will teach you about 4 powerful concepts (I call them the 4 Ps) and how you can use these to
- Get your shit together
- Work on the proactive side of things that will move your ideas and business forward.
Because let's be honest, staying busy answering emails and messages is not the same as actually being productive.
Let's look at the 4 Ps and dive head first into each of the four principles.
- Be proactive
- Be mindful of Parkinson's Law
- Let go of perfectionism
- Use the power of Pareto
P1: Be proactive
The very first step to being proactive, is to determine what the proactive stuff for your business entails.
I love to use a very simple exercise for this, and you can do the same. The exercise goes like this:
- Grab a piece of paper and create two columns.
- On the right side, write down your biggest accomplishments. For instance, for me, that could be our million-dollar launch last year, buying a house, hiring my first employee, or building a team.
- On the left side, write down all of your daily and weekly tasks or the things that take up most of your time. Looking at my daily and weekly activities, I spend a lot of time on content and video marketing. Yet, I also have many operational stuff to deal with, like answering messages, being on the road, and so on.
- Connect your actions to your biggest accomplishments. Now, connecting my actions to my accomplishments, it's clear that video and content marketing had a huge impact on signing so many clients for the million-dollar launch.
I strongly recommend that you go through this exercise and replace my examples with your biggest accomplishments and actions.
Doing this exercise will show you WHAT you did and HOW you got there, and even better, you'll discover which actions actually move your business forward and what actions you need to trim.
REMINDER: If you spend 80% of your time on the small stuff, your results will be tiny. Instead, you need to spend 80% of your time on the big important stuff to make big moves.
Next to determining your proactive work, you need to make sure you actually follow through on these actions daily.
Proactive work should always come before reactive work.
Let's recap. To be proactive, you need to
- Determine your top projects with the list exercise
- Follow through on those projects daily before you become reactive and start answering emails, messages, and phone calls.
P2: Be mindful of Parkinson's Law
Parkinson's Law states that work expands to fill the time you allow for it.
Of course, you shouldn't use Parkinson's Law to set unreasonable deadlines for yourself.
Especially with big projects, like creating an online course, we tend to underestimate how much time we need for it.
However, for the small, reactive items that dominate your to-do list, Parkinson's Law is an excellent concept to apply. For instance, let's say you have 50 emails sitting in your inbox. If you give yourself 30 minutes to get those done, it will work. Give yourself 2 hours; it will work.
The gist of Parkinson's Law is this: you can get the same amount of work done in less time if you give yourself less time to do it.
Remember, work will expand to fill the time you allow for it.
P3: Let go of perfectionism
Perfectionism is a returning topic, because I can't stress this enough: let go of perfectionism.
For instance, you see an email coming in, but you close it and get back to it later when you have more brain space to reply. Don't do this.
Somewhere in your brain, you DO know how to respond; you just don't know how to craft the perfect email.
F*ck it! You can still reply.
A reply is better than no reply. A video course is better than no course. An Instagram post is better than no post. An Instagram story is better than no story. An unannounced Instagram live is better than no live.
TAKEAWAY: perfectionism is better used in optimizing what you do, than while kickstarting the building blocks that will move your business forward.
P4: Use the power of Pareto
Similar to perfectionism, the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 principle, is a hot content topic.
In short, the 80/20 principle means that 20% of your clients will give you 80% of your income, or in other words, 20% of the stuff you do daily will give you 80% of your results.
And to use the power of the Pareto principle, you need to go back to the list we made earlier (P1).
For instance, for the FastForward Team, our 80/20 is authentic content marketing as in great, actionable, no-bullshit content.
But during our latest launch, we were so focused on creating scarcity and urgency that we lost sight of the core of our message.
Our core message, no matter the format, is me being an authentic authority, and we had unintentionally forgotten to focus on the authority part.
In the recap of last week's episode, you'll learn a lot more about how YOU can build an authentic authority brand, too.
Your next step: create a to-grow list
As you start prioritizing proactive work, I suggest you make a to-grow list. A to-grow list will help you hold yourself accountable for focusing on the things that really matter and that will move your business forward.
It's so easy to fall back into old patterns with a new to-do list of daily tasks, and if you do, you'll be back to square one.
Therefore, here's my suggestion for your game plan:
- Make a to-grow list to focus on the big projects.
- Let go of perfectionism.
- Focus on your actions and daily activities. Apply the 80/20 principle to determine what moves the needle.
I know this may seem like a lot, but you don't need to do it all at once. You just need to move forward, be proactive, and do the important stuff before you get caught staying busy.
Watch this episode on YouTube or listen via iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts, and search for episode 93 of The FastForwardAmy Show.
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