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Category: Productivity

What’s in it for me?

Learn the secrets to not just managing your to-do list, but optimizing it so you can 10X your life and income!

Introduction:

As you hopefully know from reading my Productivity training, I’m a huge nerd about tracking and optimizing my day.

Successful individuals have the same 24 hours in a day you and I have, they just use it more effectively.

Today I am going to go over my favorite strategy (and tool) for knocking out my to-do list in a hurry.

Part 1: Write It Down

I have a firm rule. If it’s not written down, it won’t happen. No exceptions.

Even if you are a memory rockstar, every single task should be written down.

I prefer to write all my tasks down as they come up on a “flip” notepad I buy in bulk for pennies each, then transfer to my task management system which I’ll review below.

Why write on a piece of paper like a caveman?

Because there is no back button. No pop up notifications. No excuses.

I have tested every to-do list app and task management system but I always come back to the flip notepad as step 1.

I am easily 2x to 3x more productive without even trying when I am forced into carrying my little black book.

Everyone is unique and you may prefer to put your tasks directly into a task management system.

Regardless, we are ready for…..

Part 2: Three to Five Micro-Tasks a Day

My next key to task management is to break the task down into the smallest pieces possible.
“Build a website” is a procrastination nightmare waiting to happen.

“Pick a color for the new website logo” is a great way to get started.

I find that I can successfully accomplish 3 to 5 micro-tasks a day (combined with managing other emergency related items that come up during the day including phone calls, etc).

I would test but you never want to end your day with tasks left on the board. That’s a bad mental habit to have.

To start I would pick one to two mico-tasks and if you knock those out, add one a day until you start to run out of time. Then dial it back so you always accomplish your task list with room to spare.

Many will disagree with me here but you want to train your mind to want to knock out your task list. The more you do this the more tasks you will be able to accomplish every day.

HACK ALERT: I am much more productive when I start fast and easy. I find I’m much productive when I front load multiple fast and easy tasks into each section of my day.

My theory is that my brain gets into a “getting s**** done” mode and pushes through the more difficult tasks that much easier.

I would advise testing this as many successful people advise putting the hardest tasks first.

Part 3: My Favorite Task Management System

I was part of the alpha system for Teamwork Projects and I have been a dedicated user ever since.

They have since shortened the name to just Teamwork but have added many awesome features.

Teamwork is NOT the cleanest system out there. It can feel cluttered and is not “sexy” like some of the more popular task managers.

However, if you want to optimize your task management (and your teams) Teamwork is a beast.

Even if you are a one man show, I highly advise trying Teamwork.

They have a “free for life” that’s perfect for solo operators or people just starting out.
I have even shown my “employed” friends how to use Teamwork and they love it so much they use it to help them in their personal and professional lives.

You can signup for Teamwork by CLICKING HERE.

Once you get signed up, check out their training by CLICKING HERE.  NOTE: you don’t need to take the paid exam, just go through the training which is free.

I could write a BOOK on the various awesome ways I use Teamwork to optimize my life, so to save us all from that experience I will highlight some options below.

Part 4: Teamwork Hacks

My first hack is to create a “open” task (not assigned to anyone and no due date) for anything you do on a regular basis.

Email management should be on everyone’s list, but other things like checking the news, reviewing leads and managing calendar are important to have.

Why?

Because you need to see how much time these tasks are costing you. In my other article about how to calculate how much you are worth, I go over how being a millionaire and making $34k a year is sometimes down to how many seconds you can shave off tasks in a day.

You can’t optimize what you don’t understand.

My next hack is to use “billable” and “non-billable” time to help identify weaknesses.

Anything that is NOT related to a client should be “non-billable” time while anything related to working with a client (phone calls, emails, etc) should be tracked as billable.

Many of you who charge hourly track that through your payment system already so Teamwork will be a duplicate BUT it will give you some great data.

I will continue to add hacks to this training but that will get you going for now.

The End / Recap

Task management is the difference between successful people and average people.

We all have 24 hours in the day, your income simply breaks down to how you use that 24 hours (and remember, being busy does NOT always mean you are being more effective).

To truly track and understand your day, use a task management system like the one I recommended above.

If you have any questions or suggestions, PLEASE leave a comment below.

I can’t wait to see the impact you have on our communities!

- Gabe