Most of us have trouble making good decisions. We make lists in our heads, on paper, online. Then, we start working from the top down. Most of us don’t even take the time to prioritize our list! Much of our effort is wasted; we spend time working on the meaningless, instead of the meaningful.
If you sometimes find yourself here—join the club. We all do it…but let’s make sure to do it less frequently. How? Reframe your thinking! Make your list. Prioritize it. (I use the Pareto Principle, the 20/80 rule: 20% of what you do gives you 80% of your result!). If you’ve got 100 items on your list, pick your top 20. If you’ve got 50, pick 10. Got 20, pick 4. There’s your top 20%. (If your number is still too big, 20% it again. 20 items times 20% is 4). Then put them in priority order.
You’ve made your choices; you’ve decided. Now, work on doing what you chose. The more you do this, the better you’ll get at it. Prioritizing your list forces you to choose. Your choices provide you with targets, direction, goals, and your goals will drive your priorities.
Startling Stat! One hour spent thinking and planning before doing saves you 5-10 hours of execution, minimum (not to mention your reduced stress!). If that statistic is anywhere close to correct—and that’s what I’ve found—I’m using the process forever. I’ll get a much better return…on my energy, on my time, in my life.
Think. Plan on paper. Prioritize. Do. List management equals life management! Manage to excel!