To-do lists have become a common part of our business lives to keep up with the constant demands and never ending list of ‘stuff’ we must get done. To make matters worse, many of us equate success to the number of tasks we get done. This is often to the detriment of you making time to focus on the most important tasks – which are those that provide you with the greatest return.
If you’re like most owners I work with, you probably got into business to earn more money, have more time and find more freedom. However, many of them feel like they’ve lost control of their business and life. This is often a result of getting caught up in the busyness trap and believing that working harder is the answer. It’s not.
To win in today’s fast and ever changing business environment you need to have a ‘stop doing’ list! Trying to do everything yourself and thinking you are saving money and/or saving time is often the wrong approach. You need to be focusing on the most important areas and stop doing the rest.
The fastest growing businesses in retail or in any other industry for that matter, aren’t led by the people doing the most, they’re led by the people who understand what the most important things are. I call this your ‘genius’. Your genius is defined by the things you love doing, that you are good at and have a great financial return for you and the business.
In retail, the most important areas for you to be focusing on are buying, marketing and customer service. However, when you look at your ‘to do’ list I am sure that most of the tasks on your list are not related to these 3 areas. This needs to change.
A ‘stop doing’ list will:
- Help you get clarity on what you need to say no to.
- Help you find plenty for your staff to do
- Create more time for you to focus on what will make you money
The first step is to create the list and then over time either eliminate, automate or delegate these tasks to others. This will result in great forward movement in your business and inevitable more profit and freedom for you. The reality is that 20 percent of what we do will bring us 80 percent of our result. The 80/20 rule continues to be true and will always be true. It’s a fundamental law and until we understand that we need to stop doing many of the tasks that are being put in front of us and focus on the most important, then growth will be limited.
To succeed in today’s business environment, you have to understand that to create more time to focus on the right things, you have to stop doing all the wrong things.
Matt Malouf is an internationally-acclaimed speaker, business coach, author and entrepreneur whose mission is to help business owners build amazing businesses that enable them to live a life of freedom and fulfilment. His new book, The Stop Doing List (Wiley $27.95), is available now. For more information on Matt Malouf visit www.mattmalouf.com.au