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Work Your HIT List

image - SMARTSTART Productivity

All tasks are not created equal (and some of them are not even worth doing).

One of the greatest benefits of having your own business is being completely in charge of your own schedule. We looked earlier at choosing the work hours best for you and being flexible in changing them up to take advantage of the lazier days of summer.

Simply not having to commute when you work from home frees up time in your work day. You can use this time to improve your health, invest in personal relationships or to learn new things that add value to your life or business.

Once you’ve put your schedule in place though, you must stick to it. After a few months of working for yourself, you’ve surely determined when you work best and what’s important to you. However, a lot of people fall into the trap of using the time they’ve gained for busy work that doesn’t add value to the business. If you committed to using this time for high impact tasks (HIT) instead, you’d be able to move your business forward much faster. And then you’d have the option of freeing up even more time to use for whatever is most important to you.

The trick is you’ve got to make your HIT list and commit to working it exclusively before spending time on other things. These tasks should be scheduled on your calendar with the appointments set up to reflect your own values and peak performance periods.

For me, HIT list tasks are always scheduled for the morning because that’s when I’m most productive. The lesser tasks, like email, webinars, client calls are all booked for after 2 pm when my brain is naturally winding down. You, on the other hand, might be just the opposite and that’s perfectly ok — simply schedule yourself accordingly.

Everyone will have a different set of high impact tasks on the HIT list depending on what stage of business development you happen to be at. These may even change from season to season. For example, I’ll work on new product development in periods when client attention is elsewhere (typically November and December) and change focus to executing our marketing strategy when prospective partner attention is likely to be available.

There will be times of year when a HIT list item is predictable such as when corporate tax filings or compliance assessments are due but, as these are administrative functions, you can put systems in place to ensure appropriate action is being taken all year long. Your goal here is to minimize the amount of time you must dedicate to meeting this responsibility when it comes up on the calendar. Pro-active attention to system creation (as a high impact task) prevents you from busy-working your day away because you have a legal obligation to meet filing deadlines.

Ultimately, you want to create a high impact, high satisfaction lifestyle full of day-to-day experiences that are personally fulfilling and that support achieving your business and life goals. This won’t happen by accident; you must plan for it. So, if you don’t have a HIT list now, start there and make one today. Then work it into your calendar accordingly and prepare to be amazed at how much you have accomplished by year end.