The First Thing on Your To Do List: Create a Better To Do List

Success is about figuring out what you want your business life to look like. How do you want to spend your time at work? If you’re checking everything off of your to do list yourself and micromanaging your team, you are depleting your energy bank and you probably won’t achieve your scaling goals or your Big Picture Vision.

In prior blog installments, I emphasized one of my business coaching services big points: the importance of taking time for Play Days in your weekly schedule. I’ve also covered various ways to become a great leader: decision-making, delegating, staying focused, listening, treating your team as equals, and so on. Get my free Leadership Assessment and video training to learn more of my CEO mentorship program’s secrets.

Now let’s consider the personal toll that wearing too many hats in your company is taking on you, starting with your health.

The First Thing on Your To Do List Create a Better To Do ListYOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT—AND DO

Ask yourself these four important questions:

  • When the last time you had a physical checkup?
  • Are you eating right?
  • Do you exercise?
  • Are you stressed out all the time?

Many entrepreneurs are horrible at self-care because they are so focused on taking care of everyone and everything besides themselves. They rush through lunch, eating junk that is not bolstering their bodies or minds. They might think about exercising, but instead, they choose to deal with the pile of papers on the desk or prioritize putting out a fire over heading to the gym. It’s always about “getting one more thing done.” Before they know it, the day is over and they have no time or energy to work out.

Can you relate?

I don’t mean to get on your case, but here’s the thing: You can’t afford not to exercise. Your stress levels will get out of control, your muscles will tense up and atrophy and your heart will become congested mush. What good are you to your team, your family, and your business if you end up in a hospital bed?

On the other hand, an hour of exercise a day loosens those muscles, gets the blood pumping, releases endorphins throughout your body…and guess what? You feel like you have accomplished something, your mood has improved, and you have a positive outlook on life. After a good workout, you feel as though you can accomplish anything. Exercise is a must on your daily To Do list.

THE FIRST ITEM ON YOUR TO DO LIST: GET YOUR TEAM TO DO STUFF

As you scale your business, be aware that you’re the one who is trying to replace yourself. You need to practice honing your courage to let go and find people who can handle some of your To Do’s, which is a key sign of a good leader. This will enable you to make a priority of exercising, eating right, and getting enough sleep, so you can experience the ultimate freedom: long-term good health.

The goal is to free yourself from the day-to-day, be able to step away for a month or two instead of a day or two, and have your business continue to grow with the team and systems you now have in place. If you’re overworked and stressed out, it’s because you’re working in the business and not on the business—and that must change. Not sure what to let go of…or who will take care of it? Download this worksheet and watch the accompanying training video to figure out what you’ll delegate and to who.

To Do lists are perfectly fine, as long as they work for you instead of against you. They help you remember important things, organize your day, and provide a sense of accomplishment. However, checking off mundane tasks on a To Do list that could be handled by any one of a half dozen people on your team just to make you feel good is not the answer.

Make a better To do list

Every action on your To Do list should revolve around your future and creating the strategy toward achieving your Big Picture Vision. Your To Do list should also include plenty of room for collaborating with (not micromanaging) your team and discovering what things motivate and excite them. It also must include time for breaks, walks, lunch, social interaction, healthy snacks, learning—and, yes, exercise.

Most of all, the ideal To Do list includes reminders of the things you should not be doing. Rewriting a PR release, filling out an Excel spreadsheet, conducting competitive analysis, and so on are not functions of a business owner in scaling mode. If you have staff members who can’t handle the mundane—or give you attitude about performing such tasks—you may need to consider replacing them.

On the other hand, most employees will welcome assignments from you—especially if you trust that they will do them right. (And this doesn’t necessarily mean your way is the “only way”—or even the “right way.”) As long as you provide them with direction, constructive (not excessively critical) feedback, freedom, and sincere thanks and praise, they will handle tasks with professionalism, pride, and a smile.

Your life is precious—and so are your work days, where you spend a great deal of your time. Your productivity and success depend on the quality of what goes on your To Do list: Make the most of this important tool! Take it from the top business coach in Orange County: you matter.

Are you ready to stop working 24/7?

Learn how to shift out of 75% of your workload now while still multiplying your business. Free yourself, get your life back, and scale your business all at the same time with our free training and worksheet.

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Allison Maslan

Allison Maslan

Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.

Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.

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