We have been helping small business owners and entrepreneurs for over four years and what we have found to be a common problem is organization and productivity. With all the tasks of owning a business, on top of all the tasks that you have in your personal life it can be overwhelming to say the least. When the tasks start mounting it becomes almost impossible to find where to begin and most people just shut down. This obviously creates more tasks that pile on top of the already crushing to do list.
There is a relatively simple way to start chiseling away at your tasks so you can become more organized which will aid you in being more productive. Sounds amazing right?! Well, it does take a bit of work each day, but we promise it’s not a lot and soon it will come to be part of your routine. It will be what focuses your brain on what each day will entail and when your goals will be accomplished.
We are talking about the 4Ds of Productivity
Now before we get into what these all mean we suggest you grab WCE’s FREE Organizing Daily Tasks Worksheet. This worksheet will make it easy for you to implement the 4Ds of Productivity into your daily routine. You can download it now by clicking the button or the image below.
Once you download the worksheet you will see that it is very straight forward. We ask that you begin by listing all your tasks for the day. This will include ALL of your tasks – both for your business and your personal life. If you need to take the dog to the vet – put it on the list! If you need to pay your sales tax with the state – put it on the list! If you need to catch up on your social media posts – put it on the list! We think you get the point.
Now that you have all your daily tasks written down it is time to categorize them into the sections of the Do, Defer, Delegate, or Delete. Not sure what this means? No problem we will break it down for you.
The “Do” tasks are the ones that you can do quickly and should be able to be completed in about 5 minutes each. For example – responding to an email, making a phone call to set up an appointment, checking unpaid invoices, etc. You want these quick tasks to be completed immediately so they are off your plate.
The “Defer” tasks are the ones that need more time to be completed. You need to get them on your schedule so you have time to do them. You may put them on the schedule for later in the day or you may need to defer them to later in the week or even next week. But, whenever your set deferred time is for these tasks HONOR THAT TIME. Do NOT keep deferring these tasks further and further away. That’s procrastination not productivity. We always tell our kids that ignoring a problem or task isn’t going to make it go away it’s only going to make it a BIGGER problem or task. So, do not indefinitely defer – mark these tasks on your calendar and do them. They will most likely take less time than you actually think!
The “Delegate” tasks are the ones that you are either not good at or are ones you don’t have time for and someone else could do for you. Delegate these to someone else either in your household or pay someone to do them. We will use the examples from the earlier in this article. Your dog has a vet appointment – can your significant other, roommate, or parent help you with this? You have social media posts to catch up on? Can you hire a virtual assistant to do these? Look at your to do list and decide where you can get help.
The “Delete” tasks are not urgent, important, or necessary. A good thing to ask yourself when deciding if tasks can be deleted is – Will this activity help me reach my long-term goals? If not, put it in the delete group and eliminate it completely.
We suggest you complete WCE’s Organizing Daily Tasks Worksheet and implementing the 4 Ds of effective productivity in the early morning before you start your day or in the evening to prepare for the next day. Along with the Organizing Daily Tasks Worksheet you can use WCE’s Free Daily Schedule to help organize your day too.
Unfortunately, there is no big secret or short cut to time management. To successfully be organized and productive you need to make decisions about what tasks you need to accomplish now, later, or never. You need to take time and prioritize your tasks and make sure they are productive, income producing, or both. We truly believe that the 4Ds of Productivity and this free download will help you reach your goals.
Our goal here at WCE is helping you find ways to make your business life easier! If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember WCE always has your back!