By Wendy Van Hatten


You’ve heard the statistics. How many people join a gym or fitness program January 1 and then discontinue it January 30? How about the number that start a diet the first of the year…and it lasts about two weeks. What about those who resolve to prioritize their lives, de-clutter their  offices or follow that new calendar Santa brought them? How long did that last?

Perhaps prioritizing doesn’t “stick” because it’s not a system that makes sense to you. Is your productivity hurting because you are trying too hard to follow a schedule…and it’s just not working?

Try looking at prioritizing and your productivity in a different way. Think of it as more than this year’s resolution. Think of it as your new system.

Spend a few quiet moments examining and thinking about how you work best. This is an important step if you really want to take control of your productivity.

Let’s start with a calendar and some work categories you probably won’t see in any other “system”.  I’ve given them names that work for me. You may use these or come up with your own names.

(1) Absolutely Make My Day…projects you love to do or ones that give you the most impact on your business. Maybe it’s marketing for your newest item, writing more chapters in your latest book or designing your newest client’s website. Whatever it is, you can’t wait to get started, love to work on it and feel so good when the time flies by. Plus…when you are engaged in these your business profits and your satisfaction soars.

(2) Need to be Done…ones you need to do or are important to you. These still provide a positive feeling for you and your business and deep down you know they need to be done. You might need to keep that database up to date weekly so it doesn’t get out of hand or submit invoices to clients. These are necessary to you staying in business and they do provide a good feeling once they are completed. So…might as well put them in their own category and deal with them.

(3) Must, Must, Must be Done…projects that must be done no matter what. These may feel heavy at times. They may even have been put off or moved aside…more than once. But they are a commitment in some way, either to you or a client. Once they are finished you have an opportunity to start making different choices about your work. Since you do know they must be done…just seeing them on your calendar helps put them all in one place.

(4) Fun, Fun, Fun… projects that perhaps have nothing to do with your business. Or so you think. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been wanting to do, but feel it is totally unnecessary or unimportant to your business. You may be surprised if you add a fun project into your week how easy it will be to move right into your “Need” category…and accomplish one more task.

You will see that this “system” lets you know what needs to be done for your business to be more productive. It will also address things you really want to do. It even lets you start with the projects that really make your day. Since you feel so good about accomplishing those it will be easier to move right into your ones that absolutely must be done. And your attitude about tackling those will be much better.

Happy Prioritizing for 2010. It’s more than just a resolution…it’s a way of life.

To find out more about Wendy VanHatten visit:  VanHatten Writing Services


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