TOO MUCH TO DO?
By JIM KENDALL
This material originally appeared as one of Jim’s Daily Herald columns
If today is Monday. Brian Basilico is working on his blog, podcast and other ways to market the services he sells. Monday is Marketing Monday.
Tomorrow is Training Tuesday, when “I coach and train my clients, and I’m coached by others,” Basilico says. Next is Working Wednesday, reserved for client projects – which, when urgent, are slotted into other days.
Then comes Togetherness Thursday, basically a networking and other contacts day, and Flexible Friday – maybe golf, maybe work on a new book, maybe something else.
Friday, after all, is flexible.
Basilico obviously is big on lists, schedules and organization – which, put together, lead to productivity. What’s interesting is that Basilico’s approach to productivity seems to work.
At first look, the system appears disorganized – but Basilico has a method that, if you’re swamped by tasks that all need to be done now, is worth exploring. “You have to be focused to be successful,” he says. “You have to be organized, so you don’t waste time. You can’t be distracted by every email – by all the bings, bops and boops.”
Make no mistake: Basilico has a productivity package he will sell you (http://theproductivitybundle.com). His manner may be similar to late-night TV infomercials, but his system has some interesting components.
Basilico is an author, speaker and coach at B2b Interactive Marketing, Aurora. His “It’s Not about You, It’s about Bacon” was chosen as the best social media book of 2014 and was an Amazon best seller. He’s organized because he needs to be.
“I had to figure this out for myself,” Basilico says. “It took me a while to define this system and make it work. You have to get your arms around what’s really urgent. What projects do I need to get done to propel my business?
“Now I teach the system to other people.”
Basilico’s system has three primary task categories: MMA, or money making activities; BMA, business making activities; and CMA, customer maintenance activities. One way or another, everything he does fits one of those categories.
The system requires not just organization but priorities. There are three steps to prioritizing Basilico’s tasks.
“Everything is scheduled, on my calendar. That’s my to-do list,” Basilico says. The schedule tops Basilico’s three priorities. Second is managing the email inbox.
For most of us, “Email is a major distraction,” Basilico says. That’s partly because we have a tendency to stop what we’re doing and check our email whenever whatever alert we have sounds – Basilico’s bings, bops and boops.
Basilico sorts his email – on a schedule, of course – and tries to have no more than five things in a live inbox. Other items are filed in follow-up folders.
The five things to do are in no particular order until Basilico prioritizes them, step three. The most difficult task is placed first on the list, pretty much because it’s the most difficult.
© 2016 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Jim@kendallcom.com. Listen to Jim’s Business Owners’ Pod Talk at www.kendallcom.com/podcast.