Welcome to The Dare to Scale Show

Episode 11

Play A Game With Your Task List

As we start this wonderful new year and we're so excited to share more business and productivity tips with you. We discussed in our previous podcast's about how to assess your year and get ahead to start planning for 2021. Now we have a long list of plans and things to do with a very important question, where do I start? And which task's or goals are the most important and which need to be immediately.
In today's episode we are helping you set your priorities, by using tools from great thought leaders of productivity and putting our own spin on it so you can keep achieving your goals and check things off your list.
Episode Highlights:
  • 01:47 – The Topic on Top of People's Minds at This Time of The Year
  • 02:31 – Why Having A Long To-Do List Can Be Very Overwhelming
  • 03:05 – The Eisenhower Decision Matrix
  • 04:13 – Do, Delegate and Dump
  • 06:25 – The Power of Three
  • 09:10 – How Forced Ranking Works
  • 14:01 – Breaking Down Your Goals
1. Use the Important v/s Urgent Matrix to determine which goals are important and urgent, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and both not urgent and not important.
2. Do the goals that are important and urgent, plan for the not urgent but important goals, delegate the urgent but not important tasks, and dump those which are both not urgent and not important.
3. Use the force ranking method to determine which needs to be prioritized first and work your way through the list.
4. Break your list down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals.
If you enjoyed this episode, please leave us a 5-star rating so that more entrepreneurs find this podcast, get the value, and get help scaling forward in their business.
Remember to check out our LinkedIn and Facebook pages to stay up to date on what's in store for you!
Episode Transcript
Warsha 00:01
Welcome to the Dare to Scale Show with me Warsha.
Evan 00:04
And me Evan.
Warsha 00:05
So,what is Dare to Scale, over the years that we've been coaching founders and business owners, much like yourselves. We've worked through a framework called Dare to Scale.
Evan 00:18
Dare to Scale indeed. That framework has helped loads of business owners. That is what this show is all about. So, put on your big picture thinking hat.
Warsha 00:28
Oh and your headphones, and come join us and enjoy the ride.
Warsha 00:37
Hello. Hello. Hello Happy NewYear!
Evan 00:39
Hello Happy New Year!
Warsha 00:40
How wonderful that we are in this brand-new year, and we're all starting fresh, the world over. Now, whether we like it or not, we are totally ruled by the calendar.
Evan 00:52
Oh yeah, always.
Warsha 00:54

Isn't it, and what's the uppermost thing on people's mind in December and January.

Evan 00:59
Early, January is taking down the decorations.

Warsha 1:01
Oh what the yes, which we haven't done yet.

Evan 1:04

Warsha 1:05
We need to.

Evan 1:05
We shall.

Warsha 1:06
We will, speaking off that is one of the things to do on our list.

Evan 1:09
It is.

Warsha 1:10
Because that's the thing that is uppermost on people's minds, a laundry list of things to do. It just never
ends. And it's the same for business owners as well.

Evan 1:22
Absolutely. Where's the high-level strategic planning, or whether it's just
day to day.

Warsha 1:26

Evan 1:27
There is always a laundry list.

Warsha 1:28
And what's going to happen this year. Where are you headed, what are the goals, what are some of the things that we need to achieve. This is what drives, these two months. And speaking out.

Evan 1:39
I like that actually; we would have already done the planning.

Warsha 1:42
We've already done the planning. Yes.

Evan 1:44
Okay, so we've already done the planning, and we just essentially, reassessing if you're having trouble prioritizing and what comes first, you have your targets. If you're having trouble prioritizing what it is. We got some. We got some tips for you.

Warsha 1:55
We do and while we have done our planning week, we do allow ourselves to be ruled by the calendar in that sense. Having said that, Evan you and I both know how many messages, inquiries, emails that we receive we continue to receive
about, what do I do with this year. How do I go forward? So, this is particularly after reading at least seven emails that came through that we decided to take this up as a topic.

Evan 2:24
Yeah of course.

Warsha 2:25
So, how do you set those priorities, how do you go through your laundry list and say, these are the top most things that absolutely need to be done. And that's how we are going to do it. So yes, as Evan said, we're here today to talk about how to set priorities and Evan has some great tips and tricks up his sleeve. Evan, over to you.

Evan 2:47
Thank you Warsha, so, with that laundry list that you have. Sometimes, it's very straightforward. You know what needs to be done, there's a sort of be about an inherent priority, you can subdue the ranking and you do the way you eat
that frog; do you do the thing that needs to be done first and you go you work your way through your list.

Warsha 3:05

Evan 3:06
Sometimes it gets a little bit more complicated, because some things become urgent and not so urgent and some things are important, and not so important. So, one of the very useful tools that we use is basically that matrix, where you
actually have four squares.

Warsha 3:21
Four boxes in a grid.

Evan 3:22
Four boxes in a grid. So, what we're trying to do is work out what is important, so that we can set the right task and do the right thing at the right time, but we also want to know whether it's urgent or not, because sometimes if something is important that hasn't been done has been left on the backburner, it can become urgent. Ideally, you don't want to be in that position. So, the point is, you're looking at, essentially four cells that you're creating, whether it's important and urgent, whether it's not important, but still urgent. Whether it's important, but not urgent. And whether it's not important and not urgent.

Warsha 4:01
Okay, so just so we make it easy for our listeners. Evan we are giving this as a downloadable, which is attached to this podcast is that correct?

Evan 4:10
Yes, of course!

Warsha 4:11

Evan 4:12
So, the goal is to find out what you're going to do, and what you're not going to do what you're gonna plan for and what you're gonna done. So, the point of this grid is, if something is important and urgent, you will do it.

Warsha 4:24

Evan 4:25
If something is urgent, but not important.

Warsha 4:27

Evan 4:28
Delegate it.

Warsha 4:29

Evan 4:30
Don't waste your time on it, delegate it. If something is important but not urgent. Ideally, that's where important things should be you're planning.

Warsha 4:36

Evan 4:37
You're planning, and you're executing and you're doing it properly. However, if it's not important, and not urgent, guess what, you're going to be dumping that.

Warsha 4:45

Evan 4:45
So, when you're looking at your laundry list of things to do. One of the easiest ways is to work out in that matrix, whether it's important or urgent and the simplest thing in my mind is to do delegate or dumb.

Warsha 4:56

Evan 4:57
Look at the task, am I going to do it. Yes, fine.

Warsha 4:59

Evan 5:00
Am I going to delegate it absolutely dump it whatever so you quickly make that assessment.

Warsha 5:04

Evan 5:05
Once you have all the important things. Then you go through those work out whether it's urgent, and then you start force ranking them.

Warsha 5:12
Yeah Okay.

Evan 5:13
And the idea there is to do what is important what needs to be done what the business needs now and get that done, and plan for things that can be done a little bit later, but are still important.

Warsha 5:23
Yeah. Oh, it's wonderful. What I also want to highlight is how certain thought leaders who come and just shine their brilliance and earlier you said, eat the frog. That is

Evan 5:34
Totally Brian Tracy.

Warsha 5:35
Brian Tracy, and it is, he can't get it out of your head and do delegate dump, David Allen. So, it's wonderful that we live in a time where we have so many wonderful ideas, we have so many tips and tools available for us.

Evan 5:51
Oh completely.

Warsha 5:52
And that's exactly what the point of this episode is to say, here's something actually make use of it.

Evan 5:58

Warsha 5:59
Because we use this couple month ago late last year, didn't we?

Evan 6:02
Yes, we did.

Warsha 6:03
During a coaching session we did, because we sat with a client, and he
brought out this.

Evan 6:07
Completely overwhelmed.

Warsha 6:08
He was so overwhelmed and it brought out this list of things that we just kept adding that he just kept adding to. And eventually, when we sat down for the annual planning and outcomes this list and without okay. So, this needs to
be sorted out. And this is exactly what we do.

Evan 6:24
So so many have and nice to have all that sort of thing and you have to sort that out.

Warsha 6:28

Evan 6:29
Going back to the annual planning for your business. Ideally you only have three major initiatives for the year.

Warsha 6:34
That is true. No more than three to use the power of three.

Evan 6:37
Yeah, and too many and he becomes distracted.

Warsha 6:40

Evan 6:41
Focus on the three get that done. And when you were doing your planning ideally you would have sorted through your list of things to do. It was a nice to have. But on the side.

Warsha 6:51

Evan 6:52
Do, delegate, dump.

Warsha 6:53
And also bear in mind when you talk about the three annual initiatives, everything that you do within that list, ideally should add to that annual initiative.

Evan 7:03
Oh completely. And it's measurable it has consequences all those sorts of things.

Warsha 7:07
Yeah, but it is something specific that you do, which is taking you closer towards completing those annual initiatives.

Evan 7:14

Warsha 7:14
And that's important, bit comes in.

Evan 7:17

Warsha 7:17
That's how you assess.

Evan 7:18
And your team can rally behind. So, it's three initiatives, easy to communicate.

Warsha 7:22

Evan 7:22
Guys, what we're doing this is the focus, you know that sort of thing.

Warsha 7:24

Evan 7:25
So, It's all good.

Warsha 7:26
Very true.

Evan 7:27
There's a one of the quote from Eisenhower I believe it is. He says I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important, urgent are not necessarily important and important are never urgent.

Warsha 7:42
Very true. Oh, I love that.

Evan 7:45
So, when you do things in the right order at the right time. Without procrastination.

Warsha 7:50

Evan 7:50
And any sort of distracted.

Warsha 7:51

Evan 7:52
Doing things and that those power moves if it will be doing it.

Warsha 7:54

Evan 7:54
When it needs to be done, that it's not urgent.

Warsha 7:57
That is true.

Evan 7:58
That is done in an orderly fashion and.

Warsha 8:00
It's done in a timely manner.

Evan 8:01

Warsha 8:02
And it's out of the way, because you're moving on.

Evan 8:05
You ignored it becomes urgent.

Warsha 8:06

Evan 8:07
And urgent is just, you don't want to be spinning your wheels.

Warsha 8:09
No. No, definitely not.

Evan 8:12
Which reminds me, like you said, eating the frog, I thought, actually was Mark Twain one of those he actually said, if the worst thing you had to do in the day is to eat a frog just do that first.

Warsha 8:22
Oh goodness.

Evan 8:23
And everything else for the rest of the day is not so bad.

Warsha 8:25
Oh, goodness Yeah.

Evan 8:26
Brian Tracy then sort of augmented that to say well if you have two frogs eat the ugliest one first. It's the same principle.

Warsha 8:33

Evan 8:34
Do that, do that.

Warsha 8:35
Well, one of my favorite ones is, how do you eat an elephant. If you have to eat an elephant how do you eat an elephant.

Evan 8:41
Chewy, the simple answer.

Warsha 8:44

Evan 8:45
One bite at a time.

Warsha 8:46
One bite at a time.

Evan 8:47
So, you find what's important, do, delegate, dump. So, David Allen. Perhaps you've heard Brian Tracy what all these thought leaders who've been there done that. And that's why they share what they what they share. So, sometimes you
end up where you have a list of important. Let's assume it's, they're just all important, and maybe not not urgent, if you will.

Warsha 9:08
Let's assume they're all on the list.

Evan 9:10
They are all on the list again they all need to be done, never mind the urgent important.

Warsha 9:14
They are all on the list.

Evan 9:16
They are all on the list, sometimes you might need to force rank them, and force ranking is, it's like a computer kind of a term but force ranking is where you compare to and select the one that's more important.

Warsha 9:28

Evan 9:29
And you go to what's left select the next to work out what's important.

Warsha 9:33
Okay. Let's play a game.

Evan 9:35

Warsha 9:35
I have five things on my list.

Evan 9:36

Warsha 9:37
I got to do them all.

Evan 9:38
Yeah exactly.

Warsha 9:39
So, walk me through this.

Evan 9:40
You have them all. Absolutely, you have them all but which do you do first?

Warsha 9:42
Which I do first?

Evan 9:44
So what I'm going to do again, to make it easy for people who are listening is I'm going to use part of the alphabet.

Warsha 9:50

Evan 9:51
Now we all intrinsically know what order the alphabet needs to go in.

Warsha 9:55

Evan 9:56

Warsha 9:56
Okay. The English alphabet

Evan 9:57
The English alphabet.

Warsha 9:58

Evan 9:59
So, what we're essentially saying is, just to demonstrate how force ranking works. So, the list is D, B, E, A, C.

Warsha 10:11
Okay. That's my list. Yes, literally, that's my list.

Evan 10:14
So, what you will do is you'll pick the first two D and B, you can have both.

Warsha 10:18
So, you're asking me to pick the first two.

Evan 10:20

Warsha 10:21
D and B.

Evan 10:22
So you've got D and B.

Warsha 10:22

Evan 10:23
Which is more important?

Warsha 10:24

Evan 10:25
Okay, so B goes into position one.

Warsha 10:29

Evan 10:30
And then D goes into position two.

Warsha 10:31

Evan 10:32
And the rest of the list is E, A, C, as it was before.

Warsha 10:34

Evan 10:35
So, now you've got B and you're happy with B. So now you go to position two and three. So, D, and E, which is more important?

Warsha 10:43

Evan 10:44

Warsha 10:44

Evan 10:45
Great. So, as it turns out, D and E are actually in the right position. Okay, what you would also ideally do is compare D to B, but we've already done that.

Warsha 10:54

Evan 10:55
So, now we've got position one two and three. Correct.

Warsha 10:57

Evan 10:58
All right, now we got a position three and four.

Warsha 11:00

Evan 11:01
So, E and A, which is more important?

Warsha 11:04
A definitely had to be done.

Evan 11:05
Okay so E switches with A.

Warsha 11:07

Evan 11:08
A goes into position three. Now you compare two to three. So, it's D versus

Warsha 11:13

Evan 11:14
Which is more important?

Warsha 11:15
Still A.

Evan 11:16
Yup, so it goes B, A, D. And now you compare in position one and two. So, what you're essentially doing is you're moving. By comparing them.

Warsha 11:25

Evan 11:26
You're moving which is the more

Warsha 11:27

Evan 11:28
And in the business context, it's what's important and the relative benefit
you'll get.

Warsha 11:31

Evan 11:32
Because sometimes it's not quite so simple and maybe one is relies on another one being finished first that sort of thing so there may be some hidden bits in there that you need to otherwise look at.

Warsha 11:40
Totally and I really liked what you said earlier and I'm glad you said it because when we were force ranking this with our coaching clients.

Evan 11:48
Yeah that's true.

Warsha 11:50
This is what we went through, and what that did for the person is to really assess what the role of each of these tasks was.

Evan 11:58
Oh completely.

Warsha 11:59
What needed to be done, because it turned out that something that was about sixth or seventh position on the list was actually a.

Evan 12:08
It was the first thing that needed to be done.

Warsha 12:10
It was a key to everything has been done. And yet, because they're just the list was literally an ad hoc thing that was made up when he had been writing through like that A somewhere got lost in that.

Evan 12:22
And he couldn't see the wood for the trees. Oh my God all these things need to be done. And he got stuck.

Warsha 12:28
Yep. And that's probably one of the reasons why he was feeling a little stuck as well because the actual pivotal tasks, was not clearly identified.

Evan 12:36

Warsha 12:37
The bigger picture was kind of lost in the details of the list.

Evan 12:40

Warsha 12:41
So, what you're actually where we're getting through with our game now is, I've got on position number two.

Evan 12:47

Warsha 12:48
And B in position number one.

Evan 12:49

Warsha 12:50
So, if I now compare these two.

Evan 12:52

Warsha 12:53
Of course, A is, the more important one, so A has now moved to position one.

Evan 12:57
One and then B.

Warsha 12:58
And then B has moved to position two. And that's how you go through and naturally.

Evan 13:04
You'll get A B C D E

Warsha 13:05
You'll get A B C D E because you're forced ranking them in terms of the importance and the bigger picture will lead to each task.

Evan 13:14
Absolutely. Bearing in mind the benefit.

Warsha 13:16
Bearing in mind the benefits. Yeah.

Evan 13:18
Why would you be doing this in the first place anyway. So, it really does help with that. But now that you actually have your list. And you know what's important. And I mean, in the case we were talking about, it was part of the annual planning process anyway. So, there was definitely some benefits and outcomes that came from that.

Warsha 13:35

Evan 13:36
But interestingly, there was an ability then to break it down by quarter.

Warsha 13:42
That is true.

Evan 13:43
And focus. So, number A ended up obviously being in first quarter.

Warsha 13:46

Evan 13:47
And then I was done. And the other initiatives then sort of spread out through the rest of the year and we were able to help him break it down, such that when you want to focus on and what the plan was, and then, you know, all
of a sudden there was like oh there's a road ahead.

Warsha 14:00

Evan 14:01

Warsha 14:02
It really was it just. And again, as you said, breaking those down into quarterly, weekly, maybe even daily goals becomes so much easier when you've got the right

Evan 14:11
Totally totally.

Warsha 14:12
Order. You know which one is the more important one to be achieved.

Evan 14:15
Of course.

Warsha 14:16
And then, breaking that down and planning for that achievement becomes that much easier.

Evan 14:21
Remember the elephant.

Warsha 14:23
Remember the elephant, only one way to eat it.

Evan 14:25
So, it all goes back up into one big elephant, the little pieces at a time, and
you're done.

Warsha 14:30
Fantastic. Oh! as I said earlier this little grid that Evan talked about is available as a downloadable go click on that, go to daretoscale.fm/

Evan 14:42

Warsha 14:43
11 ooh 11 episodes. Anyway, so head over to daretoscale.fm/11, and you will find everything over there, the show notes, the transcription and the downloadable. Go ahead, download that work your way through that and come over
and tell us what you thought of it, and how did your little exercise go in prioritizing your targets or your list for this year, all the very best guys with this we wish you.

Evan 15:15
And exactly make 2021 the one to count.

Warsha 15:16
The one to count all the very best have a fabulous New Year.

Evan 15:20
Oh Yeah.

Warsha 15:21
And we will catch up very soon in two weeks.

Evan 15:24
Indeed. Take care.

Warsha 15:26
Bye for now.

Evan 15:26

Warsha 15:28
Hey hey hey, thanks for joining us and listening, right till the end.

Evan 15:33
Get on over to daretoscale.fm to subscribe and access show notes and transcriptions.

Warsha 15:38
Oh also, did you know that we have a Facebook page for our podcast
listeners. Come join the conversations at daretoscale.fm/facebook.

Evan 15:50
Absolutely, oh and also remember to give us a five-star review so other entrepreneurs can find this podcast like you, and get value to scale forward their business.

Warsha 15:58
Fabulous, we will see you at our next show. Bye for now.

Evan 16:02


Meet your hosts:
Warsha Joshi and Evan Le Clus
We are business mentors and business owners operating out of the vibrant city of Dubai, UAE.
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