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Do You Have a "To Don't" List?

Stepping stones to productivitySo, I’ve been debating the merits of Conversion Volume Optimization vs. Conversion Rate Optimization the last few days. And conducting this exercise got me thinking about all the different ways you can try to grow your business.

Let me tell you my favorite one.

It’s called a “To Don’t” list.

Not a “To Do” list, mind you. A “To Don’t.”

If you’re like me, every day generates a host of ideas about what you could do. New product ideas, potential customer groups, project follow-ups, etc. I post those ideas into a note in Evernote as they come up (incidentally, I love Evernote. It’s one of my favorite tools for capturing blog ideas, business concepts and it works on my iPad, iPhone, laptop and via the web. Way cool).

Anyway… at the beginning of each day, I review the list and file anything that doesn’t move my business forward into a “To Don’t” note (technically, I call it “Later,” but you get the idea). I then select the key items and move those to my “To Do” list for the day. That process of “clearing the decks” and getting all those other ideas out of the way helps me focus clearly on what matters. Sure, I periodically review my “Later” file to see if anything leaps to the top of the list. And it’s always there in Evernote if I need to remember what I was thinking about. But on any given day, that clutter of ideas is out of the way. Which leaves me “bandwidth” to focus on what matters.

When I was young, I thought I could do everything. And, technically, I suppose I still could. But what I can’t do — more important from your perspective, what you can’t do — is do everything at once. Picking the ones you aren’t going to do frees your mind and your attention to focus on the critical few you will do.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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  1. […] people I talk with are overwhelmed by all the possible things they could do. They struggle to prioritize. They chase every single latest thing, looking for another ever more elusive “home […]

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