“Prioritization – How To Do The Right Things In The Right Order” – Wake Up Productive by Eben Pagan

How to prioritize and how to make sure you do the right things, in the right order.

Okay, so let’s discuss how to prioritize and how to make sure that you do the right things in the right order. Most of us, me included, have way too many things to do, we’ve got a big, giant list of stuff to do and it just keeps getting bigger everyday, and we have no hope of ever getting all of it done, especially since more things get added to the list all the time. One of the things that I like to do is always keep about 120 to 150 percent as many things as I can ever get done on my list. The reason I do that is just so that I’ve always got stuff to do, I always have things to consider, and I can always prioritize things against each other, and I know that the lowest value things are just going to kind of drop off the list.

So one thing I’d like to give you permission to do and ask you to give permission to yourself to do is to let things fall off the list, don’t feel like you need to get everything done because you never will. You are going to die with a few things on your checklist, and that’s just the way it is, that’s the way life is. So when you give yourself permission to let a few things fall off the list, it makes prioritizing the important things much easier. I’d like to share an insight that I got from my good friend, Wyatt Woodsmall. He did a modeling project where he modeled 50 top entrepreneurs over in Europe and one of the things that one of the entrepreneurs said was, “First thing’s first, second thing’s not at all,” first thing’s first, second thing’s not at all, and I thought that was an interesting mindset. And again, this is a top entrepreneur, and what you find is that those that are highly productive, they can focus themselves maniacally on getting one thing done. And they know that if they can just get that one important thing done, then all of the rest of the things will take care of themselves and they’ll get done and in new time.

So prioritizing to me isn’t about really making a big list of things, and then saying, “Okay, I’m going to do this first and this second and this third,” although sometimes there’s busy work and you’ve just got to knock a bunch of things like that out. But in the big picture, prioritization is about identifying those things that have the highest lifetime value, and the highest dollar value, and making sure that you do those few things. So here are a couple of techniques for doing this. One of my favorites is to take the list of things that I need to do and try to translate each of them into some kind of dollar value, some kind of an amount of money that if I do that thing, it’s going to be worth. Now some things, if you do them, they’ll be worth an amount of money or they’ll pay off an amount of money once, and some things, if you do them, will be worth an amount of money, but they’ll pay off in the long term. It’s like the difference between spending and investing. If you spend money, you usually just get something back and you consume it now, whereas, if you invest, you get a pay off for the long term.

Now we humans, our minds and our emotional systems, they’re not designed to think long term, they’re designed to think instant gratification. We basically have a chimpanzee brain inside of us, and if you’ve ever studied primate behavior, you know that chimpanzees don’t have the ability to delay gratification and they have no impulse control. If an impulse comes over them to go eat a banana, they run over and they grab it and they just eat it, they can’t stop and wait. Well, we have a little bit of that impulse control and a little bit of that ability and we need to use it when we’re trying to decide on what to do. And instead of just doing the thing that’s urgent or the thing that’s ringing the alarm or the thing that seems like we’ve got to do it or the thing that looks like it’s fun to do. We need to stop and say, “When I wake up in ten years, 20 years, 50 years, what will I be glad that I did right now,” and then by assigning dollar values and looking at things long term, we can really get an understanding of what things will be worth.

I’ll give you a great example; let’s say that I’ve got three things on my list to do. One of them is to call back a friend of mine who called and said that they needed to talk to me. Another thing is to create a video like this one, that I’m going to put up on video sites and on my website that’s going to share information and teach other people how to manage their time well. And the third thing is I need to talk to someone who’s interested in buying one of my products. Okay, I sit down and I say what would each of these things be worth to me long term? Now, if I didn’t really take this mindset, if I didn’t consider it, what I’m probably going to do is go, “Well, that person needs to be called back, I’ll do that quickly. And then what I’ll do is I’ll talk to the person who’s interested in buying one of my products because they wanna buy something right now, and then after those, I’ll get around to making the video.” That’s probably the way I’d intuitively think of it, but watch what happens when I start assigning value to these three things. I look at the value of calling the person back. Well, they’ve probably got a question that I can answer any time, and in fact, no money and no value is going to come as a result of calling them back, they just want an answer to something. And then I’m going to take the next thing, and what I’m going to do is I’m actually going to take the third item and I’m going to put it second, for effect here.

This person wants to talk to me about buying a product. Now, they actually want to talk to me, it’s going to be a longer-term conversation. Intuitively I thought, I’ll call that first person back and just knock that out, and then I’ll talk to this person because it won’t take that long, maybe a little while. But when I ask what’s the value? Well, they might want to buy a product that I sell for $1,000.00 or $2,000.00 or maybe even more, what’s the value of that? Well, let’s say that 50 percent of the people that I talk to in person actually buy something and the average value is $1,000.00, well, that might be worth a $500.00 estimate right there. But now let’s talk about this video, let’s talk about making a simple, little training video that I’m going to put on video sharing sites and on my website that’s going to stay online for years, what’s that worth? Well, if I go online and I look and I see the other videos that I’ve put up and I see that every year thousands of people, on average, watch one of the videos that I’ve created and I do the math for every thousand people that watched the video. Let’s say one percent of them come to my website and they sign up for my newsletter and eventually they consider becoming a customer, and let’s say that every one of those people, these subscribers to my list are very valuable because they tend to be very high quality and they like our products. Say that each of those people is worth $25.00, well, now I’ve got from 1,000 people, I get $250.00 back, but wait a minute, I know that on average, 5,000 people a year will watch one of my videos.

So there’s $1,250.00 just the first year alone, maybe I make a conservative estimate and say that video will probably be good for five years, what’ve we got now? That’s $6,250.00, if my math is correct. That little video is actually worth way, way more than the other two items combined, and yet, when I thought of it intuitively, I would put the video on the back burner. Now you understand why I’m here making this video, of course, and why I’m not just looking at my list of people to call back and calling them back. In fact, I’ll tell you, I’ve become very difficult to reach by telephone, and I’m notorious for taking a long time to return phone calls. Why? Because it’s usually a waste of time, usually people just want to say hi and talk and yak about a bunch of things, and I’ve got better things to do like making videos that can help thousands and thousands and tens of hundreds of thousands of people. So when you’re trying to figure out what thing to do first and you’re trying to prioritize, make a list of the stuff that you need to do, and translate it into a dollar value. Force yourself to do it and think long term, think five years, ten years, 20 years. Once you get good at this, it takes a few seconds to do it. This video, I can do that math, I actually made that example up of those three things live while I’m talking to you here, I didn’t have it prepared, I didn’t figure all the math out before hand. You can just do it, you can just figure out, this thing’s worth $5.00, this thing is not worth anything, this thing could be worth $10,000.00, just write them down and quickly the most important thing will rise to the top.

Another way to think about prioritization, by the way, is to prioritize the three things in business that are the things that create all the value, and those are marketing, products, and relationships. Now we don’t have time to delve into those three in this short video, but I’ll tell you right now, marketing, products, and relationships is where all the value is created and all the money is made. So prioritize to the top of your list, creating, marketing, and sales, and doing marketing sales. Creating products and services, things that people will buy and continue to buy long term, and building relationships specifically with those people that can help you grow yourself and your business. So these would be partners in business, these would be team members that you’re going to hire; these would be people you’re going to collaborate with on products and services. In other words, those that are going to help you grow yourself and your business long term: marketing, products, and relationships. If you prioritize those to the top of the list, you will wake up far more productive in the future.

And finally, if you’d like to learn how to really master time management and productivity, learn how to keep yourself focused, learn how to eliminate procrastination for good, and learn how to create positive habits and eliminate negative ones. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com right now to watch my 47-minute video on how to manage yourself and your time and how to make yourself dramatically more productive. The video is worth $100.00, but you can watch it for free by just visiting WakeUpProductive.com, entering your name and e-mail address and opting in. Of course, I’ll also send you many more valuable, free video trainings and I’ll also send you private invitations to listen to me interviewing some of the top experts in the world on business, marketing, success, and productivity, all for free. Just go to WakeUpProductive.com, enter your name and e-mail address to get it all right now.

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