Business Priorities Practically Guarantee Results

businesspriorities

Without business priorities, you’re destined to face each day in reactive mode and go to bed wondering why you didn’t get anything done. Sound familiar?

That’s because when you’re first starting your business you might be trained more as an employee or student than as a business owner. This means that you might be used to reacting to other people’s priorities instead of setting your own.

Find out how to set your own business priorities, and see how the results start to add up.

Business Priorities Start Here

How Your Business Priorities Get Offtrack

It’s common for us to throw our agenda out the window when we get a new request that feels urgent.

So for example, someone might send you an e-mail saying that they need to receive something from you, so you immediately stop doing what you’re working on and work on this instead.

Here’s why this is a bad idea when you become a business owner: you’re no longer the captain of your own ship, instead you are just reacting to other people’s demands.

So here’s what I recommend that you do to help you manage your time better, and prioritize your own projects and goals over those of other people.

The first thing is to recognize that for everybody else, their priorities might feel like emergencies. Just because it’s important to someone else does not mean that it is urgent for you.

Most emails can stand to wait a few hours for a reply, and many can even wait days. If we’re talking about customer service emails, then those should get a reply as soon as possible, but you should be able to spot the difference between those emails and “request emails”.

Another great way to think about tasks is the Steven Covey quadrant of: Important/Non-Important, Urgent/Non-Urgent. There might be important things that aren’t urgent, but that get taken over by urgent but not-important items. Always take a look at the importance of a task, not just how urgent it seems.

How To Prioritize Your Work

Another way to manage priorities and expectations is to focus on your work first before checking e-mail. I also recommend taking tasks from emails into your project management software of choice, so they don’t stay in your inbox.

I really like Asana for this, check out my Asana review here.

The important thing is to stop using your inbox as a list of tasks that you need to do. Instead, use your inbox to communicate with people, not to generate new tasks or to distract you from your own priorities.

When it comes to setting priorities, focus on activities that drive long term business growth or value. Then on high dollar per hour activities, and finally other things that need to get done. If you can afford to hire some of these administrative tasks out, so you can focus on the high impact and high income work, do it.

So before you check your inbox in the morning, make sure that you have a list of your own priorities and tasks for the day. I’m not saying that you won’t have to put down your own work to help someone out, to answer questions, or do a friend a favor…

What I am saying, is that you should focus on your own businesses priorities first, because that’s what makes you money.

A lot of times inquiries and other people’s priorities can just distract you from your own goals. There are definitely some exceptions to this rule, but I’ve found that a lot of times they can just add more work to your plate without actually driving any business results.

How Do You Prioritize?

I hope you found this prioritization tip useful and I look forward to hearing what your top three business priorities are. Leave a comment below.

19 Comments

  1. Jennifer Kennedy on July 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    My creative wheels are definitely turning!

    I’ll raise my hand up and say that I spend way too much time on non-high value activities. A lot of it comes down to not consistently setting daily and weekly priorities/goals. I’ve fallen behind in that regard! Email happens to be a large chunk of that.

    My top 3 business priorities are:
    1. List Building (Yay! 30 Day List Building Challenge)
    2. Get my first product completed
    3. Become a Legit Business!

    Thanks for the priority advice! This post has been bookmarked!



  2. Norie on July 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    This is exactly what I am dealing with. Thanks Natalie !! My family is my world but their priorities get in the way of mine. For the next six months
    1.I want to deliver a high dollar per hour service
    2. build up my relationships using Pinterest and email lists
    3. And develop my product ideas into sellable items

    Now that I’ve told you ~ I’m accountable!!



  3. Liz Brazier on July 17, 2013 at 6:55 am

    1) Launch my podcast
    2) Write and sell my e-book
    3) Meet Nathalie Lussier and change my website to Headway :-)



  4. Marta on July 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

    The video is gone? Can’t see it from my ipad, neither from the blog nor frm YouTube…



  5. Nathalie Lussier on July 17, 2013 at 8:38 am

    @Jennifer woohoo for list building, way to go!!

    @Norie Oh so glad this was helpful, and love your #1 too!

    @Liz Oooh podcasting goodness, can’t wait to meet! :)

    @Marta Hmm it seems to be working fine on my end, but will test with an ipad. :(



  6. Really great tips Nathalie!

    My top 3 priorities (or changes I need to make) are:

    1) to start my day differently and NOT open my computer first thing in the morning. I find I’m much more productive, happy and centered when I prioritize yoga + meditation (then a lovely cup of Kick-Ass coffee!) first thing in the morning

    2) not using my inbox as a to do list (this was my A-HA form your video)

    3) focus on (fun!) relationship building

    and

    4) growing my email list which is growing nicely thanks to you :)



  7. Learn Parisian French on Skype on July 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you, Nathalie, for the tip of "not using my inbox as my to-do list"… Also, "don't check your email in the morning"… shoot, can't do this one :(
    But I'll process it more and I promise to revisit :)

    Top 3 priorities:
    1. list building
    2. sales funnel streamline.
    3. finish migration to Bluehost.

    Thanks for making me do this,
    Llyane



  8. Andrea Cairella on July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Thank you Nathalie. The tip to not get steered off course by other peoples requests was useful. My #1 priority is building my list, #2 is product creation, #3 revising my website (with the help of a designer and developer). Thanks again, Andrea.



  9. Sukie Baxter on July 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Love it. I used to be an admin assistant way back in the day, so it's easy for me to put administrivia high on my list of to-dos. My top three priorities for the next six months are 1) new opt in, 2) increase guest posting, and 3) make over my website to reflect new offerings.



  10. NATURALLOGIC Body & Skin on July 17, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Ooooh ma-god. Don't use my inbox as my to-do list… got it. Boy you really nailed me on that one. Side tracks me every time. In the next 6 months, I'd like to switch out my weebly site for a BigCommerce site, create (and stick to) a doable product production schedule that includes larger batches, and therefore less time per month creating products, and upgrade to outsourced product labels. This was super helpful – thanks, lady :) xoxo Toni.



  11. Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady on July 17, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Great video – and advice I need to follow. I can be a real slave to my email and it sometimes gets in the way of my writing. I am going to start putting my email on a “less urgent” diet and getting more disciplined with my writing. Thank you, Nathalie!



  12. Martine Marie Holston on July 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Such a great reminder Nathalie! My top 3 are filling up my coaching spots (process goal of building my list as much as possible), website version 2.0, and developing a working relationship with a collaborator. I can agree more about using your inbox for email and nothing else – I wrote a blog post about this just a few weeks ago! http://martineholston.com/2013/06/how-i-get-to-inbox-zero-almost-daily-step-1-keep-email-out-of-your-inbox/



  13. Martine Marie Holston on July 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Such a great reminder Nathalie! My top 3 are filling up my coaching spots (process goal of building my list as much as possible), website version 2.0, and developing a working relationship with a collaborator. I can agree more about using your inbox for email and nothing else – I wrote a blog post about this just a few weeks ago! http://martineholston.com/2013/06/how-i-get-to-inbox-zero-almost-daily-step-1-keep-email-out-of-your-inbox/



  14. Candace N'Diaye on July 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    My top 3 priorities for the coming 6 months:
    1) Growing my list.
    2) Increase sales.
    3) Finish my signature program.



  15. Michelle Sims on July 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    great vid! Guilty…email is my major down fall! I like what you said…"don't use your email as your task list!" :-)



  16. Mike from DigiWriteIt on July 19, 2013 at 1:24 am

    Hi Nathalie,

    I work with two lists of priorities, what is important and what is urgent. If an item appears on both lists then that is what I work on, then work through what is important then finally on what is urgent (but not important). For instance, a client may send an email requiring some information that they will need the next day. Another client requires some information for a meeting happening in two hours. Both are important, but one is important and urgent. Something urgent but not important (business wise) may be to order coffee grounds for the office because they run out yesterday.

    Thanks,

    Mike



  17. Gabe Nies on July 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Top priorities:

    1. Narrow the niche
    2. Start doing video
    3. Only work on 2 development projects – THATS IT! Keep getting distracted. :)

    Thanks for the awesome video!
    Gabe



  18. Rhea on February 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    1.Product development
    2.necessary business legal filings
    3.building business plan/strategy



  19. Llyane @FrenchOnSkype on June 8, 2015 at 11:41 am

    marketing – tighten up the website, connect with prospects on FB
    deliver service – French immersion in Paris
    administrative – daily posts and budget

    Thanks, Nathalie!
    xo