Why long-held beliefs about prioritization aren’t helpful
Business coaches say it all the time: “Take your to-do list, prioritize the most valuable things, and delegate the rest. It’s the only way to be truly successful.”
There’s some truth to that, but there's also more to the story. You need to be self-aware, and learn how to make fewer bad decisions. What I’m trying to say is, don’t put the wrong things first. You’ll waste time and energy rigging your schedule to bring you success … in all the wrong places.
I know this from experience. Before running online mastermind groups, I was a successful general contractor. I had contracts and crews everywhere.
My wife Robin and I agreed that my role as the family provider was important. I screwed up by assuming it was my only role. As the business grew, my time with my family shrank. Of course, I made it to big events like school concerts and other ceremonies, but time spent building relationships with my wife and daughters was low on the list.
Sometimes, I believe God uses these things to "shock" us into waking up. For me, it came clear as a bell, the day I came home with a pocket full of cash to a house full of strangers.
There are things in life that are "Important, Not Urgent" ... and I neglected them. Think of your to-do list. I bet there are plenty of things that could be prioritized, but what should be? If you want to find success and fulfillment, start with things that are important ... but not urgent.
Quality time with the family didn’t add to the bottom line, so I felt like it could wait. After all, you’ve got to “make hay while the sun shines.” When conditions are good, you’ve got to maximize profit no matter what. That other stuff could wait.
It sounds crazy to say it now: I looked at my family as “that other stuff.” When I finally realized the harm I had done, I vowed to correct the problem. I rearranged my schedule and focused on being a better husband and father. A healthy marriage and time with my daughters became more important than money.
I know putting first things first helped me become a better businessman. You can have this in your life and mastermind business, too. Start by taking stock of what you want and why. Are you chasing dreams, or just the next dollar?
It's good to dream of being a great coach or mentor. But it's even better to aspire to be a great person. The Mastermind Playbook can help you get clear on your priorities as a mastermind group leader.
How You Show Up For Others Makes All the Difference
Why is it so important to prioritize the right things? Simply put, you’re a leader. Others look to you for guidance. They follow your example. If you don’t prioritize, here’s what could happen:
Let’s look at someone synonymous with success: Henry Ford. He certainly knew how to prioritize. One of his quotes sums it up perfectly.
“My observation is that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”
You can move forward in any area of your life if you show discipline. Do you want a happier household? Quit wasting so much time at work. Do you want a healthier body? Quit wasting so many hours on the couch.
These are simple decisions … but not easy ones. That’s why truly valuable prioritization comes after a bit of soul searching. If you don’t know which area you want to get ahead in, you'll continue to chase success in the wrong places.
Mastermind groups require you to bring your best self to the table. You’re called to do something rare. You owe it to yourself and those around you to prioritize effectively.
Spend more time working on your goals. If running a finely tuned online mastermind group is your goal, get serious about it. Grab The Mastermind Playbook and prioritize the activities that will grow your group!
Selecting Your Priorities
I could show you diagrams, but I like to keep things simple. In that spirit, let’s look at how Donald Miller keeps his to-do lists simple. Miller is an author who writes about business and marketing in a way that’s easy to understand.
Our mastermind groups are reading his book, “Business Made Simple.” One of the chapters covers personal productivity. How can you be as productive as possible if you don’t prioritize? Well, the simple answer is, "You can't!" Miller aims to help your productivity by introducing a few to-do lists.
These are the tasks only you can accomplish. These are the things you absolutely have to get done that day and yield a good return. For example, clarifying the marketing message of your online mastermind group is a primary task. Your message has to be authentic and inspiring. Others may help, but you are essential to this part of your business.
These are tasks you’d like to get done before the day is over. You can
delegate these tasks if appropriate. For example, your dry cleaning may need to be picked up, but does it matter who picks it up? If you only have so much time and energy in a day, do everything you can to spend it wisely.
Not all tasks pack the same punch. Don’t make the mistake of putting everything on the same to-do list. You should separate your Primary Task list from your Secondary Task list.
Your Primary Task list should have three tasks at most. It’s wise to take a rest or give yourself a reward after each of these central tasks. Give yourself a reason to push through and get the most important tasks done!
You need to be fiercely dedicated to efficiency. There are hundreds of things fighting for your attention at any given moment. If you spend the majority of your time doing secondary tasks, progress will come as slowly as molasses in the wintertime. That's why we created The Mastermind Playbook, so you can prioritize and achieve more with your group!