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Episode 3 | The No-Fail Way to Work Smarter

On today’s episode of School of Sellers, host Erin Waters explores a new way to think about your daily tasks that allows you to get them done more efficiently.

The 2 Magic Factors

Your daily tasks boil down to two important factors: the time each task will take and the type of energy each task requires. Sound simple enough, right? That’s because it is–yet, day after day millions of people continue to underestimate the time something will take and undervalue the type of energy required to do it.

Here’s how we fix this.

Make time your friend–not your enemy!

First, it is crucial that you develop a sense of time on task. Chances are, many of your daily tasks are ones you do time and time again. Let’s choose one task for the sake of this example: writing a rough draft of a blog post. When you sit down to write your rough draft, time yourself. From start to finish, check to see how long it takes you to write your rough draft. Record that time, so that next time writing a rough draft pops up on your to-do list, you know exactly how long it will take you.

There’s nothing worse than writing your to-do list only to find it unfinished at the end of the day.

With a clear concept of time, you will no longer create unreasonable to-do lists.

What kind of energy do you need?

This sounds like a hippy-dippy energy phrase, but I’m actually talking about the creative energy required with each task. We know that not all tasks are created equal; for example, the brainpower required to write a blog post is not the same brainpower that is required to answer Q+A’s on your TPT account.

For this reason, it is wise to break your tasks into the kind of energy you must exert to complete them. Here area few categories:

Picasso tasks

These are the tasks that require the most creativity from you. Usually, anything that involves writing copy, brainstorming headlines or subject lines, planning a new product, creating striking Facebook ads–you get the idea. Picasso tasks are ones that should be done when your brain is in your prime. For me, this is in the morning when I’ve had coffee and feel fresh and enthusiastic about the day ahead.

FML tasks

If you don’t know the meaning behind this acronym, a quick Google search will do 😉 In short, these are the tasks you dread–the ones that hang over your head, give you a stomach ache, and usually ones you save for last. These tasks are different for everyone, but for me, answering TPT Q+A’s and working on growing product lines are at the top of my FML list. These tasks are best done when your creative energy is low. No matter how you spin it, these tasks will be unpleasant for you; you might as well complete them when you’re feeling otherwise unmotivated to accomplish other more meaningful tasks. You’ll also experience a change in feelings around FML tasks once you know exactly how long they take you; after weeks of dreading the growing bundle work that I had to do every Thursday, I finally timed myself to realize it was actually only taking me one hour every week. Knowing that made it a much easier pill for me to swallow.

Netflix + chill tasks

Netflix + chill tasks are ones that require almost no mental exertion; simply put, you can do these mindless tasks while you binge-watch The Office at night. Netflix + chill tasks often involve data entry, finding images to post on social media, formating images for blog posts–you name it. The less thought involved, the better.

A tool that can help

I’ve been using a simple Airtable spreadsheet to document all of the tasks that must be done for my business. Some tasks are done daily, others weekly, some monthly. On the spreadsheet, I have identified each task by the time it requires and the type of energy it will take.

When I create my to-do list, I take into account the time and energy so that my to-do list is one I can actually do. Often, I will find myself filtering the Airtable spreadsheet by the time required and the energy so that I can accurately fit a task into the slot on my list.

If you’d like to try this system, I’ve shared my Airtable template here and you can tweak it to make it your own. I’d love to hear how you are using it for your own to-do list efficiency!

Download the free materials here to start working smarter–not harder!

Looking for another way to get this episode? Download the transcript here!

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