I have to admit, I wasn’t really sure where I was going with the prompt for this post (What’s on your to-do list?) Perhaps, it’s a classic example of a blog idea gone sideways. Sometimes what you thought was a great idea, turns out to be… lint. Fortunately, HARO readers never fail to inspire, inform or humor me.
Some of the responses were serious and some just made me chuckle. So, I decided to just post as many as I could, (before I just got overwhelmed with re-formatting them and ran out space) and insert my 2 cents accordingly. Maybe there’s something you need to add to your own list. For the sake of the examples in this list being useful, at least one task on your to-do list should be tied to a revenue-generating objective. I also noticed there weren’t very many tasks tied to health.
Also, a lot of the lists were “macro” and not “micro.” Micro is important if the lists are daily activities. Macro is appropriate for monthly or “standing” to-do lists. If you have a to-do list with 5 items, those items should be broken down enough that they are practical in your ability to execute them in a timely fashion (i.e. commit to consistent social media posting vs. post 2x per day)
For those of you who submitted your list, how much of your list remains the same since you sent it in? For those of you reading the lists, if you see a list or task that stands out or speaks to you, chime in.
Maybe you can help someone with something on their to-do list? Crazier things have happened.
Wes Lyons, @weslyons
- Become better organized
- Understand better ways to market
- Network, Network, Network
- Spot the next big trend
- Learn how to grow
Wes, how are you going to spot the next big trend?
Dave Davies @beanstalkseo
- Get a new website launched
- Develop an app
- Refine internal systems to enable employees to direct themselves more
- Move more key employees into a stronger position to represent the company at conferences and online
- Develop tools for industry peers to use and hopefully link to
Dave, what tools are you going to use to develop your app?
Dana Rivera @danariverafilms
- Say thank you to those who have helped my business with relevant gifts
- Research blogs to be featured on or to submit a guest post to
- Implement a systematic email marketing plan
- Add to my list of potential clients to connect with
- Continue Networking with organizations and entrepreneurs
Dana, so glad to see you understand the importance in stopping to saying “thank you.”
Jason Womack with the Womack Company
- Start the day w/ gratitude. Write a letter to a client, vendor, author, or other to let them know that what they do makes MY life better.
- Increase the heart rate, for at least 30 minutes. Walk, ride, run, swim, do something to strengthen the heart muscle; I need that blood system runnin’ to strengthen the mental muscle.
- Eat. Better. The next 5 hours of productivity will be affected by what I do/don’t put into the system right now. Snacks that are high in fat, low in sugar.
- Think big, as in Predict. Adapt. Improve. I know that my work and my world 12 months from now will be limited by the thoughts I didn’t have today. So, I do this by reading, watching, listening or interviewing someone to help me think bigger.
- Scan social media, find a place to lend a comment, idea, activity, etc. …something that could help that person move further, faster.
Jason, I like how you start your day with gratitude and end it with generosity.
Jeremy Montoya, @JVMontoya
- Learn how to use Google Hangouts
- Find 2 more social media clients
- Record Thursday’s podcast
- Integrate video into our business
- Follow up from conference & chamber meeting
Jeremy, how are you “finding” social media clients? (via hastags? Or)
Michael Dunne, @therightbank, with Pacific Continental Bank
- Over-thank a colleague at least once a day for a task completed
- Get outside, even for 2 minutes.
- Make my most serious co-worker laugh.
- Remember someone is paying me to do work here.
- Spend the extra minute composing an email worth reading
Michael, this is a great list. I LOVE #3! and #5 is an essential business practice.
Chere Estrin, @estrin, with The Organization of Legal Professionals
- Put my business into a living trust. Maybe make that will.. Reminder: husband is a lawyer.
- Find out how to write a decent profile on LinkedIn. Figure out what to put on Facebook besides Dang. Starbucks delayed again.
- Read Peace Sleep. Learn how to sleep through the night. Stop getting up at 1:00, 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. to check emails. Reminder: It can all wait until I get to my desk. Maybe.
- Rewrite the fifth edition of the Paralegal Career Guide. Stop moving this down the list. Fface this ain’t gonna happen. Repeat again tomorrow.
- Remember on Friday afternoon: grab husband, sneak off to movies and smooch in the back row. Repeat next Friday.
Chere, I’m totally stealing #5, but we’ll go on Tuesdays so I can take advantage of the super matinee price (plus the theaters are empty)
Jonathan Kaplan, @jkaplanmd, with Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery
- Find new and seminal ways to improve customer experience
- Add to our playlist for surgical cases
- Find an appropriate business that would host us for a Cool Sculpting demonstration
- Increase Mommy Makeover interest
- Promote our $50,000 facelift
Jonathan, I see the customer experience is at the top, is that on purpose?
Peter Lynch @bizandthegeek, with Digital Fridge App
- Close out round A of funding
- Sample some craft beer
- Hire a CTO
- Tell Mark about the craft beers I sampled
- Finish API/SDK documentation
Peter, remind me how you are able to stay focused enough to even think about your list after “beer sampling.” I’m sure there’s a whole bunch of people who would LOVE to have your job. Ah, the life.
Michael Raanan, @LandmarkTaxGrp, Former IRS Agent
- Optimize case management system
- Implement Fall marketing initiatives
- Hire for openings
- Lease additional office space
- Have fun
Michael, is all of your marketing scheduled “seasonally?”
James N. Kinney, seasoned serial entrepreneur who owns businesses on both coasts
- Breathe and smile
- ABC – always be closing
- Solve problems for my clients and colleagues
- Add value
- Make someone feel good about themselves
James, by doing #3, you automatically take care of #4 ☺. I like how your list includes holistic and sustainable business practices.
Jared Fletcher, @AriseVSInc, with Arise Virtual Solutions
- Innovative, disruptive marketing strategies to promote the Arise brand and disrupt the crowdsourcing market
- Identifying high performers for future opportunities to grow
- Value stream mapping across different departments within the organization
- Mentor young professionals to grow professionally inside the organization and throughout their career
- Driving performance measures for operations and seeing that processes are effective and efficient
Jared, it’s good to see someone monitoring their metrics for efficiency, productivity and growth. Not many business owners understand the importance of these simple tactics.
Ross Buntrock @arentfox, with Comunicano
- Review litigation dockets and brief my team.
- Conferences with clients regarding how to deal with California BYOD regulations.
- Finalize September and October conference and travel schedule and prepare speaking notes and presentations.
- Schedule client satisfaction meetings for Q4.
- Update clients on the impact on the FCC’s 600Mhz incentive auction of possible NAB lawsuit
Ross, love the idea of “client satisfaction” meeting. Must implement.
Betsy Kent with Be Visible Associates
- Adjust the form I use when interviewing potential clients (to assess whether they are a good fit for my services) – add new questions
- Implement the next phase of the marketing plan for my Fall 2014 course on business blogging
- Reach out to 5 people/orgs for speaking engagements in Q4
- List the pros and cons of offering two blogging courses this Fall: Beginner and Intermediate (instead of one)
- Send an email to business coach: update her on plans for the week
Betsy, more people need to “prequalify” clients and an assessment form/questionnaire is the perfect tool, so you don’t forget key questions and stay focused on the quality of the client.
Julie Rustad, @JulieOriginals, Busy Artist Mompreneur
- Be on a TV program like PBS to inspire other Moms to follow there passions
- Sell the remaining 2500 Desert Dwellers Flash Cards this year
- Speak at more elementary schools this year about having a career in the arts
- Finish my Spanish version of my Desert Dwellers Flash Cards
- Get my story into an awesome regional or national magazine
Julie, I like how all of your activities are tied to directly connecting to your target market through various channels. Are you organically attracted your clients this way?
Kelly Servis, @Fandeavor, with Fandeavor
- Sell our October Buck List. Package to customers and top luxury travel agents
- Write a blog post about our newest technology for our website, the Build Your Own Bucket List Experience
- Finalizing the details of our all-inclusive packages for the 2015 Women’s World Cup
- Starting to build our all-inclusive packages for 2015 NASCAR races
- Getting our customers ready to party for the 2014-2015 NFL season at some of our all-inclusive tailgates and game day experiences, and planning their 2015 Super Bowl XLIX
Preparation. Preparation. Preparation.
Adi Bittan, @adiownerlistens, with Owner Listens
- Reply to 3 customer feedback messages
- Confirm and pay invoices
- Write blog post: What really happens after you write a negative online review (tentative title)
- Complete writing sales plan for next quarter
- Get milk
- Reply to HARO post – DONE!
Adi, few small business owners understand the importance of RESPONDING to customer feedback. These are prime opportunities for engagement and cultivating client relationships.
Diana George, @VaultRealty
- Visit all my projects and check status updates – houses on markets, flips, etc.
- Schedule and attend follow-up meetings with a good majority of my agents
- Search MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for new fixers on market in Bay Area; contact clients
- Admin: Update all Social Media channels, website, brainstorm marketing campaigns
Adding some healthy tasks in between work tasks can be very effective and alleviate some of the day’s stress.
George Stelzenmuller with Canna Ltd
- Write 1,000 words/day
- Pick one new publisher/week
- Review projects 1/week
- 15 min check/edit LinkedIn/day
- Scan list of office/anywhere/calls list, beginning of day
Writing 1,000 words per day is good goal for new and intermediate bloggers. It helps you hone your voice.
Monique Anair @moniqueanair, with Enviroescapes
- Connect with Million Women Mentors to help place girls in filmmaking and computer science internships
- Prepare panel for NM Film & Education Summit
- Register new students for classes, purchases books for low-income schools
- Prepare final presentation for study abroad program in Oaxaca, Mexico for environmental journalism
- Prep camera package for this weekend’s shoot
Rock ON, Monique!
Nina Parr @ninap44, with The Love Your Job Project
- Social media, social media, social media……
- Finish all video content for product development
- Write, research, and prepare for new blog post
- Submissions for new media features
- Expenses (it’s always last on the list)
Eat the frog, Nina. Eat the frog. Do the expenses first and see what happens.
Sierra Elmore @13elmstreets, with 13 Elm Streets
- Plan and design my winter design shop collection
- Catch up on business articles using Instapaper
- Plan a new graphic offering to be released spring 2015
- Hire a business coach
- Attend a business webinar
Sierra, why do you feel you need a business coach?
James Robert Webb, @jamesrobertwebb
- 1. Revamp website
- 2. Organize and stay in contact with my fans and business contacts
- 3. Simplify social media management
- 4. Visualize each day, my long-term goals
- 5. Spend 5 minutes assessing and organizing priorities each day
James, have you considered tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Sproutsocial to manage your social media?
Ben Guez @benguez01, with Funder Ophis Vape
- Opening our store in Los Angeles
- Getting new capital from investor
- Making Ophis Vape the most famous brand vaporizer of the market
- Date Scarlett Johansson
- Be the first man walking on the sun
Ben, I see you are focused on the “easy” stuff.
Greg Monterrosa @GregMetro, with MyLLC.com
- Mediate- healthy mind = healthy business
- Yoga- a healthy body= a healthy business
- Check in boxes, voice mails and emails in that order
- Make a to do list
- Do this things I don’t want to do first, then it’s out the way
Greg, yes! I tell my clients all the time, “what’s good for you, is good for your business.”
And there you have it. 25 to-do lists. 125 items requiring action. Refine them. Re-new them. Get to work.
Micro Business Therapist™ and simplicity expert, A.Michelle Blakeley is the curator of the online magazine, Micro Business Therapy. She helps new and seasoned entrepreneurs focus on holistic and sustainable business practices for agile growth. Minding the gap between your personal and professional life™. Connect with her on Twitter at @simplicityinc