POD - Prioritize, Organize, Delegate

POD - Prioritize, Organize, Delegate.

A few years ago, I had coffee with Beau, one of the DJs on our Kelowna team. I'd always known Beau to be a thoughtful, smart guy and I think he was running for President of UBCO Student Council or something like that. So, when he shared some business advice he learned from his successful uncle in Los Angeles, I listened. The basic idea was POD - Prioritize, Organize, Delegate.
This past week, I've enjoyed using POD more than usual and I've noticed it's having a really good effect on my businesses. I just spent 10 minutes showing my girlfriend Steph exactly what I mean and she seemed into it, so I'm hoping you are too.

Step 1: P is for Prioritize

I hear Gary Vaynerchuk say that our problem as entrepreneurs isn't that we don't have enough ideas, it's that we have TOO MANY ideas. Damn, that statement hit me hard when I first heard it. That's why prioritizing is so important.

I use my black book to write down every single idea I have. Then, when I get home, I put all of the ideas into Asana. That way, if I do have a genius idea, I can be sure I will never lose it. I know in my own life, I either turn my ideas immediately into to-do list items, or, I don't write them down at all.
Both of those are extremes and neither are helpful in my experience.

Step 2: O is for Organize

Having the list is great. Now you can forget the idea and move on with your day. You definitely should always be in an intentional state as a business owner, never a reactive state. So, as you come up with great ideas, realize that it's okay to write the idea down and then forget it. It's okay to carry on with your mission as planned and not change everything immediately just because you had a great idea.

Once a week, I take time to organize. I go into Asana and my black book and I take all of my list items and I rate them. First, I rate them by urgent versus important. I try to only work on the most urgent and the most important things at a time. I also try to prioritize working on important things before working on urgent things.

Next, I create a board in Asana. I take all of my to-do list items that made the cut as urgent or important and I put them on a board. My board looks like this:

It starts with ideas, then ideas get moved to priorities. I choose 3-5 priorities to work on at a time and those are moved to "in progress". Sometimes in life, things come up that slow you down, so I mark those down as roadblocks and drag them into that stage. Finally, when I have completed a task, I drag it to my "done" stage.

One important thing I learned about this, is that often you will have entire projects disguised as to-do list items. Projects are huge and consist of many to-dos. One of my old bad habits was to create a list of 50 projects and think I had 50 to-dos. Well, each of my 50 items actually had 20 more items inside, so I really had 1000 items and guess what... I started procrastinating. Your subconscious is pretty smart and it knows when you've totally screwed yourself over.

The good news is that in both of my businesses, only 1-3 things drives the business forward.

At Airwaves the driver is:
-Great advertising and sales  (We do like 3 things really to advertise and sell that bring results)
-Great customer support (there's really 3 BIG things we do for support)
-Great service and DJ training (there's just a few HUGE things here as well)

For Event Temple, it's the same:
-90% of leads come from 1 or 2 advertising channels
-Most customers use it for 1-3 BIG reasons

So, it's good to identify what is driving your business and focus on that until it maxes out.
If you have maxed out a growth channel, or you have a new business, just prioritize what you think is going to help you get the most results as fast, cheap or as plentiful as possible. Then, go with your gut.

Choose 1-3 quick experiments (projects) to run, break them down into tasks, and follow the above strategy. It works, I promise.

Step 3: D is for Delegate

Every task should be:
-Have a due date
-Be Realistic

Wait... these aren't tasks... these are goals. SMART goals.

S= Specific
M= Measurable
A= Achievable
R= Realistic
T= Timed

All of your to-do items should be tiny SMART goals. 

Once you have your tasks prioritized and organized in a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed way, you can delegate them. Delegation is an entirely different blog post on it's own but make sure you have the instructions on how to do the job, and an easy way to measure if the job was done and was effective or not.

Also, never delegate a task you wouldn't personally do yourself. It's bad karma and it doesn't work. 
Make sure you'd personally take on the work you have others do and if you wouldn't, fix it.

That's it!

It's really easy to say but hard to do. This entire blog post is really about developing a new habit.
I hope you found it helpful and can use it in your business. Again, most businesses succeed because of a few simple reasons done very, VERY well. We don't need to do 100 things as entrepreneurs to win. We just need to get 100 details right in 2 or 3 things. Optimizing is the name of the game and to be honest, thats more about management than creativity which is why you probably don't love it. Entrepreneurship (starting a business) is about creating. Managing is about doing, focus and measuring. To succeed, I find most entrepreneurs need to become good at both. I know I am still working on that all the time. It isn't easy (trust me, I know ha) but if you keep at it you will get it eventually. It takes 10 years to an overnight success as they say so even though it's hard for me too, Im in it for the long game. Also, make sure the tasks you prioritize feel fun and exciting to you. Do things you like and somehow you'll find more momentum.

And...that's all I've got for now about POD!

Do you have any tips for me on how you prioritize, organize and delegate? I'd love to hear them.