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Ask the Entrepreneurs: What Do You Cross Off Your To-Do List First?

Ask the Entrepreneurs: What Do You Cross Off Your To-Do List First?

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of those involved in the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in an area of management, communication, business, or life in general.

Most people have a list of actions that they prioritize for at the start of the day, these lists can be created in tools such as Evernote, Wunderlist, Remember the Milk and a host of other tools (Ed: We’re building Listible to help you create lists), but there is usually one thing on your list you want to accomplish first to help kick-start your day. Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What do you cross off your to-do list first every day, and why does it help you stay productive?

1. Make a Plan

    Before starting on the work of the day, I create an action plan. I list everything that I need to accomplish and review the list along with scheduled meetings. By going over the plans for the day, I am prepared to complete all the tasks on my to-do list.

    Alexandra Mayzler, Thinking Caps Tutoring

    2. Read for Fuel

      I read articles and blogs. I consider continual learning to be a top priority, so I always do it first. It fuels ideas and provides knowledge for the rest of my day.

      Brent Beshore, AdVentures

      3. Whatever the Biggest Priority Is

        As a work at home mama and business owner, my daily priorities are constantly changing. When my work day starts, I tackle the one thing on my list that contributes the most to the bottom line. Typically that means a call with a potential client or moving a new product forward gets crossed off my to-do list first.

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        Molly Mahar, Stratejoy

        4. Write First

          First thing first — I write. I spend the first couple hours every morning writing, whether it’s a new ad campaign, email campaign, or a guest blog post. Writing is the most valuable activity I can do in my business, and that’s why I put it first on my list every morning. Identify the most valuable thing you can do for your business — and do it first, before you check your email. Email can wait.

          Pete Kennedy, Main Street ROI

          5. Eat the Frog

            “If you have to eat a live frog, it does not pay to sit and look at it for a very long time!” Do whatever it is that you don’t want to do, but need to do most first thing in the morning … and then the rest of the day is just peachy.

            Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

            6. Prepare Daily Indicators

              Our controller prepares our business “daily indicators” every morning. It’s an overall view of the health of our business. Evaluating the daily indicators each morning is a great way to get focused and keep day-to-day decisions in perspective as they relate to overall goals.

              Abby Ross, Blueye Creative

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              7. Check Twitter Feeds

                I use Twitter to catch up with the rest of the world and find out what I missed. It’s not a healthy addiction but it’s a great way to stay up to date.

                Ben Lang, EpicLaunch

                8. Review Growth Metrics

                  As the steward of a social media startup, we’re all about community growth. So every morning I review our growth numbers from the day before — how many sign ups have our reps gotten and are we on track to meet our monthly goals. If growth is stagnating, addressing the “why” is job one for the day. If a community is not growing, it’s dying.

                  Brendan Mangus, Habidy

                  9. First Things First: Email

                    Contrary to a lot of “guru” advice, I check my email first thing in the morning. Once I know everything is in order and moving forward, I can focus on my day.

                    Charles Gaudet, Predictable Profits

                    10. Calendar Check

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                      The first thing I do is look at my calendar to see how I’ve planned my day. Seeing what meetings are scheduled allows me to properly prepare myself and my team members for what we’ll be tackling that day.

                      Zach Cutler, Cutler Group

                      11. The 3 Easiest Tasks

                        I’m not really a fan of the whole “Eat That Frog” concept. I start my day with the three of the easiest tasks on my to-do list. This makes a little dent in my list right away, which makes me feel as though I’m on a roll. I always find that when this is the case, I burn through more tasks than I would when focusing on my biggest list items first.

                        Travis Steffen, WorkoutBOX

                        12. Call Every Teammate

                          We have a distributed team (Berkeley, Atlanta, South Korea, San Francisco). The most important thing I do each morning is talk to each teammate — I want to know how they are, what projects are on their plate, and what I can do to help them succeed each day. These calls create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose, and provide a great opportunity to set team priorities.

                          Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

                          13. Yoga

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                            20 Minute Yoga is the first thing I have scheduled into my day. Yoga and stretching has so many benefits like improved circulation, strength building, better posture, and many more. It helps me get focused and feel good for the day ahead. I recommend checking out Tara Stiles on YouTube at youtube.com/tarastilesyoga. She has yoga routines you can do in 5 minutes from home.

                            Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

                            14. Write 3 Thank You Notes

                              I start every workday by writing three thank you notes. It is extremely important to show appreciation to those who have contributed to your success in any way. Gratefulness sparks a cycle of positivity whereby which those who are appreciated are likely to provide further assistance in the future. In regards to its role in my daily routine, writing these cards puts me in a more positive mindset

                              Dave Kerpen, Likeable Media

                              15. Ask These 3 Questions

                                These three things gets automatically added on my digital To Do list every day:
                                (1) Who am I required to be today?
                                (2) What is the one thing that I want to enjoy today?
                                (3) What is the ONE thing that I am required to do today?

                                Peter Nguyen, Advertiser360

                                16. Morning Checklist

                                  Each morning, I complete the same checklist: look at calendar, review projects list, answer e-mail, answer voicemails and texts, and clear daily paper file. This has three benefits: It helps me process everything effectively; it makes starting my day effortless; and it allows me to plan effectively based on the most recent information.

                                  Elizabeth Saunders, Real Life E®

                                  Featured photo credit:  Laptop (notebook) with cup of coffee and notepad with pen via Shutterstock

                                  More by this author

                                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                                  Last Updated on December 7, 2018

                                  10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                                  10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                                  How big is the gap between you and your success?

                                  What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

                                  It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

                                  So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

                                  Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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                                  Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

                                  You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

                                  When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

                                  This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

                                  Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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                                  Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

                                  This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

                                  Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

                                  A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

                                  Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

                                  …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

                                  Step 4: Backwards planning

                                  See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

                                  Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

                                  Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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                                  Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

                                  See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

                                  Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

                                  Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

                                  Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

                                  Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

                                  Step 9: Relax your mind

                                  Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

                                  Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

                                  When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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                                  Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

                                  Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

                                  To your success!

                                  Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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