Sometimes you know you have worked hard for several hours and used a lot of energy, but yet at the end of the day, you seem to have achieved nothing significant. 

You completed sessions with a few clients and finished work late. You are tired, but still have a ton of things you need to catch up with. You have that nagging feeling of overwhelm and only wish you could stop time to get more things done.

A busy schedule does not guarantee that you are being productive and that you are achieving any result, only that you are into “busyness”. This is why it is of paramount importance to determine the Most Important Tasks (MITs) of your day first. 

These are the tasks, just as the name suggests, which are the most critical to you. The ones that, if not completed, can have long term consequences on your life and practice. They are the high value tasks that make you progress towards your goals. 

The key is that you need to differentiate them from distractions and other less important tasks, so that you can get busy doing things that matter and make an impact. 

Distractions are negative influences that pull you away from the real important things that will benefit you and your practice. They come disguised as less important tasks that don’t contribute to your growth or ultimate goal, they only give you immediate gratification.

How can you tell what is important?
A powerful way to recognize your MITs is that they are often the most difficult tasks on your list, the ones you feel overwhelmed by and that you are intending to tackle “tomorrow”.

Another foolproof way to identify your MIT is to use the 80/20 rule (The Pareto Principle) that is named after its founder, Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist. 

The 80/20 principle generally states that in most things, 80% of the effets come from 20% of the causes. This means that it is only 20% of your actions that make 80% of your results. This principle can be applied to many situations. 

For example, we discovered that 20% of the people in a country possess 80% of the wealth. Meaning that 80% of the population get to split the remaining 20% of riches! 

According to the Pareto Principle, if you have a To-Do list of 10 items in front of you for the day, it’s most likely that two tasks are worth more than the other 8 combined! And these are exactly the 2 items you should start with and that you will probably feel the most urge to procrastinate on, because they might be the hardest or most complex of your tasks. 

This top 20% (the vital few) are your MITs, because they carry more weight, generate more results and get you closer to your goals. 

The trivial many (the 80%) are the unimportant tasks or tasks that you could have delegated, because they seemed easier or more fun to do. They are a big source of procrastination because they instantly relieve stress.

Here is exactly how you can apply the Pareto principle to determine the tasks you need to accomplish (your MITs):

1- Write down your tasks or goals in a To-do list.
2- Simply ask yourself: “If you could manage to do only one task today and still be satisfied, which one would you pick?”
3- Rinse and repeat with the rest of your list by selecting 3 MITs. This is the prioritization of your To-do list in action.

You have to discipline yourself to start with your first MIT. You must stay at it no matter how hard it is until you finish it completely. You can organise it in milestones if it’s a big project. 

During the day, take small breaks to reenergize yourself but do not start on another easier task. Remember, this means that you are procrastinating on your MIT. 

Go ahead and practice this every day. Once you observe the power of the 80/20 principle in your life, you will learn to push yourself to do these tasks first, regardless of how unpleasant they are. 

The good news is that once you tackle the daunting tasks, you remain with easier tasks, which often take care of themselves. Momentum kicks in and every action you need to take feels easier.

Work Smart
The benefit of identifying your Most Important Tasks and starting with them is that you no longer work hard, but also work smart. In other words, you start your day by eating your ugliest frog, like Brian Tracy suggests. 

It is the very best way to immediately increase your productivity manyfold. You now focus all your attention and energy on the vital few that really matter. The tasks may be fewer but they make a greater impact. 

You channel all your efforts on the right things and at the end of the day, this ensures that what’s most important gets done and you feel less stressed and tired. Your productivity is increased, you feel energized and you have achieved more than most people that do not use this system.

This method will help you quickly and surely eliminate procrastination from your life, for good. Most importantly, you will feel great about yourself and your self-esteem will sky-rock through the roof.

- Safaa

Safaa El Asraoui

Safaa is a Digital Marketing Consultant that helps coaches and therapists build successful practices, using online methods. She is an expert at growing their clients base by implementing business fundamentals, such as marketing & sales strategies and putting some key technology in place. 
If you're interested in scaling up your practice and acquiring more clients, then definitely reach out and request a free strategy session today.
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