Ryan Winsdor column: Should do/could do

Times columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Times columnist Ryan Windsor. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Recently, I caught up a consultancy client who after some coaching has started to see her business grow, resulting in her hiring her first employee.

This is a massive achievement and looking over her financial forecasts it’s clear that the business will most likely need more employees this year.

This though presents another set of challenges; framing a work package for the new staff member, outlining duties included in the role, and setting the right work ethics.

The latter can include several work principles, of which I will focus on one that I believe will make the biggest difference for both the employee and the business.

This one principle relates to the common habit of creating ‘to do lists’. People often spend a lot of time compiling these lists, but then never really complete them and make the anticipated progress.

The endlessness of such lists can be demotivation and generate a situation where much less has been done than was initially planned for.

There is a simple reason for this. Ready? It’s because classic ‘to do lists’ don’t work. There is no structure to them.

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We often just write down what comes to mind in a random order, with very little consideration of priorities, instant productivity, and which tasks will make the biggest different right now.

There is a related productivity hack that does seem to work.

After implementing it into my own life and business, I feel I can pack more into my day and get more done in less time.

The improved alternative to the classic ‘to do list’ is referred to as ‘could do/ should do lists’.

Gary Keller, award winning author, coach and entrepreneur, coined the term.

By simply specifying whether it is ‘could do’ or ‘should do’ for each point on his list, he was able to constantly prioritize those activities that would have the largest immediate impact.

The focus is thus placed on the ‘should do’ without being distracted by ‘could do’ that would take up time at the moment when they could be handled later on.

This method does ultimately increase productivity, which in turn creates more opportunities, and thus a better growing business.

To ask Ryan Windsor a business question email ryanwindsor89@gmail.com