High-Value Tasks; Making Meaningful Progress

Quote: “Whatever comes into our life that is good, will always come from taking some form of risk.”

 

In the list of 100 tasks or actions I could be working on to grow my business, the important question is:

  • Which of those tasks will most impact me in reaching my goals?

Speaking from my experience of struggling, it’s so easy to become distracted by tasks and actions that don’t actually contribute to making real and tangible progress. This struggle of very slow progress is frustrating because, in appearances, I might look busy doing many things, but those things are not producing the results I’m looking for.

This requires a pretty substantial mindset shift; and, well, quite honestly, I’m writing about this now because it’s clear “I” need to recalibrate and focus more on high-value tasks and actions.

I’ve noticed that in my busyness, it’s like I’m just randomly pushing buttons on my computer, looking busy, but really… I’m avoiding (and delaying) the most important things that will actually produce business results.

Underneath my “busyness” is an avoidance strategy, carried by a “hope” that it will all just work out. Sure, it’s working out to some degree, but it’s not working out like I know it could if I did the things I’m somewhat scared to do.

The Difference between High & Low-Value Tasks

Let’s explore the differences between low-value and high-value tasks in relation to a goal you might have.

  • GOAL: Starting a Newsletter
    • Low-Value Task: Spending 5 hours trying to make the newsletter look pretty.
    • High-Value Task: Spend 1 hour making the most simple design, and spend 4 hours reaching out to people who might be interested in receiving the new newsletter.
  • GOAL: Create an Offering/Product to Sell
    • Low-Value Task: Spend the day crafting 5 different products or services for 5 different types of people.
    • High-Value Task: Spend the day crafting 1 product or service for 1 specific type of person, and look for people to test the product for free to get feedback.
  • GOAL: Editing a Video for Social Media
    • Low-Value Task: Spend a full day creating the video while trying to make it perfect.
    • High-Value Task: Define a time limit of 3 hours, create a short plan for finishing it in that amount of time, and then focus on only that task.

There’s a common theme here in the differences between high and low-value tasks.

  • High-Value Tasks receive real-life feedback and require a higher level of risk for a greater reward.
  • Low-Value Tasks keep you in an activity bubble, a comfort zone of busyness without taking much risk, and therefore have very low rewards.

You Have Limited Time

Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking we have unlimited time to grow our business. Such an attitude won’t lead toward meaningful progress. This, again, is to fall into that energy of “hope” rather than allowing your success to reflect the effort you put into your project.

You might want to explore the game of compressing the time you do have and asking yourself the following:

  • What if I had to accomplish this in one month rather than the 6 months I currently have planned?

Really, what if?

Maybe I have a plan or goal to make $50,000 in a year.

  • WHAT IF… I HAD TO accomplish that in 3 months?

To ask a question like this forces me to see things differently. It forces me to find high-value tasks and discern the difference between busy work and meaningful actions that would actually make progress.

Moreover, it forces me to become open to new possibilities.

  • This product launch I have in 30 days from now, what if I… HAD to launch by next week? What would I have to do?

The answer is: I have to find the most important things and completely ditch the things that don’t really matter. Maybe the product will become more simple, direct, focused, and targeted at solving one problem rather than 5 problems.

Furthermore: I might have to ignore countless other tasks that don’t pertain to this product launch. I might have to plan and prioritize my time better.

Real-Life Example:

Some years ago, I had this idea that I wanted to create an expansive online course to help people see themselves and reality more clearly, and ultimately trust more in Life’s conscious design.

At first, I thought it might take me 3 months to create the course, and then a couple of months preparing for the launch, and then another month before I started making any money from it. Sure, it was a plan, but underneath this plan was some sort of fear that thought it had to be perfect.

I asked myself…

  • “What if I had to make money from this course in 30 days and not 6 months?”

Long story short: I figured out a way to make $12,000 in pre-sales for this course (in 30 days) before I even wrote the first lesson.

No, it wasn’t easy. It required me to get over some fears of being rejected, reach out to 500 people directly, and share with them the opportunity about what I was doing and why they might be interested.

Also, incredibly, the connections I made with people during that time ended up being 1-on-1 clients 2 years down the road who paid way more money for my direct time and attention.

  • The low-value tasks in my 6-month plan were trying to make it pretty, perfect, and avoid any chance of being rejected.
  • The high-value task was abandoning perfection and focusing on building real relationships with people.

RISK and REWARD… (fear of rejection)

“Whatever comes into our life that is good, will always come from taking some form of risk.”

High-value tasks offer a higher reward, but they also come with a bigger risk. However, and please hear me out, those risks are most often associated with our ego. We are not risking anything real, but rather facing our self-imposed limitations.

As such, much of our human growth involves moving beyond our ego. It can be scary to face the potential for rejection, but the rejection isn’t real. We can see that it’s not real by facing it, testing it, and moving through it.

This speaks to an even bigger reward beyond financial gain – the reward of not being held back by silly fears that don’t serve us at all. In my fears of reaching out to people directly, I feared them thinking I was dumb, them saying no, or me being some interruption in their lives – this is all the fear of being rejected.

What I found, though, was the opposite. I found so many people deeply appreciative that I reached out, showed genuine interest in connecting with them, and shared something that brought many of those people a lot of value.

Sure, some people ignored my outreach attempts, some people misunderstood my intention, and some people maybe got annoyed. How many? Maybe 2%, at most.

Here’s the thing, though, they weren’t rejecting me; they were just sharing with me their experience. In many ways, it made perfect sense why they felt that way, given where they were in their life and what they had going on.

If someone says “no,” or doesn’t respond, or misunderstands your intention, it doesn’t mean anything about you. That’s the funny thing about the mind/ego; it wants to take everything so personally when, in fact, it’s not at all.

We interpret these things as rejection, and that interpretation pushes us back into a cage of limitation, saying… “It’s not safe to be you; it’s not safe to share, it’s not safe to sing your song.”

This is the confusion/limitation we are invited to grow through because it’s not true. We are literally operating from a place of insanity, from non-truth, dramatically limiting our life experience.

Growth is moving through these limitations, and to do so, you must face those limitations and find new ways of interpreting experience, so it aligns more with what is actually true.

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