When pursuing a meaningful goal, there is simply too much to do.  The number of potential activities and tasks to take well outnumber the number of hours any one person has to do them.  A person trying to build there business needs to divide her time between selling, building her team, planning for the future, learning new skills, etc., etc., etc.  Something simply has to give.  She needs to prioritize her efforts.  Some things simply won’t get done, at least, not done in a timely manner.

A Focus of Effort Chart is a handy way to decide which tasks need to be prioritized.  Start by writing your goal across the top of a page.  Draw two vertical lines, creating three columns each about a third of the page wide.  On top of the column on the left write, “Things I can control.”  On top of the column on the right write, “Things I can NOT control.”  On top of the middle column write, “Things I can only influence.”  Now draw a horizontal line cross the middle of the page.  The top half of the page is for those tasks that will have a big impact on your goal.  The bottom half of the page is for those tasks that will have a small impact on your goal.

Now start filling in the chart with your action list (your goal based to-dos).  Those items in the “Things I can control” column that will have a big impact (top half of your page) are your high priority items.  These are the tasks you should do first.  Next look at the big impact “Things I can only influence” square.  Here you have to make a judgement call.  Since you have a lower level of control on these items, they are likely to require more effort for a similar level of result.  Does the amount of effort justify the impact?  If yes, these are higher priority items as well.  If not, then these items belong lower on the to-do list.  Those items under the “Things I can NOT control” column, most likely do not belong on your to-do list at all.  Now look at the low impact items.  Only do these things when time allows.