(Entrepreneur Tips) 3 Mindsets to Prioritize Tasks in Your Business

Reps = results right? Not really.

As an entrepreneur, a young one at that, I spend a lot of my time as a one-person team juggling multiple projects and tasks all at once, some efforts which reap effective results, and other tasks that feel pointless or completed for the false beleive that it is producing effective results.

I recently took a lot of value from Tim Ferriss’ “Four Hour Work Week” a productivity and life effectiveness personal development book that is currently helping me realize the flaws of traditional mindsets of accumulating wealth and living a ‘rich life’, and how more effective methods of a ‘new rich’ people actually exist to help you reach your financial and fulfillment goals better.

In this article, I showcase how I used these principles to try to reflect on my own business, Notebeans Stationery, and how I was able to assess which tasks and operations were actually helpful to my business.

Who Should Read This Article

If you are also a young entrepreneur, someone in the early stages of your business, I hope this article can help you also filter through on tasks that are important in your business. If you’re interested in personal development and lifestyle design, this might also add some extra value to your day and whatever season of your life you might be in. 

This 7 minute article will include the following sections:

  1. Doing things for long time doesnt make them important; Parkinson’s law
  2. Doing unimportant things efficiently doesnt make it improtant; the 80/20 Pareto principle
  3. My Applied Practice: Filter out your business’ operational “in” tasks and your CEO “on’ tasks.

Doing things for long time doesnt make them important; Parkinson’s law: 

    Parkinson’s law states that we allow our work to fill up the time that we a lot it.
    • We often believe that doing things for a long time makes things feel more important. The more we put in more effort, the better our results. 
    • Tim Ferris, author of the 4 hour work week, says otherwise, that the conventional mindset is to simply fool ourselves that filling our hands with more papers, more thigns, more typing, more pages, more hours, makes our effort feel more impactful, more important.
    • However, its not about how we do something, its more important to assess whether what we are doing is actually effective in reaching our goals. 
    • Thus, we must learn to distinguish the effectiveness and efficiency of a task. 
    • Effectiveness is completing tasks that help us complete our goals in a meaningful, intentional, and exponentially resulting way.
    • Efficiency is completing tasks, important or not, in a quick way. Whether this is opening an email or sending outreach to a retailer for a wholesale order, its not improtant to the lens of efficiency.
    • So, the first mindset is to eliminate the false belief that doing thigns for a long time, will be more imporatnt than if completed shortly, and that its far more improtant to asses whether or not a task is actually effective. Then, we can allot of period of time to complete it. 
    • Set a date, time, and timeline of an audacious goal or task you would like to complete. 

    Doing unimportant things efficiently doesnt make it important; the 80/20 Pareto principle

    PARETO PRINCIPLE: the economist Vilfredo Pareto created the Pareto Principle of the 80/20 rule, the idea that 80% of outcomes in many situations come from 20% of the causes.

    In business: that 80% of profits come from 20% of products; that 80% of succes comes from 20% of the work we put in; this ratio can be changed to 90:10; to 95:5; to 99:1…. 

    but the idea is that, at a bare minimum, it is 80:20 by a minimum—that 80 percent of our outcomes come from 20 percent of the efforts we input into them.  Thus, the two questions we must ask ourselves is:

      1. What 20 % of sources are causing 80% of my problems and unhappiness?

      Here are mine as an example: 

      • Unhappiness outcome: relationship and career confusion and lack of confidence;
      • unhappiness source: pressure from cultural obligation, familial obligation; and fear of not utilizing my bachelor’s degree in the most effective way.

      2. What 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my desired outcomes and happiness?

      Here are mine as an example: 

      • Happiness source: creating art, journalling, introspecting, talking with other entrepreneurs, having heart to heart conversations, creating videography, visual storytelling, shooting photography, sharing thoguhts
      • Happiness Outcome: a feeling of life fulfillment, a feeling of purpose, of contributing something greater into my community, of using my strengths in a way that supports and encourages other peopel in my community;

      Ultimately, our goal is to answer the following question: how do we eliminate the inefficiencies in our lives? In our business? 

      Bruce Lee: ”One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity” 


      For the sake of this article, we will be focusing on the business/project application: 

      → an example of this mindset applied can be seen in the next point, an exercise. 

      Notebeans Stationery Applied Practice: Assessing your business’ operational “in” tasks and your CEO “on’ tasks.

      So, here was what I did to apply these two principles into my own business’ ecosystem of tasks. 

      Here, we will

      • List out operations of the business that is handled by the employees, even if this is yourself as the entrepreneur (what work is being done inside of the business),
      • List out work done on the business by the CEO, which even if you are a one person team, is yourself (what work is being done outside of the business’ day to day operations). 
      • Then, eliminate then which ones are ineffective, allowing us to focus on the strengths of the business infrastructure: the things that seem to be working well. 

      Here’s what my page looked like: 
      🌸 = Tasks
      ⭐️ = Marked as Important
      ☁️ = Aggregated/Concised Task
       “On The Business” CEO
      “In the Business” Operations (Employee)
      🌸 Analyzing results of all Notebeans Stationery sales channels
      ⭐️ 🌸 Creating Art: digital, watercolor
      ⭐️ 🌸 Thinking of Growth Strategies for the Business
      ⭐️ 🌸 Conducting Art Studies
      🌸 Brainstorming New Product Ideas
      ⭐️ 🌸 Running Art Booths at Creative Events
      ⭐️ 🌸 Attending Networking Events and Meeting Other Entrepreneurs
      🌸 Packing Online Orders
      ⭐️ 🌸 Creating Content to Share my Journey: blog posts, books for the future, online courses, video content on YouTube
      ⭐️ 🌸 Conducting Outreach: wholesale retailer partners, collaborative partners, and influencers for paid advertising
      🌸 Budget Forecasting and Financial Analyses of the Business
      ⭐️ 🌸 Replying and Engaging on Instagram: DM’s, Comments, and Stories. 
      ☁️ Introspect Frequently and Strategize for the Business 
      ☁️ Create art of any medium, but focus on Kato, Paya, and Kuma
      ☁️ Attend Networking Events and Engage within the Creative Community 
      ☁️ Art Booths are super engaging and fulfilling, but still require an active input. Something to consider in the future is hiring delegated manpower and help to help execute more booths. 
      ☁️ Convert my lessons and Introspections I already store inside of my journal into blog content to help other people. 
      ☁️ Focus on collaborative partners (artists, community members, events) and wholesale orders/outreach from retailers to reach more people in a more automated and hands off approach. 

      Conclusion and Applied Practice: 

      • For you, try this exercise as well, take a piece of paper or a page in your journal, and list out what are the actions that are 1) done on the business as a CEO, and 2) within your business as an employee
      • Then, take another colored pen, and mark down with a star which one of both sides are important;
      • Finally, at the bottom of these two columns, make ONLY up to 3 bullet points of ways to concise these important tasks into unified tasks, or a way to delegate an operational task to give yourself more time.
        • For example, for me, creating digital art, watercolor art, and conducting art studies are all emotionally important to me, but I know that creating character artwork of Kato, Paya, and Kuma are essential in building strong brand presence. 
        • Therefore, I will continue to do these things, to conduct art studies of masters and to create artwork of all mediums, but to focus my subject and art pieces on my character as the main subjects or theme. 
        • In doing so, I’m concising my tasks that are important to me into an aggregated version of itself — an action that can help me feel fulfilled but also produce effective yields. 
      • However, here are some alternative thoughts when taking this approach: 
        • What’s important to you, is subjective to your own life journey, season of life, and set of values and beliefs; try to avoid letting others prescribe what is important to you based on their own beliefs.
        • Instead, listen to their opinion, absorb whatever information you would like to adopt into your mental models, and continue to iterate and learn along your journey of life. 
        • Secondly, remember that the goal of focusing on pushing strengths rather than tackling weaknesses of a business or person also applies to interpersonal relationships as well. I believe that we have a few friends in our life, in our inner circle that will exist in each season of our life.
        • These friends are the ones you can have heart to heart conversations with, be vulnerable and honest with, and communicate fully and wholeheartedly. There is verbal appreciation and gratitude for consciously choosing to spend time with each other. 
        • They might grow and change throughout seasons of their life, but its important to focus and nurture these relationships more than friendships that might simply be fleeting or just to have fun with.
        • Both of these friendships will have beauty to them, and you can have an appreciation for both. However, just remember the Pareto Principle can be applied for this too — that 80% of our interpersonal fulfillment sometimes can just come from a few people: our significant other, our family, our childhood friend, a barista who became your daily conversationalist.
        • In general, don’t be too rigid with this application or any other advice you read online (even this article), but I wanted to share this part as it helped me greatly in navigating the interpersonal areas of my life ☺️💛
        • Please know that me as a student and part time entrepreneur, I’m still learning so much, and am going to constantly change and evolve my paradigms to best optimize and scale my business. I am rooting for you on whatever stage of your journey you are in, and am excited to see where you guys take your business to as well ☺️

      If you enjoyed content like this, be sure to subscribe to the email newsletter at the bottom of this page, or click here to see my Instagram page where I update with posts, sneak peak behind the scenes, and other content to connect with the artist and creative entrepreneurial community~ 


      • Ferriss, Timothy. “Four Hour Work Week.” Published April 24, 2007. 

      Have a lovely day, 

      Madeline L. 

      Founder of Notebeans Stationery 




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