In the bustling world of business, staying on track can often feel like walking on a tightrope. It’s a delicate balancing act. Today, I want to share a technique that has clarified my cluttered entrepreneurial mind: the “Short List, Long Table” method. [Check out my recent podcast on this topic].

Those immersed in dynamic team environments might have heard the saying, “Let’s table that for now.” Often, when awash with innovations and ideas, we use this phrase to pause and revisit later when bandwidth allows. But what happens when the “later” becomes an ever-extending timeline? That’s where the “long table” comes into play.

Picture a vast, sprawling table. This is my metaphorical “long table”, a space where ideas, however brilliant, can rest while more pressing tasks take precedence. Instead of juggling multiple thoughts in my head, I keep a Google Doc aptly titled “Long Table.” It’s my digital vault where ideas hibernate and percolate, waiting for their moment in the spotlight. As an entrepreneur, it’s all too easy to be seduced by the allure of a new concept. This table ensures I don’t stray off-course.

However, a vault of ideas is useless if there’s no action. Enter the “short list.” My weekly shortlist comprises three pivotal tasks, encompassing broad categories essential to my business momentum: sales, client services, and content creation. Before your eyebrows reach for the sky, let me clarify: under these umbrella categories lie multiple sub-tasks. I turbocharge my productivity each morning by boiling my focus down to three main avenues weekly, leaving ample time to address unexpected challenges or peruse my long table.

If you are often swamped, perpetually flitting between tasks, I urge you to try the “Short List, Long Table” approach. It’s not just about listing tasks but about discerning priorities. Over time, you’ll discern which tasks to delegate, automate, or eliminate. This isn’t a one-off strategy but a continual evolution, reshaping your work landscape daily.

Having initially tackled my days with a daunting ten-item shortlist, paring it down to three was transformative. It’s a testament to the power of focused, purposeful action. Every task on your shortlist should be an impactful thrust propelling your business forward.

Give it a shot. For one month, distill your tasks into clear categories, tackling only those essential to you. Relegate the rest to your long table. By month’s end, I’m confident you’ll experience leaps in progress. As we often hear, just because we’re adept at a task doesn’t mean it deserves our undivided attention. Prioritize the paramount. Let the rest wait.

And now, for those who’d like to delve deeper into my experiences and insights, do tune into the latest episodes of my podcast. It’s a treasure trove of practical strategies, just like this one.