The best way to organize and complete tasks

Monday, November 21st, 2022

I had a biz coaching call and during which my client said, “Why is this taking me so long?”. I knew in that moment that I needed to write this …and yet, here we are days later, finally writing it.

What gives?

First off, My hope that you listen around the edges a little bit and realize that I too drag my feet on things; none of us are immune to it.

I do however firmly believe that if there is constant foot-dragging for a particular repeated task, then our best course of action is to really evaluate the circumstance and make sure that said task is actually something that is truly based on our own will and desire, and not a borrowed goal.

If we determine that yes, the task is in fact based on our own will and desire, then I’d like to propose a two-part plan of action.

The first part of said plan is more of a concept to internalize, and is something that Jen Cohen of Seven Stones Leadership reminded everyone in the room about during the Ignited Leadership Summit last weekend: Oftentimes the most draining part of a task is simply thinking about it.

When we know that a task is going to have friction we tend to work ourselves up and spend more time thinking about how difficult/annoying/tedious/(whatever word you’d like to use) the task is going to be, than it would take to actually just sit down and complete the task.

You and I both know that the solution to this part is to simply eat the frog and do the thing. (Not so shameless plug for one of my recent podcast/youtube episodes, and btw fam, we hit 1 million podcast episode downloads!!!!)

If, however, said task is something that is part of your business and keeps coming up, as was the case for my biz client last week, then I’d like to share with you my CADE system for organizing yo’ shit.

I’ve discussed this system in a previous podcast episode, but as we all know, once is never, so I’m bringing it back today.

The CADE system is simply my way of identifying and then implementing the most efficient approach to getting things done, particularly when you’re feeling overwhelmed by redundant tasks.

CADE is an acronym that stands for the approach to organizing your tasks, and is the suggested order of operations when trying to decide what to do to improve your situation.

Without further ado, the CADE system:

C – Consolidate: Batch your stuff. Ya'll know I love me some batching. Look to identify similar tasks and then do them during a single time period. Of note, similar tasks also refers to tasks that have similar energy expenditure or require a similar type of focus, not just things that are the exact same. (Example: admin tasks vs creative tasks vs client-facing tasks). The number one thing I typically have people implement here is limiting their call availability to specific a specific day or days. You don’t need to be available 7 days a week. Think about your dentist that is open for 30 seconds once every 3 leap years. We figure it out. Your people will too.

A – Automate: It’s 2022 folks. Technology is our friend. Use it. If you find yourself sending out the same emails over and over again, or playing tag to set up meetings, automate that shit! Lean into the capabilities that technology affords us and let those repetitive tasks be hands-off.

D – Delegate: Often times folks want to immediately default to this action item, but I’ve placed it third on the list for a reason. Delegating is an amazing solution, but brings with it its own set of problems. If after consolidating and automating, you’re still finding that there are tasks you just don’t want to do but that need to get done, then delegate. My suggestion here is to first develop a system for how the task gets completed, screen record yourself doing it so that you can easily teach someone else to do it, take note of how long said task takes, and then look to delegate. Doing things yourself first gives you an appreciation of the effort required, and in my experience makes you more willing to pay someone else to do it. When it comes to delegating business tasks, I’ve always found it best to hire from within (ie people who are currently in your ecosystem and have gone through your program/used your services). Finally, don’t forget that delegating doesn’t just need to be for business tasks. Sometimes the best way to create more space and energy for biz tasks is to hire out your home tasks like cleaning or grocery shopping. If you’re willing to pay, there’s a solution for everything.

E – Eliminate: Real talk, some shit just doesn’t need to get done. I have 9,212 unread emails, and honestly, I don’t care. My business is doing just fine. The world is not ending. We tend to think that we have to do all the things all the time, and that’s just not the case. Some things just don’t need to get done, and you can simply not do them. Eliminate it from your mind and release yourself from that mental burden.

Alrighty, gonna wrap it up here.

I've put off writing this blog for about a week, and it took me less than two hours to complete. I will learn nothing from this 😉

I should probably add a pseudo call to action here to let you know if you want help organizing your biz life (especially for those of you looking to get your time back) that’s exactly what I do during Maestro Meetings, and honestly, I love it. Efficiency is absolutely one of my love languages. You can click that hyperlink, or this one, to learn MOAR.

As always, grateful for you.

Yours in doing the thing.

Maestro out.

Join the family!