Picture it: it’s the end of a looooong day. You haven’t stopped since (before) breakfast and you’re beat.😴 You can’t wait to check your to-do list and start ticking off those boxes.

Only when you look at your list, you haven’t actually achieved all that much.

You can’t help but wonder: where the hell did the day go?

And because you didn’t conquer that to-do list, you start beating yourself up about it or you end up working late into the night just to get a few more things checked off. Even though you know that neither of those strategies is going to help you have a better day tomorrow.

So what can you do to make sure that tomorrow is the day you get more done, feel better — and maybe even (finally!) get an early finish?

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Picture it: it’s the end of a looooong day. You haven’t stopped since (before) breakfast and you’re beat.😴 You can’t wait to check your to-do list and start ticking off those boxes.

Only when you look at your list, you haven’t actually achieved all that much.

You can’t help but wonder: where the hell did the day go?

And because you didn’t conquer that to-do list, you start beating yourself up about it or you end up working late into the night just to get a few more things checked off. Even though you know that neither of those strategies is going to help you have a better day tomorrow.

So what can you do to make sure that tomorrow is the day you get more done, feel better — and maybe even (finally!) get an early finish?

It problem isn’t you…it’s your list

If you tend to be ahead of the game, if you usually have tomorrow’s list written up, if you regularly make space in your diary to work on your business, but you STILL aren’t getting things done, it’s likely that the problem isn’t you.

The problem is your to-do list.

The chances are you have far too much on there, which can be overwhelming and explains why you end up not knowing where to start whenever you do get a minute to work on your business. It explains why the procrastination pony rears its head so often too!

The secret to an effective list: the 90/10 rule

We have a rule that we swear by when we’re creating our own to-do lists:

The 90/10 rule

The 90/10 rule has worked so well for us that it’s now one of the core principles we teach in Atomic and it runs through every element of running a business from your content, to your sales and your marketing. In fact, it’s so good we’ve been known to apply it to our personal lives too!

Acting on it will help you cut your to-do list, reduce your overwhelm, and help you achieve bigger results, faster.💰

How it works

The idea behind the 90/10 rule is to spend 90% of your efforts on doing just one thing, but doing it remarkably well. The remaining 10% of your effort can then be saved for experimenting with everything else, trying new things, giving in to the distraction of new ideas, and scratching those itches.

The reason the 90/10 rule is so effective

Take your social media strategy. Instead of spreading your resources, your time, and your budget across a ton of different platforms (and inevitably doing them all averagely), you achieve far more success by dedicating your time and energy to just one platform, creating remarkable content for it and going all in.

And it doesn’t just improve your social strategy — you can apply the 90/10 rule to just about every aspect of your business, from having multiple different avatars/audiences, to offering a whole bunch of different services or products. It’s much better to focus on one specific client type, much more effective to concentrate on creating one stand-out service at a time.

By having that focus you’ll get more done and your results will be 10 times better.

You don’t have to spin ALL of the plates

We get it — when you’re running a business it does feel as if you’re trying to spin a million different plates. But trying to keep them all in the air just leads to overwhelm and unremarkable work. And a LOT of broken plates!

But, here’s the thing: not only are you allowed to put down some of those plates, you’ll find that you start doing better work when you do.

And it doesn’t mean that you can never go back to those other plates, those other tasks. Once you’ve nailed that one thing you want to focus your 90% on — maybe by creating new processes, maybe by outsourcing — you can move onto the next plate, the next platform, the next avatar, the next service offering.  

Choosing your 90%

The key to all this is to figure out what your one thing is going to be — as well as figuring out which to-do list items you need to scrap altogether.

And that can be tricky because the reason we take on too much is that we believe we’re giving ourselves more opportunities for growth and for sales. We feel like we’re casting our net.

In reality, by casting a wide net, we’re diluting our efforts

Now, we know you’re totally getting the 90/10 rule but to be honest, we love a graph so we couldn’t help ourselves putting together this little number.

Introducing: The Graph of Remarkability!

You can see that we have all of these building blocks of energy but, as you know you don’t have an endless supply of energy. And your time, budget, and resources are limited too.

So, imagine you have 20 building blocks and they symbolise your capacity of time, energy, or resources. Now we’re going to spread them out across the different areas of your business. You might want to put social media in there and email marketing. Might want to make space for Facebook ads too, and SEO, PR, and influencer marketing.  Oh, and you can’t forget messenger marketing and cold reach out.

All of a sudden that’s a busy little graph — you’re running out of those building blocks. And that’s just your marketing efforts!

And when you add in the line of remarkability, you can see that nothing really comes close, which is a problem because it’s a tough world out there — if you want to see results, you’re going to have to hit that line. 

So how are you going to hit it? You need to stop spreading yourself too thinly and start stacking up those building blocks over fewer activities, fewer spinning plates. When you narrow your focus, you don’t just hit that remarkability line, you go way over it and that’s when you see bigger, faster results, without the overwhelm of a too-long to-do list.

Remember, as you start to develop new processes or outsource some of the things you’re spending 90% of your efforts on, you create more building blocks that’ll allow you to start doing other things. But for now, if you think that you’re stretched too thin, if you end the day feeling like you haven’t actually achieved anything, or if you feel like you’re spinning so many plates they’re all about to come crashing down, start using the 90/10 rule and focus on doing just one thing — remarkably.

Whether you apply it to your marketing, to the services you’re offering, to the audiences you serve, to the number of businesses you’re currently trying to run, the 90/10 rule will help you get remarkable results without the overwhelm.

Ready to stop spinning so many plates and get more done? Let us know in the comments what you’re going to take off your to-do list and what your 90% will be.

And if you’re struggling to decide on your 90%, we want to help you out with an Atomic training that’ll help you figure out what you should stop doing, what your 90% should be, and how you can apply it across your entire business so that you can be more productive, less overwhelmed, get more done, and make more money.