It’s really hard to focus now with so many distractions. I’ve tried things like Steven Covey’s time management grid, blocking social media websites, task-list software, or just plain old pencil and paper. None of them really pushed the needle and it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled upon a new system that’s been working in the past few weeks. Full credit to John Logar in this video for the inspiration.


Four Categories Of Tasks

Most time management philosophy prioritizes tasks around a mix of importance and urgency. But as a small business owner, generating income is what really matters. You’re not part of a large company where life and death of the business is your responsibility. This system ranks your daily tasks based on their ability to generate income or not. They are broken down into four categories:

  • $$$ = Primary Income Generators
  • $ = Secondary Income Generators
  • OS = Outsource
  • TW = Time Waster


#1: Primary Income Generators ($$$)

  • Asking existing customers to buy again
  • Sending out an offer
  • Promoting sales funnel
  • Promote existing product 
  • Implementing cart abandonment emails
  • Sending out invoices
  • Following up on invoices
  • Following up on wholesale quotes older than 3 months
  • Scheduling calls with B2B customers


#2: Secondary Income Generators ($)

  • Developing strategic partnerships
  • Writing email sequences
  • Developing a lead funnel or landing page
  • Creating a new product or offer
  • Creating content, guest posting, interviews, etc
  • Direct mail and offline marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Tradeshows, events, and conferences
  • Managing paid advertisements
  • Negotiating discounts on software and tools


#3: Outsource (OS)

  • Packing and fulfilling orders
  • Managing live chat
  • Implementing technical stuff
  • Programming and web development
  • Graphic design
  • Market research
  • Copywriting
  • Customer support emails
  • Processing refunds and returns


#4: Time Waster (TW)

  • Inbox watching
  • Clicking around analytics
  • Clicking email links in newsletters
  • Reading auto responders
  • Reading forums without intent to implement
  • Browsing social media
  • Reading news
  • Scrolling through iPad
  • Watching webinars
  • Playing Clash of Clans
  • Checking out software and new tools
  • Buying something you won’t use right away
  • Procrastinating


How To Implement This?

  • Step 1: Write down all the tasks you’ve completed in the past week.
  • Step 2: Label them as $$$, $, OS, or TW based on the categories above .
  • Step 3: Block off 1-2 hours per day to focus ONLY on tasks marked $$$.

How To Prioritize Your Time On Income Generating Tasks

Knowing which tasks are primary or secondary income generators is the big takeaway you should get. It’s easy to get muddled in-between them and I hope this gives you some clarity. After this exercise, you should get much-needed focus from the noise that you have to deal with on a daily basis.


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  1. This is such an eye opener.

    I think I am also wasting too much time on activities that either I can a) delegate b) eliminate.

    Thanks for posting.

    1. Your welcome. Biggest thing for me was confusing secondary income generators with primary ones. Super easy to get bogged down in that stuff IMO

  2. I remember watching this last year while in Berlin ( I’m here again) and getting a ton of value from it. But this was exactly what I needed to see again. Thanks for the reminder.

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