The High Payoff Task
By: Lyndsey Shaffer

Time management skills are vital for the small business owner. The need to manage your time is not a new concept. However, many neglect to prioritize their tasks. Every single day you must have a list of things you will accomplish. From that list you need to identify "the high payoff task".

The high payoff task is the project that is in direct alignment with your goals and dreams. Many people consider the high payoff task to be that which will bring them money. Do not fall into this trap. The high payoff task will deliver something of true value to you, something more important than instant monetary gratification. When you complete that task it will have either moved you to the next level, or opened the doorway to the staircase that will take you there. It places you in a position to grow.

Unfortunately, it is often hard to distinguish what the high payoff task for the day will be. We often have a list of things that we want to do, don't want to do or should have done all rolled into one. The key is to decipher from that list which project will bring you both joy and growth. The beauty of it is this, there is not a list of steps you have to follow to determine the high payoff task. Nor is there a key ingredient to creating one. It is simply a matter of getting in touch with your feelings and emotions. When you're engaging in your high payoff task you will know it because you will feel on fire. Every step and every decision will flow with ease.

Sometimes we can identify the high payoff task before we even begin. If you read an item on your list and you become excited and feel good at the prospect of completing that task then you have identified your high pay off task. Other times we don't identify the high payoff task until we're knee deep in it. You may say things to yourself like "wow this is easier than I thought it would be" or "I feel like I'm actually making progress" and you will take pleasure in completing this task.

Yet, what happens most often is that you find the high payoff task outside of the list. It may be as simple as an unexpected phone call, email or a chance meeting. It appears in the little things that make you say, "that just made my day"! This experience energizes and refuels you and this is what the high payoff task does. When something keeps you motivated and actively moving towards your goal or ignites you inner desires and your passion for life, you've found your high payoff task.

Keep your eyes open because it may be in disguise, but it will always bring you happiness.

Lyndsey Shaffer is the co- founder of the Onyx Six - Women of Color Business Network Onyx Six is a business development network committed to creating a supportive and influential community of minority women entrepreneurs and professionals. Contact Lyndsey Shaffer by email at

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