Focus Filters: How To Prioritize a Task List

Focus Filters: How To Prioritize a Task List

When I was 26 I spent $150K to hire a business advisor/coach named Stew.

It was almost all the cash I had left in my business at the time, but I knew if I wanted to play a bigger game I needed to invest in myself and my business.

Here’s one of the many big ideas he taught me:

“Right time, right action.”

This is the way it works…

… you can have two different entrepreneurs execute the exact same list of growth strategies, yet a few years later, one could be flying around the world heli-skiing full-time, while the other is left liquidating his office’s entry level Keurig machine just to keep the lights on.


It all comes down to understanding what matters most today, versus tomorrow, versus next week, versus next year.

That’s the ultimate skill of a strategic leader.

So today I want to unpack the exact process Stew shared with me to leverage when evaluating my todo list.

The cool part is that you can teach this to your team.

To make it even easier to implement, I’ve added a simple scoring system.

Here’s how it works:

Start by listing your task, projects or strategies in a spreadsheet so we can easily score and sort them.

Here’s how to score them.

  1. Makes Money: 3
  2. Make Customers Happy: 2
  3. Repeatable System: 1

If something doesn’t fit that filter, then it’s a 0.

So for every item on your list score it against those 3 criteria and for each use the weighted score.


  • Implement paid marketing webinar: 3,2,1 = 6
  • Follow up on aged receivables: 3,1 = 4
  • Hour call with new connections: 0

Once you have each one scored, then re-sort them based on highest score and start your day there.

Simple? Yes.

Do you have the discipline to implement it?

If you’re down for trying this for a week, then leave a comment with your commitment.

Over the next few months I’m going to share more of the key strategies I learned from working with Stew for over a year.

He played a huge part in the growth and exit of that company.

More to come…



  • Julie Gordon White, B/Coach

    I’m in! This is prioritization on steroids! Thanks for always taking it to the next level Dan and have a great week! J.

    • Dan Martell

      Thx Julie!


  • Maximus

    Dan – wanted to say that this was one of my biggest action items from the Boardroom in Moncton (miss that town by the way). I’ve increased my supplement business YoY revenue by $6k, $11k and $16k per month over the last 3 months, respectively. The growth levers were increasing organic traffic, renovating our trigger email campaigns and surprising repeat customers with hand-written thank you cards and free products.

    • Dan Martell

      Max, so great to hear / especially the hand written thank you cards … I’m finishing up the manuscript of my book and last chapter is on Customer Success which covers this.

      It’s a big part of the way I like to run business!


      • Maximus

        Pumped for the book!

  • Susanne Hemet

    This is brilliant. Dan, thank you so much. As always, incredible value you’re providing here. I think I’m crushing on you a little bit. 😉

    • Dan Martell

      Susanne, awe … thanks. I don’t mind a bit of crushing on my ideas / strategies 🙂


  • Charlene Renaud

    What to do and when to do it, is always daunting, especially today, with the avalanche of internet video’s, offers, etc. I like this Dan. It’s simple and I will be using this concept starting today!!

  • Chandler Bolt

    Loving these videos! Also just watched the 3 cycles of business one & it was great. Keep up the great stuff DM!

    • Dan Martell

      Chandler, I’m just getting started 🙂

      I’ve got a whole series focusing more on the business of software.

      I literally have 50+ videos just on that initial run … so, get ready for it 🙂