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If that To Do List is overwhelming you then it’s time to do a Task Payoff check

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Quite often, when it comes to procrastination or engaging in low self-esteem behavior, there is a sub-conscious element of Payoff involved which might hold us back from being efficient or taking desirable action. But can consciously using the Payoff work in reigning in an overwhelming To Do List?

Let’s find out! I love trying new ideas and tools and here is how the Payoff Method works.


  1. Look at your To Do List or Task List
  2. Note down how much time it will take to complete each task
  3. Weigh each task in terms of the Payoff of completing the task. You could rank a low priority task as say 1 ranging to 10 for a task that has a high payoff. Please note that there is no right or wrong Payoff – this is something unique to each individual
  4. Now, weigh each task by the Payoff that you expect from Step 3 with the time you have estimated the task will take in Step 2


For effective time management, first complete those tasks that have high payoff and that take little time. Likewise, a low payoff task that takes a lot of time should either be done last or considered whether it really has to be done.

This completes my series of time management methods and hopefully you have found one that will work for you.

In all 3 methods that I outlined, the key thing to keep in mind is that it does not matter which method you decide to use, or even if it is a combination of methods or one that you have designed for yourself.

What is more important is that it works for you and enables you not only to rank the order of tasks but also to make your To Do List more relevant by eliminating or deferring tasks that are not important or of least priority.

This takes care of the efficient part of time management and I recommend that you download The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience Eight Tested Commandments for Time Management with the bonus resource Prioritize Your Life below.


Time Commandments and Life Priority Bundle



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10 Responses to “If that To Do List is overwhelming you then it’s time to do a Task Payoff check”

  1. I use the payoff method to prioritize when I have conflicting priorities. Thanks for sharing. I agree that it is important to find a method that works best for you and then make it a habit.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      You are most welcome, Stephanie. When we find ourselves with conflicting priorities, the payoff method works well as an ice-breaker.

  2. Debra Jason says:

    Absolutely makes sense to do those tasks w/the highest payoff and take the least time first. I tend to go back and forth sometimes. Those things that take the least time don’t always have the high payoff, but it’s good to get them done. Then, I can focus on the ones that require more energy.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Debra. I often do that too, especially when I know I will need an energy burst for a larger task. There is something very motivating in seeing tick marks on the To Do List!

  3. Archana Sali says:

    Hi Vatsala,

    In spite of our coaching contract having ended, I still benefit from your practical blogs like the one above. Thanks for the practical tips.


    • Karmic Ally says:

      Delighted to see you here at the blog, Archana and pleased to know that my blog adds to your continuing professional development! Time management is a key issue for many professionals who want to get the job done and still find time for their outside work life. Which of the 3 alternative methods are you planning to use?

  4. I often remind business clients that, despite the appeal of the newest, shiniest object, all actions and decisions need to be assessed against the benchmark of their big intention: will this choice advance my goal? distract me? turn me away from where I already determined I want to go? Those long-term goals are huge pay offs that often get forgotten because of their distant horizon. This simple exercise is invaluable to keep us all on track!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Hi Andrea! Thank you for sharing another way in which the Payoff exercise can benefit the user. It is difficult at times to resist shiny new objects but if one can stop and think about whether it will help with the ultimate goal or transformation, then a lot of heartburn can be prevented.

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Meet your coach

I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that deliver results.

When my clients first reach out to me, they are not in a very happy place, needing clarity about themselves, their desires, chosen vocation and what will give them peace of mind. They are drawn to me for the very reasons that I highlight in Who Is Karmic Ally Coaching.

Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because I’ve experienced that dark night of the Soul. I know firsthand the outcome of getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to other aspects of my life.

I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, corporate politics, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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