I’ve started to look at my to-do lists (although you know I like to call them “could-do” lists because to-do feels a bit dictatorial to me and “could do” makes me feel like I’ve got options) with a new lens: money.

Those of you who’ve worked with me are familiar with my Time/Money/Inclination Worksheet, which I use all the time in my actual life and I find invaluable for prioritizing my activities. So this is sort of the the down-and-dirty version for when I’m just roughing out a quickie list. I simply put a “$” next to the items that have to do with income.

Amazing how that little additional piece of information will change the order in which I do things.

Sometimes it will move a pesky task like “Invoice Client” right up to the top of the list. But sometimes it will help me see that something that has nothing whatsoever to do with income, like that letter I want to send to an old friend, is actually much more important to me than anything else and really must be done first.

And sometimes I’m really surprised by how many income-generating items I’ve left to languish, or by how much pressure I’ve been putting on myself to complete something that doesn’t contribute financially to my life at all.

Now, of course money can’t be the only deciding factor – and knowing you it never would be – you are much too soft-hearted for that. But if you’re catching yourself complaining about not having enough money, you might have some fun solving the problem by putting a little more attention on your highest-income producing activities.