Guest Post by Sharon Ball
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ? Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Since a goal without a plan is just a wish, I actually began the year by writing down a Business Plan. I began with a description of my ideal client. Unfortunately, my target market has always been too broad. Mentors have been telling me for years to narrow it down. So I looked at the situation again and decided my ideal client was actually three ideal clients. So I listed the three ideal clients and designed a focus for each. The second ideal client will require their own website but instead of spending my time designing and creating the website, I am delegating it.
Of course, delegation costs money but if I put more hours each week into making that money I can afford to hire a webmaster. And I will pay him half of what I can make doing what I do best. And since he knows what he is doing, he is not going g to waste hours figuring things out as I would do. Ok, that’s on its way. Ideal client three is on hold until the future. So now it is time to concentrate on ideal client one.
Another step on my action steps list to becoming more productive is to set my alarm and get up earlier. Since I work at home and plan my own schedule, I often “sleep in” with the excuse that I worked late the night before. Of course, I am much more productive in the morning than late at night when I am exhausted so the sensible thing is? Set my alarm! Whilst getting up earlier to complete my work may be better for myself, one of my friends did mention that I need to take care of myself at the same time. She said she was worried that I seem to be working too much, adding more stress and anxiety to myself unnecessarily. It can be hard to be productive just for yourself, And since I work at home and am in the habit of throwing in a load of laundry in the middle of writing an article- that also must stop. My new favorite word- FOCUS. I can worry about laundry and such at the end of my work-day, not during it.
Sunday nights I create a weekly plan of what needs to get done and WRITE everything down on my day-by-day planning sheets. Tasks are prioritized so if there is an unexpected disaster that derails the day, hopefully I have at least gotten the most important things done. No more doing the quick fun things first. This morning I got an email for a contest where I could win a free coaching session with a business coach I would love to work with but cannot afford. My hand hung over the keys but then my FOCUS kicked in- I was really proud of myself as I hit “delete.” My daily mantra has become “what do I need to be doing right now to bring in revenue in my business?”
Finally, the biggest related to my productivity was my “shiny new object syndrome.” That article about a new app that might save me time…the new and different marketing strategy I should get…or an article that I’d like to read. Since I do a lot of spreadsheets anyway, I designated one page as my idea page. I copy the website name or type out a description of what I want to remember in the future into the spread sheet. Out of mind and onto pager. At a later date if I want to revisit the ideal or information, it is there waiting for me.
I’m hoping that sharing that information about my time management struggles will give each of you ideas that you can use to improve on your own time management. Most of you are probably less scattered than I have been, but there may be one or two ideas that will fit your day perfectly.
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” – Charles Richards