In this blog post, I’ll share how I organize my day.
This is for anyone who has recently traded the structure of a corporate job for starting their own thing. I am far more effective at identifying what is a ‘must do’ versus ‘nice to do.’ The end result is a happy client.
Unfortunately, most work their day based on how they are feeling.
- they are overwhelmed and just putting out fires
- they don’t have a clear ‘why’ or goals
- they suffer from ‘shiny object syndrome’
- they are easily distracted
I’m sharing the system that has worked for me over 11 years of running a small business.
Here’s how, step by step:
Step 1: Sundays are my ‘strategy days’
Nobody is bothering me on a Sunday. I have the day to review the week just past and the week upcoming.
I write down what worked, what didn’t work. I review my appointments and cancel anything that doesn’t cycle up to my goal. A client who recently left corporate did this, and is now negotiating a contract with her first viable client.
Step 2: I do a ‘brain dump’ of all my tasks on paper
Most keep all their ‘to-do’s’ in their head. This is a mistake.
It’s hard to prioritize what’s important when you keep everything in your head. Think about the time you were searching, searching for your keys in your purse and couldn’t find them. Once you dumped your purse out on the sidewalk, you see your keys ‘clear as day.’
A brain dump of all your tasks isn’t different. You will see clearly what moves the needle on your business.
Step 3: Then I assign the ‘best person’ for the job
Most women leaders look at their to-do list and ask “How will I do all of this?”
A trick I learned from my male leader friends. He looks at the list and puts the name of the best person for the job next to it. YOU don’t have to do everything. Cuts down on the overwhelm by hiring and delegating.
You free up space in your brain to do the bigger picture thinking by writing everything down and strategizing on how to do it.
Step 4: I figure out the ‘big rocks’ and schedule them
The ‘big rocks’ are client deliverables and things I have to do in order to move the needle on my business. I schedule the time blocks where I will work on them during the week.
Barring any big events, these blocks are non negotiable. I use my “OUT OF OFFICE” responder to indicate I am working on a big project and won’t be reachable until _____.
Step 5. I spend a few minutes planning each day, the night before.
The night before, I’m in a different headspace than the ‘morning’ when I already feel that I am chasing the day. I look at my day, and prioritize the most important task I will accomplish that day. The night before allows me to anticipate what I need to do in order to hit the ground running with that task.
I use Brendon Burchard’s ‘High Performance Planner’ because it allows me to visually map out my day to see where the pockets are for doing 1 minute tasks, versus 3 hour tasks.
I like to theme each day of my week to assign tasks under categories: Networking, Innovation, Sales and Marketing, Finances. This way I have a touch point with each aspect of my business each day. Nothing falls through the cracks and it lowers my anxiety once I have parked a task.
You will be ahead of challenges in your business with a system, versus playing ‘whackamole’ as issues come up.
I host a Mastermind teaching these types of best practices. If you know me a little, I also lead with a big element of adventure. I’m currently enrolling the Class of 2024. Apply here.