3 Tips for scheduling and planning in business.
“What get’s scheduled gets done.” ― Michael Hyatt,
Time doesn’t change. We can only manage ourselves and what we do. We all have the same amount of time each day but have completely different ways of filling that time up. We need to sleep, eat, do daily chores etc. Some of us must schedule in going to work for other people and those who work for themselves will also have time commitments within their own business. Running your own business involves a lot of hard work and time is needed to get everything done. So, take a step back, appreciate you can only do what you can in your day and move on.
Today’s tips are about scheduling and planning. There is nothing worse than having lists everywhere with no sense of what exactly it is you have to do.
- Use an organiser. Have a method of listing the tasks that need to be done in categories: projects, phone calls, blog posts, creating documents. One way to keep tasks organised is to list each goal you have for your business as a separate project and put what needs to be done for each project into different categories. That way you can clearly see what needs to be done and what you have achieved. Get yourself a large notebook, use a spreadsheet, find an app to list everything. It doesn’t matter which system you have to use as an organiser – just get one. I have a large notebook which I take with me everywhere. It is separated into projects so I can quickly write down tasks that pop up, ideas for new projects and anything else that needs doing – all in one place; no bits of paper that get lost behind the printer! I also use an app which logs all my major goals and prompts me to go into real depth about them so I can see if they are viable. It also has a daily reminder for important tasks which is very useful – Brian Tracy – Goals Wizard.
- Use a calendar. Whether it is a paper based calendar or you use one on your laptop. It doesn’t matter. But what is important is that you use it. You need to be able to see at a glance what is coming up to make sure you don’t double book yourself. I have three systems in place for this, but you might not need this much.
- My wall calendar at home has space for each family member. We log working days, rest days, appointments, holidays and birthdays. The usual things a family needs to see at a glance what is coming up each week.
- My A4 sized diary has two pages per day set out in half hourly timings from 9am to 10:30pm. I write in everything I need to schedule that involves my physical time and attention for my business. From Facebook lives to client sessions and workshops. I can see at a glance what is happening in my business at any given time and helps me link things I am doing so I can make sure there is consistency in what I have planned. I like writing things down as it helps me focus on what is important. The first thing I do for is to schedule two review sessions at the beginning and end of each week. I find it important to use these sessions to plan the week ahead and see what is coming up and adjust where needed, but equally important to review how the week went and take any necessary action. You may not need this if you are happy to have an online version.
- My online calendar. My phone is synced to my ipad and laptop so I can always have a way of knowing what is going on. I use Google calendar to basically replicate what is in my paper diary because it helps to colour code, block time out, set up recurring appointments etc. A useful tip is to first put in your family time and commitments; this is so important. Don’t let that side of your life take a back seat. There is nothing worse than feeling guilty for running late or missing out on important time for yourself or your loved ones. So make sure you schedule in some time out to refresh each week; it is so important to keep the brain functioning well for positive productivity and efficiency. A tired mind soon gets things muddled and overwhelm creeps in before you know it.
- Create a daily plan. Plan your day before you start. Schedule in 15 minutes at the end of each day to plan for the next day and 15 minutes at the start of each day to tweak what you have planned. This will give you a good overview of how your day will pan out and you won’t get caught out with something. That way your main task for the day is to stick to the plan as best you can.
Finally, make sure you know what your goals are when you schedule a plan. You should be engaging in activities that support both your long-term and short-term business goals. Ask yourself this – what is it you are doing? What is the purpose of each task? Your daily plan should be organised around activities and tasks that are directly related to growing your business and generating an income.