When you are trying to manage your business AND life, this can be a challenge. Maybe you are like many Entrepreneurs and you are hoping that “next week” will finally be “back to normal” and you’ll have a free schedule.
But “next week” never comes, does it?
There will never, ever be enough time to do it all. There will never be weeks or months when you suddenly have a completely clear schedule to do it all.
That’s why I stress getting clear on your PURPOSE so you can simplify your marketing and business goals to those that you can actually accomplish.
I also want to stress that MOST OF YOUR TO-DO list is flexible and should shift based on your current (and changing) priorities.
I often have this conversation with clients (and myself). Usually it is combined with guilt, frustration and feeling like a failure for not doing all of the marketing and business tasks that you put on your list.
It’s also usually combined with a long list of what the “distractions” were — closing new business from referrals, working on important client projects, taking advantage of a new opportunity, or having a big breakthrough in your marketing clarity which took a lot of time. Because of all of this, things just did not get done.
Let me rephrase this — because business was growing, the TO-DO list of things that were necessary to grow the business did not get done.
Or maybe your business idea isn’t ready to launch, you have family priorities or health issues. (More about those in this blog post…)
Kinda funny to beat yourself up on this, huh?
Last week, I told you about Trello.com, my magic solution to make sure things get out of my head and onto a TO-DO list. I love this system because it is FLEXIBLE. You can change the priority at any time.
But putting it on a list is only half the battle. Trello does allow you to assign a date to a task. But for the REALLY important things, you need to put it on your schedule — in relation to all of your other important priorities. Only then can you see if you actually have time to get it done. One 15-min block a day is all you need to get started.
My favorite part about using Google calendar is how easy it is to access from anywhere. My iPad, my iPhone, my computer… they all allow me to add and change my calendar at any time. I share calendars with clients & my family to help us easily plan.
You don’t need to ALWAYS have all of your calendars visible. Toggle them on & off on the left side. But when you are in planning mode, you can turn on the ones you need.
This is a highly scalable system for your business to use. Additional team members and clients will be able to planning together.
My main calendar is synched with TimeTrade. This one is used as my primary working calendar. When something is on this calendar, I’m dedicated to it.
I also have additional calendars which can be layered on top of this one and turned on and off. I use this to get a realistic sense of:
Each week, I block off chunks of time for marketing & business tasks. Exactly what I do each week changes based on my priority. This week I had a 4-hour block and about 20 things that I wanted to crank out. I got about 4 done. They were the most important. The others can wait. If I had not set aside that time, those 4 important ones still would not be done.
Knowing my project workload allows me to take on new work as I wrap up existing projects. Without this, I would have bottlenecks or dry spells. This keeps things moving as smoothly as possible (not perfect, but pretty good!)
Knowing my schedule allows me to drastically scale back on the amount of networking events and marketing activities I do each month. Just this week I got a last-minute call asking if I would mind canceling a regular Mastermind I attend. Without hesitation I said NO — I could see at a glance that I had at least 1 big marketing/networking event each week already PLUS travel, project launches and personal obligations. In the past I would have ADDED something to fill that void. Now I’m more successful with less.
Often, my clients feel like they are “behind” on their marketing & business because they took time to enjoy life. While some business coaches say ” no excuses”, I say “isn’t that why you are your own boss?” Having the lifestyle you desire is a key part of your business. So make it a priority along with everything else.
Schedule in your fun time, family & friends. I’ll admit, I’ve been terrible at this one. But that just makes me an expert on why this is so important! I’ve been scheduling in these things, which has decreased my stress level AND made me more productive in my business. I have a running list of things that I’ll schedule soon (massages, fitness classes, events around town). I also add in ONE thing I do each day just for my health & sanity. So far I’ve only missed a day or so (compared to weeks before I did this!)
For the last 5 years, I’ve wanted to drive to the country to see the fields of sunflowers blooming in September. Yet every year, I forget. LUCKILY, this week I was driving to an appointment and there they were! I took a few minutes and stopped. The videos and photos don’t do it justice — 360 degrees of sunflowers blowing in the wind. I vowed right there to make sure things like this get added into my “busy” schedule. Enjoy this moment of zen at Norrisville Rd & Schuster Rd – Jarrettsville, MD 21084.
And while I was in the field, I had two appointments booked with me using TimeTrade & my Google calendar!! This works when you aren’t working!
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