If you’re like most coaches, you find that Monday rolls around and you are busy doing 1000 things to work on your business….along side the ‘other’ things in your life, perhaps another paying job, your kids, and chores.
As the week wears on, you feel scattered and spread thin, unsure of where to spend your energy.
It’s like you’re clutching at straws – doing Instagram here, email there, attending networking meetings and writing blogs.
Then there’s all the free marketing training and e-books you’re downloading, and the overwhelming load of emails flooding your inbox.
The trouble is, none of it is getting you any traction.
• How can I get clients to contact me?
• How can I reach new people outside the people I know?
• How can I make best use of my limited time?
1. Plan effectively, and
2. Be truly productive.
• You know exactly how you need to spend your precious work time for most effect.
• You have a set marketing schedule to attract a regular stream of clients.
• You have set dates that you use to create compelling calls to action for potential new clients e.g., registrations close on X date, join now!
• You know when you can schedule enough down time to relax.
• You can work in your zone of genius and outsource the stuff you hate.
• You can measure your progress by ticking off a master task and priority list
In a busy world, one of the biggest challenges is creating enough space to step back out of ‘doing’ mode, prioritise your work and plan effectively.
But when you do that, you take powerful steps forward and grow your business steadily, purposefully and professionally, attracting new clients and prospects as you go.
As a coach, you know that when you work with clients, it really helps them to zoom out and get perspective on their lives so they can distinguish real priorities from perceived priorities.
It’s ALSO helpful in your own business.
Busyness, taking on too much, and lack of priorities.
Here’s how to plan effectively in business.
Using the Eisenhower Principle to Plan
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent, and the important.
The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent”.
This statement became the Eisenhower principle, and it’s said to be how the former President organised his workload and priorities.
Time management is about spending your time efficiently and effectively.
It’s about spending your time doing things that achieve outcomes and goals, rather than someone else’s.
The challenge for most people is that we tend to react to what’s urgent, and spend time firefighting and we spend to little time on what’s really important.
Here’s an interpretation of what these squares mean.
1. Important + Urgent = Crisis mode.
There is the unforeseen, and the last minute.
Example: always rescheduling clients because you double book due to poor planning.
2. Not Important + Urgent = Busy.
These are the fiddly tasks that are better of delegated, rescheduled or deleted – but you prioritize them ahead of tasks that earn you income or deliver service.
Example: spending hours answering emails, checking Facebook, updating your website.
3. Important + Not Urgent = Productive.
These are the tasks that achieve tangible outcomes and goals. You need time to do these creatively, properly and without rush.
Example: Advertising, planning, connecting with past clients, following up with new leads.
4. Not Important + Not Urgent = Time Wasting.
These are the menial or fun tasks you do first because it feels like you achieved something, or enjoyed your work. But these tasks block your success.
Example: Tidying your desk, designing next year’s workshop flyer, researching best diaries for 2019, calling a colleague to chat about the weekend.
Where are you currently spending most of YOUR business time?
1. Record your working hours in half hour blocks.
2. Classify every half hour as 1, 2, 3 or 4 according to the table above.
3. Tally up the time spent in each quadrant.
Ideally, you are spending 90% of your business-related time in the Important but Not Urgent quadrant, so you have time and space to do the important work of building your business in a calm, relaxed and creative way.
Planning Effectively – Next Steps
• What are the priority tasks each week?
These are usually planning, marketing, client sessions and invoicing/paying bills.
• Which tasks you can delegate, reschedule or delete?
These are usually administration, detail-focussed tasks, reading emails, social media, research and even blog writing!
After that, it’s a matter at looking at your available time, and scheduling in the priority tasks FIRST.
Productivity means that for a given amount of time, you are producing a result.
And the time required to complete any task is simply the time that you allocate for it.
To wrap it up, planning effectively is the #1 thing that facilitates productivity.
Next, you must create focus with effective time management. Here are 3 tips.
• 1 new Facebook ad posted this week
• 3 past clients contacted on Thursday
• Joint venture proposal developed on Tuesday
• One potential joint venture partner contacted on Friday
Use Time Management Techniques
Then there is just the good old fashioned “turn off your phone” approach.
Wrapping It UP
All that said and done, what works best for you in terms of being focussed, productive and organised?
Let us know your tips in the comments below.