With the New Year upon us, I have been taking time to map out where I want to be professionally. For many (myself included), it is easy to get caught up in everyday life and not take time out to work on your business. There are work assignments that need to get done, blogs to write, emails that need to be sent, schedules that need to be coordinated and presentations that need to be written. And that’s just the work side of things. I won’t even get into all of the family, friend, volunteer and community commitments.
It is hard to take a break from all of this busy-ness and just focus on our businesses. However, coming up with a plan (and sticking to it) is essential if you want to keep the momentum going in your business. If you don’t change anything, then you can’t expect anything to change. Check out my tips below to help squeeze some business planning into your busy schedule:
Find your me time. Find that time during your day when you can focus just on you and your business. It took me a long time to find the right time for me but now I have a set schedule that I am religious about following. Every morning, I wake up super early when everyone in my house is fast asleep. During this time, I read a business book, review my goals for the upcoming year and map out my day in connection with my goals. When mapping out my day I ask myself what needs to get done in order to get closer to my goals. If something isn’t aligned with my business goals, it doesn’t make it onto my to-do list. It’s as simple as that.
Banish (or at least cut back) distractions. I read that Canadians watched an average of 26 hours of TV per week in 2016. 26 hours! That is over one day per week staring at a box, essentially doing nothing. Imagine what you could get done if you cut out even 1 hour per day of TV time. And don’t get me started on all of the other distractions that turn us into zombies everyday – scrolling through social media, playing games on our phones, etc. I’m not suggesting you do anything drastic like cut out TV or instagram (OMG!), but it wouldn’t hurt to cut out 1 hour of TV per week. That’s 7 extra hours of time per week that you get back. Seven!
Since I don’t watch much TV, what I have done is use social media purposefully. That means I don’t just scroll through my feed because I’m bored or procrastinating. I go onto social media to interact with my clients and also those businesses/people that I would like to become my clients. I also set a timer on my phone and once that timer goes off, I turn off social media and move onto something else.
Outsource, outsource, outsource. You know those tasks that you dread doing? The ones that don’t interest you but need to get done. The ones that take forever or that you put off until they are overdue. Stop doing them! For real, stop. Well, I don’t just stop doing them altogether, but find someone that you can outsource these tasks to in order to free up your time and focus on what you do best. For me, taking care of the financial side of my business was not an efficient use of my time. Hiring a bookkeeper who loves what he does and takes care of all of my expenses and invoices was such a game changer for me.
Leave that stuff up to the professionals! Trust me, there are people out there who actually like doing the tasks that you dread. Take me for example. I love drafting and reviewing contracts. I realize that makes me sound like a huge dork, but it’s what I have always loved to do. So when lawyers are super swamped, or not interested in reviewing certain agreements, they know that they can call me and I am thrilled to take on these types of contracts. Reviewing contracts is what I love to do and I have set up my business to focus almost exclusively on drafting legal contracts. You can click here to see all of the types of contracts that I help businesses draft. You need to find people who you trust to pass these tasks on to, so that you can focus on what you love to do. Get back to what you do best so that you can increase your bottom line.
Once you have managed to find your elusive me time, cut back on zombie-like distractions and outsource the work you are not interested in doing, you will have much more time in your day to focus on those activities that will set you up for success. It’s such a valuable way to set yourself up for success. What are you waiting for?
What about you? What do you do to set yourself up for success?