Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Doing Something Different Part 3

PLAN YOUR WORK, WORK YOUR PLAN - I really don't think I need to go too much into depth on this step. The thing is, you can't just wish yourself into success, you have to act. A lot of my problem over the last couple years is that I thought that I could just wish myself there... wherever "there" was supposed to be. Turns out you can't do that, you have to act. 

Start with a goal (or as Stephen Covey taught "begin with the end in mind"), and a time frame (I'll write a post about goal-setting too), and then break that goal down until it's in daily chunks. For instance: if I want to make 100 new contacts in 100 days, I need to talk to at least one person everyday. That brings us to the Daily Action Plan. I use a form similar to this journal every*. Single. Freakin. Day. In it, I write down my 6 Most Important Things (6MIT), my appointments, occasionally a reminder to eat lunch, and track the Income Producing Activities (IPAs - so when you hear me talking about that, I don't mean beer**), new contacts, and whatever notes or reminders. It's a great system and I highly recommend it if you're having trouble creating or sticking to a daily action plan.

(*Unless I'm sick or on vacation.)

The Daily Action Plan is for daily time management, but you also need an organized bigger picture. My calendar has spaces highlighted according to the priorities Mary Kay herself taught: faith first, family second, and career third (but not 33rd...); I have spaces highlighted according to the following system and it works for me, your mileage may vary.

G-D: this time is private and set; I don't work on Friday nights with very rare exceptions, and only work a maximum of 2 Saturdays in a month

Health: this is a sub-category of the G-D time because sometimes I need to remind myself of the sacred duty of taking care of my instrument (including setting reminders to have lunch... and sometimes other meals)

Family/Social: we're a single-car family, so I need to sync my schedule with my Schmoogie, and also spend time with him or go do stupid things with my friends

Career: this takes up the bulk of my time, as do the careers of most people I know, but it's also the most flexible. I have a system set up for this too, but you don't really need to know about it. 

Admin stuff/busy work: only stuff that can't be delegated goes into this time. YOU MUST DELEGATE THINGS YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO DO. I think that's a huge sticking point for women when it comes to time management. We think we're supposed to do everything because that's what we're used to, turns out the dishes get just as clean when your husfriend does them; the goodie bags actually look nicer when your assistant assembles them.

So, wrapping it up... There are a lot of strategies for growing your business, but the one thing all of the successful ones have in common is action. A lot of people can go through a job working for someone else without really learning how to manage their time, and there are even some people who can be very successful in business (in the short term) without having a daily action plan, or having any idea what's going on from one day to the next. However, if you want to sustain your successes you really want to at least think about having a longer term plan than just 8am-12n, and 1pm-5pm. 

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