Maximize your time and energy with these concepts.
Because you are the boss, your own boss, you have now have a huge responsibility. Making money. Growing your business. Building your dream.
The concept of running your own show is exhilarating and exciting. It is also a daunting responsibility if you let it. The following 5 activities can help you manage your time, your business life and guide you to profitability
1. PLAN YOUR DAY and PLAN YOUR WEEK.
Simply put, this is the single most important habit you can create to guide you to success. A written plan of attack, whether it is on a digital device or a hand written planner, written activities will keep you on track and help you measure how productive you are for the day and week.
Personally, a written planner works best for me. Because I happened to have a whole bunch left over from my kids, I started using regular old college notebooks. On the left side I layout my goals and tasks for the day/week for personal needs. Personal appointments, chores (i.e. get oil changed on vehicle) and other home orientated “to dos”.
On the right side are my business goals for the day week along with business appointments. MOST IMPORTANTLY!!
Put your # 1 most important “to do” on top and DO NOT move on until that task is completed! It may be the only thing you get done that day, but if is paramount to reaching your business goals, “get ‘er done”. EXAMPLE:
Dec. 6, 2013
# 1 Edit and Publish Blog
# 2 Create FB ad
# 3 Call 5 prospects
# 4 Write first draft of “special offer” e-mail
This keeps you on task without distractions. Many people, including me, like to take care of a few minor details first thing in the morning. Checking for important e-mails, (since so many of us now receive orders/sales online), returning urgent phone calls, and other important, but quickly handled matters, clear up the next time block for your # 1 “To Do”.
After I complete an activity, I take a break to catch up on other details, lunch etc., then dive into # 2.
Common sense also says your # 1 may change. In checking your overnight e-mails, you have a request for an urgent and potentially profitable request for a sales proposal–switch gears. Move the request to # 1, get it done, and move to your new # 2.
Vision ties into planning, but with a different goal and direction. Vision requires some time to clear your mind and see your future. Seeing yourself in a situation you are and can work towards, with a passion which will guide you to success.
Vision boards are an excellent way to clarify your dreams and help you visualize what you want to work. The “why” of why you are working. Using an oversize piece of tag board or heavy duty construction paper, find and attach images of the things you desire.
Mine includes a new pick up, vacations to Paris and the Carribean and a new office. It may sound materialistic and I realize their is a lot more to life than just things, but often these desires help keep us going when we doubt our efforts.
Recently, I added “Vision Cards” to my motivational arsenal. Using 4″ x 6″ index cards, I spot glued photos of my top 7 “things” I want to work for. On the back, I have written the profit center/venture that will contribute specifically towards this goal.
For example, a picture of a 2014 Dodge RAN Charger pick-up is on one side of a card. The written goal of contributing $10,000 to its purchase by selling 3000 copies of my next book in 2014 is on the flip side.
Each day of the week of features a different business activity with the desired benefit attached to the profit producing task.
The Sunday goal is different. Its photograph features people helping people. By working hard, smart and productively, I will be able to help many individuals and families. This may be through teaching, physically helping or financially contributing to those who need and desire an improvement to their lives.
Vision should also include your mid-term and long term goals. Three month, along with 1, 3, and 5 year goals should be written with bench marks to help you see how you are proceeding. Please realize there is nothing wrong with tweaking or completely changing some of these life goals.
Life changes, so should your goals. (Maybe they are not big enough!)
Focus is quite possibly the area requiring the most thought when joining the realm of entrepreneurship. This is particularly true if your activities are working from a home office or workshop.
A few tips.
A) Time block.
Whether you are working at your new dream part time or full time. you need to set the parameters where you are not to be interrupted except for emergencies or brief interactions. When you have your time set to work, it means just that.
B) Business is business.
You are running a business It may seem convenient for you to be the one to run to the store just because you are home. You are not at home, you are at work.
My elderly Mom has a very difficult time grasping this concept. She seems to think that because I work from my home office and don’t have employees anymore (after 23 years) that I can just take time to drive her to run errands or fix something at her house. I have to be firm and direct. (it still does not always work)
C) The 2 D’s. Drive & Desire.
Keeping these 2 attributes in the front in your mind during your daily activities will keep you focused. With focus comes goals being reached. With goals being reached, a successful business is built.
Your dream(s) comes true.
Time is your best friend–misuse of time is your worst enemy. Guard it with your life.
A clarifying example:
Time in a Jar
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz,” and he pulled out a one-gallon, Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. He also produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?
“Everyone in the class yelled, “Yes.”
The time management expert replied, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. He dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. He then asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”
By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” one of them answered.
“Good!” he replied.
He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.
Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”
“No!” the class shouted.
Once again he said, “Good.”
Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!”
“No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life — time with your loved ones, your faith, your education, your dreams, a worthy cause, your friends, teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these big rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.”
So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.
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