Get a grip on that schedule!
Being in business, especially sales, can be an exciting adventure! Every day, we hold our future in our own hands – we get to choose which direction we’ll go, where to invest our time, what products we’ll sell, which services we will offer to the world. We can plan our days, and schedule our life as we feel best.
But – have you ever found yourself feeling like something is just not working for you with how you are spending your time?
· Does it feel like your schedule is running YOU? Or do you run your schedule?
· Does your calendar fill up with too many appointments, and no time to plan ahead, no time to review your current status, or make decisions to change things up?
· Are you just keeping up with an endless list of tasks, and you’re no longer sure how they’re related to your business success? It’s so easy to get caught in responding to the Urgent, and not paying attention to the Important parts of our business life.
· Do you find yourself frazzled, with “all work and no play” on your schedule, and no time to rest and refresh?
Good news for you: It’s still only January! You’re just starting this year of 2017. You can block out some time to take charge of your schedule – for the whole year ahead. By planning out your calendar for the year, you get a chance to make sure there’s room in your life for the “big rocks” of your Priorities. What’s most important to you? Save time for it right now. Plan it right into your day’s calendar, on a one-time or a regular, consistent basis. Here’s how:
1) Get a 2017 calendar with separate pages for each month (free printable calendar sheets available here). Or use an online system that works for you.
2) Determine your list of priorities, both one-time events and regular events and the amount of time you will commit to them. Then decide when you’ll do these events, and block them out on your calendar page for that (or every) month.
a. Personal and Family Commitments: Block out time for a family vacation, planned get-aways and holiday weekends, birthdays and other special events you know will occur. You’re choosing to make time for the important connections in your life. Does this include “turning off” your business mind at 5 or 6 each evening?
b. Your known Business Commitments: Now schedule in that 3-day Business retreat that you’ve always wanted to do quarterly to review progress and make new plans; mark out time for that conference you want to attend; add in the Gold Star Referral Club meetings you attend weekly to help build your business with Referrals. Save time for cross-clubbing on whatever basis works for you. Decide when you’ll have Staff Meetings – and make sure it’s on that schedule. Plan it all in – write it on your calendar.
c. Strategic Planning Commitments: Here’s where you work through your business plan for the year. What will be your business’ theme for each month? What will you build your 60-second Gold Star presentations around for each week? What would a good referral look like for you in July, given your climate, the holiday celebrations, etc.? Writing this out ahead of time means you won’t be making a split-second decision – you’ll have time to think it through and do it well.
What’s your company’s action focus in February – do you have a campaign you want to run that centers on heart designs, or on Presidents’ Day verbiage and images? And will you make March your Employee Appreciation month, scheduling in a special lunch and preparing greeting cards for each one? Should April be the month you review all your Marketing materials – checking out your website design, updating your flyers, refocusing your business cards? Etc., etc.
Once you make your strategic business decisions, mark them out in BOLD on your calendar for that month. Keep yourself accountable – “plan your work and then work your plan”.
d) Follow this up with blocking out time for daily/weekly “housekeeping” functions that help your business run: Perhaps you need an hour a day to “Review Email” and respond. Maybe you must order raw materials on a regular basis. You might stay current with your Social Media program at 3 pm every day. Perhaps you post your blog every Monday at 9 or you contact your virtual assistant at noon on Tuesdays. Whatever these necessary time investments are, plan them in your calendar.
I promise that if you take time out to follow this foundational time strategy, you’re going to feel much more in charge of your own business, your own destiny. You’ll know you are running the show! And you will reap the rewards of this orderly process in renewed business success.