At the beginning of each week, sit down and review where you are as compared to the goals you need to achieve. Based on this review, determine what Activities you need to initiate – these activities will determine where “you” will use your time. To the extent practical and possible, your activities (tasks or to do’s) should fall into one, several or all of the following four categories:
- Making Money – Client work, doing the things that you get paid for. Pretty simple, right? Well, you would be surprised to learn that not everyone plans time to make money on a weekly or consistent basis. And, if you don’t plan for it, it will not happen. After you get past all of the emotion, going broke is actually pretty simple, also.
- Positioning Yourself to Make Money – Business development activities, managing your sales funnel, executing lead generation strategies, building your network of referral partners, talking to customers about earning referrals from them, talking to existing or past customers (only the better ones) about re-orders or additional things they can buy from you. All of these activities (and others not listed here) give you the opportunity to take a front of mind position in the mind of your customer or prospect.
- Behind The Scenes – Admin work, business improvement activities (i.e., working on your website, newsletter content, etc.), periodically re-evaluating your marketing and branding message, evaluating new products and services, training employees to deliver on the product/service promise you make to your customers/clients, developing systems and procedures to improve how your business functions.
- Taking a Time Out – That’s right, taking a break, getting away from it all. Now someone reading this is thinking, “No way, can’t do that, it’s just not possible.” My response, “it is doable, if you really want to do it.” Here’s a fact: When you change the scenery and pursue something non-business related, you actually sharpen your mind to be more effective when you get back into business. Stephen Covey called it “sharpening the saw.” It’s ok to have fun or to zone out. You could spend the time on some learning or personal improvement activities—something that will help you improve which in turn will have a positive impact on your business.
Now, how you allocate your time to each of these four categories will vary from day-to-day, as well as from week-to-week. There is no standard formula to apply. How you manage yourself is a function of what needs to be done (and that could include a surprise crisis) to keep you moving forward to achieve your goals and make your vision a reality. One last point: If you don’t have anything that resembles a vision or a plan or meaningful goals, then just forget everything you’ve just read and keep doing whatever you’re doing until you finally wear yourself down into complete mental and physical exhaustion. Maybe then, you’ll get it!
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