As any successful business person knows, you can kill yourself trying to grow your company. You invest and immerse yourself wholly without direction until you’ve stretched yourself so thin that you’re no longer productive in any aspect of your work.
If only you had planned your day better…
By forecasting an orderly work schedule, you’ll preserve both your valuable time and your sanity. Unfortunately, most people start each day off in a fury of tasks and deadlines – without a plan on how to get things done efficiently.
It’s a known fact that stress is a killer. You can wear yourself out mentally and physically by tending to the daily tasks your company demands. Or, you can learn how to plan for tomorrow and realize an even greater success – one that you can enjoy as it happens.
When people don’t plan, they react to their environment… usually in a negative way. How many times have you gone into the office and felt irritated about something someone else has done… or not done?
Productivity requires a positive attitude. If you’re constantly reacting to deadlines, tasks you hadn’t planned on popping up, or other people’s interference with your day, then you’ll be too caught up in the stress of it all to make formidable decisions that will help propel your profits upward.
There has to be a fine balance between planning your day and being flexible enough to handle the unexpected. It would be even worse to have every minute of your day scheduled and then find that something has thrown it off kilter.
You don’t want to paralyze yourself with your planning, but instead use it as a guide – a path to help you get from point A to point B.
Planning doesn’t require a lot of time. You simply have to map it out the night before. It might be okay to set long-term goals, too – but you’ll be better able to schedule your day if you do it the previous night, when you’re more aware of your company’s immediate needs.
Make a comprehensive to-do list. That doesn’t mean every single thing will get done the next day, but you want to have it on paper so that you’ll be able to give it attention at some point.
Every item on your to-do list should have a plan of action. When you know how to get something done, you won’t have to sit there thinking about your next step, which would be a waste of time.
Make a quick estimate of how much time each task in a plan of action will take – to give yourself an idea of how long it will take you to complete that single item on your to-do list.
If any of the tasks require a resource you don’t have at your fingertips, then add the time it will take for you to acquire and set up that tool into your final estimate. You don’t want to underestimate the time it will take you to cross something off of your to-do list.
The reason for this is when you fail to meet your self-imposed deadlines, it can create even more stress than if you had simply worked without a plan in place. While you might want to be Superman for a day, it won’t always happen… things are bound to present themselves as obstacles to your success.
If there are more people connected to the company – from employees to contracted labor – define their roles within the company structure so that some of the tasks can be designated for them to handle.
As you create each tasks, determine what it would cost for you to complete it. For instance, if your time is worth $100/hour, and you’re wasting an hour filling out forms that someone else could do for $8/hour, then you’re losing $92 an hour in profit.
Your time need to be planned out so that you are maximizing your talents but also doing tasks that will have the highest return for your investment of each and every hour. Adding to the above example, your hour could have been used to develop an ad campaign that results in a high conversion rate of traffic to your website.
Don’t forget to add personal goals and time to your schedule. You want it to be flexible enough so that if there’s a family emergency, or if you simply need a break from it all, you won’t throw the entire business into a tailspin just because you’re not physically or mentally involved with the business 24-hours a day.