Optimizing Your Year – To get More of the Important Stuff Done – Part 1

By | Category: Lead Story, Mindset, Strategic Planning, Time Management

In a world where being a “workaholic” is a badge of pride; I sometimes feel a little shy when people hear I am taking another day or week off. But creating a business that allows me to be financially successful and enjoy my life is very important to me. (I am going to share something very personal to me that has been the major influence in designing my life and business to be able to have time with my family.)

My dad, who was not only my dad but my own Tony Robbins and Tom Hopkins – motivation and sales coach rolled into one, and mentor to me, died at only 56 years old. He was very successful, financially, but he died with a huge list of dreams and goals still on his list. He had passed on many family trips and activities because he was working. That is why it has become my mission to help entrepreneurs not only increase their sales and profit, but to be able to have time to enjoy with their loved ones.

Here is how I manage to take at least 8 weeks off each year. There are two different parts to this process:

1.   Scheduling

2.   Strategizing and Planning (I will cover this in Part 2 in next week’s newsletter)

Scheduling: To do this exercise, you need a printed calendar, and three markers (like red, blue, and green).

1.   Go through your calendar and put red dots or color the box red for all of the days you want to take off each year. I do this by starting with the days my kids are off school and weekends.  I add in holidays and any extra time off around the holidays. Then I consult with my hubby to figure out our vacation schedule, a few weeks on the lake, and a week in Arizona for the kids to see grandma.

Once this is laid out, it will make it easier for you to make quick decisions.  I recently got an email for an annual conference I usually attend for next year. One quick glance at my schedule and my decision was an easy no, since it is Spring Break Week for my kids.

2. Now, with the Green Marker, you are going to mark out all of your days working “in” your business. This is when you are making money with your services or selling your products.  This may take a big mindset for you if you are currently in reactive mode, and just do what needs your urgent attention.

For example, I have set up Tuesday through Thursday as my working ‘in’ the business days, so those are my coaching days.

3. The third step is the part most business owners are currently missing, and it is why your business is either stuck at the same level, growing very slowly, or even declining each year. It is planning time to work ON your business.  This is the time spent on strategizing, creating new products or services, and improving your business.  This is not time doing administrative activities, those should be delegated.

I usually work ‘on’ my business on Mondays and Fridays, for at least half a day.  I modify it to a half day on Thursday in the summer when I take Fridays off.  These days are just as important as a meeting with clients.

By taking the time to plan out your year, you will get more done, be more focused, and have more time off.

*In Part 2, I will cover what else you should be doing in your strategic business planning.

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