Make Time or Lose the Time
At the beginning of January, your goals for the year are fresh in your mind. But by February, the post-holiday high starts to die down, and it can be hard to find the motivation to keep going. Many of my clients are struggling with productivity right now, and perhaps you are too. This week’s focus is on successful productivity planning that will help you get over the Q1 Blues.
Needless to say, it’s easy to set goals and be inspired by them. But actually staying on target for completing the tasks requires next-level focus. What type of goal-setting system do you have in place to keep you on target month to month? I love working with aspiring entrepreneurs because this lifestyle is brand new and they are usually excited about the process. Many are often juggling full-time careers and full-time life responsibilities, the truth is, we all could use an outlet to maintain focus.
Let’s dive into this. Having a goal-setting process is very important in order to stay committed. This system is designed to help you start thinking about the changes and results that you want to see for your life or your business. It's very important to have an active plan that creates new habits and routines for finding balance. Trust me, if you are ambitious as my clients are, you will need help balancing your already full plate. Your business idea is valid and you can’t keep waiting for everything around you to be perfectly in place. You have to learn how to be better at balancing it all when things tend to get a bit wobbly.
Holding yourself accountable can be a difficult process. Especially if you are accustomed to a free-flowing lifestyle or used to working with an “employee” mindset. The way you work for others will look totally different from when you work for yourself. As the CEO, you now have to wear all the hats and hold all of the titles and do all of the work. It’s a lot. This is why it's important to hold yourself accountable, just the way that your previous or current employer does. You don't have to be super strict but you do have to have a business mindset in place to be efficient in getting everything on your to-do list done. Keep in mind having an understanding of time blocking and creating workflows does not only work for aspiring entrepreneurs, it will help you to change your mindset too
Pro Tip - A positive mindset paired with a consistent process for creating new habits and routines will help you shine. As an entrepreneur and in your personal life.
Today I've got tips for time blocking and being productive.
Setting your goals is the first place you will start. Grab your notebook and start to dump out all of your ideas. Then work through your list and start to prioritize each of our goals. Then break them down further by creating actionable tasks and putting these tasks on your calendar. May seem unbelievable, but goal setting is just that simple.
Now let’s take this process to the next level. Time to pull out your calendar and give each of these mini-tasks from your goals a specific date on your calendar. Making time in your day mentally and physically to commit and complete these tasks will ensure that your goals are met.
Number one - Understanding and loving your technology.
What type of calendar do you use? Do you still rely on pen and paper? Do you use a journal system for goal setting for calendaring? Or are you reliant on your digital calendar? iCal or Google calendars or Outlook? These are all great sources to help visually see the task that you need to complete on a daily basis. If notifications are triggering for you, then this may take some time to adjust to. Side note will get into that in step 2. I highly recommend using a digital calendar and a paper calendar if that's something that you still are holding on to. Having a digital calendar where you can put your task on a specific day for a specific time frame is going to be the game-changer.
Number two - Use your digital calendar to your advantage.
The top advantage of using your digital calendar is that you will get a notification for each task. Receiving a simple notification will allow you to prepare your mind to shift your focus from one project to the next. So here's how you can prepare a week at a glance to do this. Open your calendar app. And go to a weekly glance. When you see the week at a glance, you will also be able to see the blocks of time you have each day. From there you can add your task to a dedicated time frame (2p - 4p) and itemize exactly what you have to do for that day. The best place to start with this is by adding in your top prioritized responsibilities. Things that you have to be present, for. For example your paid 9 to 5 jobs. Or picking up kids from school or dropping them off at school. Don't forget to add any extracurricular activities, like a soccer game, happy hour with friends, or a preplanned dinner date. Any type of events that you will be required to be away from any free time and have to show up and be present for. These tasks and priorities should be added to your calendar in these specific time blocks first. Next, you will take the empty free time and dedicate those hours to the task required to get your goal for that week accomplished.
If your goal for the week is to record two videos for your YouTube channel. You know that you'll need 4 hours to complete this task, then you need to find time throughout the week to get those things done. Now just recording the video is only the goal The task is required in order to complete that goal. Maybe up to 10 steps. And those 10 steps may require you to spend a dedicated, focused time of 4 hours. This is when understanding each step that you have to take in order to achieve that goal is really important. This is creating an action plan.
See the sample action plan below.
Sample action plan
Step 1. Write script for videos.
Step 2. Prepare recording space and ensure that you will have no interruptions.
Step 3. Pick out the clothes for each video and identify any additional accessories needed for the recording session.
Step 4. Create any visual items needed for your video. Thumbnail graphics, and social media promotional marketing support.
Step 5. Record video.
Step 6. Edit video.
Step 7. Schedule video launch
Step 8. Schedule promotional marketing for social media.
Step 9. Write correlating blog posts or educational resources as needed to support the video.
Step 10. Launch your video.
Get accustomed to building a routine.
You've heard the saying that "Sow a thought, and you reap an act, Sow an act and your reap a habit, Sow a habit and you reap a character, sow a character, and your reap a destiny." Don't worry. It may seem weird or uncomfortable in the beginning. Do your best to stick to it and shift your mindset to be ready for each of your tasks throughout the day. This may also mean being triggered by notifications and adjusting to time sequences. Just hang in there! Before long, your mind will adjust and learn how to shift and pivot as needed and you will have created a new routine.
Protip - Don’t add any extra ( or unnecessary ) pressure to your plate. Make realistic choices with your time and avoid trying to pack too many activities into one timeframe. Focus on being dedicated to that task and shift the window of time as needed. ( Just Pivot ) You'll become better at time-blocking and look forward to your laser-focused productivity hour before you know it.
Productivity happens when you dedicate and commit to doing the work required to see the results that you want. The only person that can stop you from being successful is you. You know you the best and you have to start being disciplined enough to hold yourself accountable to be committed and dedicated to your goals. Now get busy achieving those goals and WIN big this year.
In the Cre8tive Vibes Studios, we offer several tools and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs. Be sure to grab your paperback copy of the 7-Step Formula for Manifesting your Dreams and use the Goal setting planner download to help you achieve your goals.
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