I often get asked the question, how on earth do you achieve so much in one day? In previous posts I have given tips on how I organise an entire year and work backwards to break that down into weeks. I have also given my tips on batching similar tasks together to increase productivity. Another key factor for my productiveness is scheduling. Some might consider this to be quite boring, however I like to think of it as smart and disciplined. Let me explain.
Schedule regular appointments in advance
It would really irk me when I needed to get an appointment with someone the week I was calling and I was unable to get in. I work on a tight schedule myself so I could understand this. My solution to this problem was to book regular appointments 6 – 12 months in advance. Sounds a bit crazy right? But how would it feel to know that you don’t have to remember to call the chiropractor, dentist, doctor, client, or whoever it may be. I know prior to my long term scheduling that I would remember to call to make an appointment at the worst times – often in the shower, you can relate to that right? Then I’d forget and think about it again a few days later, still with no appointment. It would drive me crazy and these thoughts would often wake me in the middle of the night.
Imagine knowing exactly when your busy times are and being able to determine exactly when you have time available to make both business and personal appointments.
So here’s what I do, I schedule in advance any personal appointments that occur regularly, whether that be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, six weekly or quarterly. Anything that should be repeated during the year is scheduled in advance. Personal examples include health, beauty, children’s sporting events and your own sporting events.
So how does this apply to business? This is applicable to any regular meetings you have with your team, your clients, networking etc. I schedule as much as I can 12 months in advance. Of course, things crop up and times have to be changed. But what this does ensure is that I get the appointment times that are convenient to me and fit within my schedule.
Am I going too far? Do I have time for spontaneity? You’re thinking perhaps I don’t. But what I can tell you is that by having all of these regular appointments lined up I have more free time and I don’t have this constant nagging in my mind that I have forgotten something.
Scheduling ongoing business development projects is super important, but I’m guessing that from my previous post you’ll be able to schedule those on your business development day, right?
Schedule in thinking time
Do you schedule in your thinking time? Sounds a bit farfetched doesn’t it? But tell me this – are you that crazy busy that the days just seem to slip by? Do you think about new ideas or do you only really get a little bit of time here and there to sit with your thoughts? Imagine if you scheduled in some thinking time on your business development day. Perhaps you sit at the beach and let your thoughts run wild. Perhaps you relax over a latte at a cafe or go for a walk and listen to some tunes. Whatever method you choose, unless you schedule it in and “allow” yourself the time to think and create, you will forever be in the busy mode of “doing” business, not “evolving” business.
I can sense some of you creative types resisting this concept. Maybe you think it will stifle your creativity. However, it will enable you to be more organised with non-creative tasks and allow you to unleash your creativeness to another level entirely. And it could skyrocket your business as well. Would that make scheduling worth considering? It would be worth a shot wouldn’t it?
The peace of mind that can come from scheduling is underrated. You know what bookings you have on next month and therefore you know what you are capable of fitting in around that. Scheduling also assists with the ability to say no and stop overloading yourself. That’s a big plus isn’t it?
So you’ve batched your tasks, created different focuses for different days and scheduled all appointments you can for the long term. You can now see what you can achieve for the year and you can see your way to achieving your goals (you do have goals, right?)
With all these efficiency tools in place, not only do you personally become more efficient but so does your business. These efficiencies have a positive impact on your profits, because you have more time to concentrate on the growth of your business. With growth can come increased profits but you still need to keep a eye on expenses to ensure you’re are not undoing all of your hard work.
P.S. Want to learn more about scheduling?
And do you struggle to get things done in your day? Are you super busy keeping up with all the “busy” work in your business? And what about those projects you’ve been dying to implement but can’t find the time?
Click to read about Bizfficiency. The program that will help you take back control over your life, reduce feelings of overwhelm and finally set your business on a growth path.