A big part of feeling overwhelmed is the lack of time and project management.
Many people say you need to build your confidence, get all your systems in place, etc but the first step (really!) is the time and project management. If you've ever worked for someone else before you started your business, you'll know that it doesn't matter whether you're feeling down, going through a hard time or just not in the mood, you still have to produce results to keep your job. We fail to keep that discipline in our own businesses.
When you're launching your business, program, course or retreat, there are so many things that you need to do simultaneously. Many times, Task E is dependent on Task B but Task B can't start without getting Task A done!
I like to keep things simple and I believe less is more. So I'm going to share with you the tools and the tips I use to keep me productive every day.
1. Know exactly what you want to achieve for the day
It sounds simple but every time I talk to my coaching clients, they aren't doing this. They're in front of their computer for the sake of doing it without really knowing what kind of outcome they want to achieve. So what do you need to achieve on the day?
2. Check in with yourself
Don't wait till you hit the pillow to reflect what you've achieved. You could easily lose a day especially if you have a timeline to stick to. I check in with myself in the afternoons what I've done so far and if I've gotten distracted (with Facebook!), this is a great way to re-focus on my priorities.
- Things to do: It's the never-ending check list of things we need to do from business to buying onions and garlic!
- Priority: I cut and paste whatever is a priority from 'Things To Do' and do a dump into this note.
- Today: From 'Priority', I select the ones I need to complete today into this note. In this note, you should really have only 3-5 things you need to do, otherwise, you'll procrastinate and get distracted.
As you can see, it's super simple and yet very effective.
I schedule everything in my calendar; from grocery, reading time, going for a walk, speaking engagements to coaching sessions. I set reminders to keep me posted.
One of the best way to keep you productive is to check your calendar what you've got on the next day when you finish work today.
5. Say No
I've been receiving increasing number of emails from people wanting to be interviewed, 'quick' business questions, coffee dates and previously, I said yes to everything. However, it was because I wanted to please them and I didn't want to look like a b*tch but saying NO doesn't mean you're being b*tchy. Brendon Burchard says that your inbox is a place for other people's agendas and most of the time it's true.
"What got me to the level of success I'm at today is saying yes to almost every opportunity that comes my way. What will get me to my NEXT level of success is saying NO to almost every opportunity that comes my way"
6. Plan first before action
When you're launching a business, a course, a program or a retreat, it's best to visually plan it out before you start putting any action into it. I say this because there are many tasks that you'll need to do simultaneously. This is where the project management guru in you need to come out. You'll need to think about the duration each task will take, the lead time to create results and also include some buffer time in case Murphy's Law takes place.
You don't need a project management software. A good old spreadsheet will do. Or posting post-it notes on the wall. I personally like to use spreadsheet but it's only a preference.
7. Create milestones to celebrate
Now the one thing that's really important is for you to create mini-milestones rather than waiting for the big results at the end. Creating mini milestones keeps you focussed, shows you when you're off track and it boosts your confidence along the way as well.
So what do you do to keep yourself productive throughout the day? Leave me a comment below and I would love to read it.