So, you have a big Vision that gives you goosebumps and it’s plastered on your wall in huge letters. You’ve started to plan with your team about how together you’ll make that Vision a reality. And you’re all buzzing about the future and cracking on. Great stuff! I can feel the energy from here.
Now, all that’s missing is an effective Personal Management System. Not the sexiest title I’ve come across but even the most inspiring vision, and the smartest of plans will be wasted if you don't have the means to keep yourself on track.
A Personal Management System
Your daily routine is the cornerstone of your personal management system, and should be crammed full of habits that will maximise your productivity, and move you closer to your Vision.
1. Get into the habit of planning your day the evening before (and your week on a Sunday evening). At the end of the day, you’re usually very clear about what still needs to done, what the priorities are, what tomorrow’s frog* will be. Advanced planning like this makes sure that you hit the ground running.
2. Chunk your work into 90 minute segments. This is a good timeframe for focus, and FOCUS is the key word - don’t multi-task - if you’re going to work on a sales letter, work on it for the full 90 minutes, or until it’s done, if you can do it within the 90.
3. Peak Practice - Work out which part of the day you’re at your peak - for me it’s first thing in the morning - and use that 90 minutes to ‘eat your frog’ - *do the thing that you don't necessarily want to do, but that’s weighing you down mentally, because you know you really need to get it done.
Just get focused and eat the damn frog! It’s a really good success habit to get into.
4. Set yourself mini deadlines - always good for those of us who like a bit of last minute pressure - make them ‘drop-dead’-lines too! Absolute must delivers! Breaks are always a good deadline. Holidays are also excellent. Ever noticed how much more you get done in the days leading up to a holiday, or the minutes leading up to any deadline.
5. Switch Off. Both breaks and holidays are essential for your long-term productivity too - refreshing and re-energising your mind and body. The most successful businessmen and women really get this, and have made breaks long and short, a habit they will always keep.
6. Daily Exercise. Other daily routines and success habits that are good for your mind and body, include taking at least 30 minutes exercise a day - even if it’s just a walk down the road and back - and drinking plenty of water - two litres is the recommended amount isn’t it? I’m no scientist, but I can testify to the power of a lunchtime walk for clearing your head and setting you up for a productive afternoon.
For budding entrepreneurs, there are three other personal management essentials:
A Personal Management System takes discipline and time to develop, but when you learn to manage yourself, the business will be a piece of cake!
Do one thing: look back over today/yesterday. Did your work take you towards your Vision? Did you have frog for breakfast? If not, look to adopt these good habits and improve your routines.
For more information on how MPL can help you, contact us here: email@example.com
How often do you hear business people say, 'there just isn't enough time in the day to get everything done that I need to'? How often do we say it ourselves? Once a week? Once a month?
How often do we get to the end of the day asking where the time went, feeling frustrated that we didn't achieve what we set out to? Or miss deadlines that we set ourselves to launch a product, write a chapter of our book, update our website? How many times have we let friends or our family down because we were 'just too busy' to stick to plans we'd made to spend time with them?
It's a common problem, and a big cause of stress for many a business man and woman.
But it doesn't have to be.
Let me ask you a different question... How often do you hear the most successful business people complaining about a lack of time, or being too busy? How often do you think they miss deadlines, or break commitments?
So what's the difference between them and us...how can they run multiple-million pound operations, take several holidays a year, and find time for new projects and products, without breaking sweat, let alone feeling any stress.
Simple...they have a strategy...a personal system for managing their time and their workload. Something that they have developed through trial and error, and refined as their business, and commitments have grown. While we are bumbling into the new year with a half baked set of unspecific, anything but SMART goals, and a jumbled list of things 'to do'...they are following their carefully structured plans, sticking religiously to their daily disciplines, and celebrating the achievement of their milestones.
Time is money...and the most successful business owners don't waste a penny of it.
I have my own strategy too...bits of it are a takeaway from my time at McDonald's, bits I learned from modelling others, and some bits I've developed over time, based on what works for me and what doesn't.
There are a number of elements to it, but in a nutshell it consists of three things:
Regularly asking myself the killer question, 'What am I trying to achieve...and why.'
Planning and scheduling everything
Sticking to a set of daily routines that ensure that I get things done!
It works for me!
What works for you?
If time management is a challenge for you, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)