Now more than ever, we need help being productive. My panel on Getting It All Done sponsored by SCORE.org was canceled last week but I had some great tips to share with the audience. Not sure when it will get rescheduled so I’m sharing here. Our moderator, SCORE volunteer Meilisa Holek planned several questions:
1. How do you plan for your day and when?
I have to-do lists on notepads for each area of my life, They are divided by time sensitivity and each area of my work and life. Time Sensitive, Medium-term, Long-term.
On the notepads for each thing I love the to-do list to the next page and rewrite it weekly, removing the things I’ve accomplished. I keep a paper calendar on my desk so I can visualize what my week looks like. I slot in workouts, work time and time for being social.
Compartmentalize – I try to only work on one thing at a time. If it’s family paperwork – just that. If it’s sales and marketing – just that. If it’s client follow-up – just that. It’s so easy to get pulled in so many different directions, that compartmentalization makes life easier and keeps you focused.
2. How do you structure your time and prioritize to accomplish your goals?
For me, most mornings I work out, whether it’s a trip to the gym (gym’s closed now, so I got to my basement treadmill and free weights) or a dog walk. Then I get my work items done. I also make sure I have family and friends time (doing this on video now). Sports take a front seat as well, because that time counts as socialization and exercise. Tennis and paddle tennis are ok I think, if we take precautions.
3. What do you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
Just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In my book, VentureMom: From Idea to Income in Just 12 Weeks, I talk about branding your business in a week. Pick two colors and two fonts. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to get done. Better to get something done in a less than perfect way, than to spend countless hours talking about getting it done.
4. What are some actionable tips you can share, especially for new business owners?
Make a list of things to accomplish each week on Sunday night. Review it on Friday. Catch up on the weekend. Plan again on Sunday. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. People love to be helpful.
5. How do you set realistic expectations and boundaries?
Compartmentalize – only work on that ONE THING. No laundry · No emails · No phone calls · Just work · Just family.
6. What is one thing that was frustrating to you initially that you had to overcome in order to be successful?
The constant barrage of emails, texts and social media always at your fingertips wherever you go. I like to set aside time to answer work emails and personal emails so I don’t get sucked into wasting time.
7. What do you continue to work on even after having a business for years?
Systems: At VentureMom, we try to set up systems for things that need to happen on a regular basis. For example, we set up our monthly social media plan a month ahead and during the last week of each month. It’s written and planned and then my assistant cues it up. We have a system and it helps us get it done each month.
Delegate: Get help. Do what you do best. Hire others to do the rest. Graphics are a real challenge for me, so I have my assistant help with anything that requires more than cutting and pasting a photo.
Schedules: Setting a schedule and sticking to it helps me accomplish my goals.
Goals: Set short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals and review them on a regular basis.
I’d love to hear your tips and tricks for getting it all done. Respond on the VentureMom Facebook page.