Five Simple Steps to Getting More Done This Year!
Five Simple Steps to Getting More Done This Year! Have you ever looked at your ToDo List and found it keeps growing and growing and the same things seem to stay on the list forever? They simply don't get done?
That used to happen to me, too. In fact, it happens to everyone at one time or another. Over the years, I've tried almost every calendar and time management system out there - and spent hundreds of dollars on time management books and CDs. I tried them, and some things worked some of the time. Nothing really worked all of the time. My ToDo List kept on growing and growing.
I was always inspired at the start of a new year - and promised myself that this year would really be different. I'd stay on top of my ToDo List and get everything done. Part way through the year, I'd be discouraged to find that my ToDo List was still longer than my day. And things I'd wanted to finish were still on the list.
And at the end of the year, I'd start to get inspired again, and want to try something new.
Finally, I got fed up with it, and designed my own calendar system. It's my own Project Manager. And it really does keep me on track with everything I'm doing.
It works so well, I can't wait to share it with you. Here's how it works - and I've included an outline to make it easier for you to use it for your own business:
First of all, write down your Vision for your business and your life for the next year. Follow the outline at the end of this article. Pick your Top 3 projects and schedule them into your calendar system. Outline to follow.
Be sure to keep the appointments you make for yourself. The appointments you make for yourself for your Top 3 projects are at least as important as the ones you make with your clients.
Outline for Getting More Done This Year
1. Create your Vision. Write a brief description of your Vision for the year. Where do you want to be a year from now? Include both your business and your personal goals and Vision. Write it like a story. Take some time now and once a week to create the picture of your Ideal Year. Think of it like a movie, and that you're in the movie. What clients do you want to work with? Where do you want to work and live? What are your Ideal clients like?
2. Pick your Top 3 Projects for the Year. Make a list of all the projects you want to do this year. Think of everything you want to do as a project. For example, if you want to write a book, write "Write a book" on your list. Or "Get 25% more clients". Or "Go to a conference to network and for my own professional development". Brainstorm and make a list of all the possible projects you could do. Don't eliminate any now - simply write them all down. Then after you have a long list, pick your Top 3 and write them on a separate piece of paper for each one. Add the "Why" and the "By When Date". See the sample at the end of this article.
Project Why By When Write a book on XXX Be the recognized Expert June 1, 2008
3. What Will It Take? On the piece of paper that has your Top 3 Projects for the year, write "What Will It Take?" That is, what will it take to do each of your projects. For example, you may write, "schedule an hour a day" or "go to a conference to learn how to write and market books". Then write a "By When" date after each one. You'll schedule these dates in your calendar.
4. Make your Yearly Project Calendar. Write your "By When" dates in your calendar system. You can use a paper system or a calendar on the computer (Outlook, ACT! or another contact manager). For example, write on June 1, 2008 - "Book finished". For each month between January and June, write how much of your book will be finished that month. For example, in January, you might write, "Book outline finished" on January 30th. For February, you might write, "Chapters 1-3 finished" on February 28th.
Schedule in your calendar each of the things on your list of "What Will It Take?" For example, if you want to finish your book outline by January 30th, and you must research other books on the same subject, schedule a day or two (or evenings) to do the "book research" before January 30th. Write these in pen, and give them the same importance you give to client appointments. They are commitments to yourself.
Do this for each of your Top 3 projects.
Now, look at the deadlines for each month, and give each month a theme. That is, your primary focus for the month. Staying with the book example, January's theme could be "research and proposal". And February could be "writing", and March could be "book marketing plan".
You now have your deadlines and target By When dates in your calendar.
Each week, review your calendar and write down your Top 3 Focus Areas for each week. I recommend writing them on the Monday page of your calendar, at the top. Find the best place for you. A Post-it Note also works, and you can move it from day to day so you really keep it in focus. For example, for the week of January 14th, your Top 3 may be:
a. Research target audience for book (Book project)
b. Research books on the same subject (Book project)
c. Pick and fine-tune my Niche (Get 25% more clients project)
Schedule appointments for yourself to do each of these. For example, do the research for the book on Tuesday afternoon on the Internet and Saturday morning. And research on your Niche on Thursday morning.
5. Review Your Progress. At the end of the week, review your progress for the week toward each of your Top 3 projects. If you didn't make the progress you wanted, schedule some extra time the following week. And decide which other things you'll set aside or take off your ToDo List in order to have the time to spend on your Top 3 projects. Perhaps it's getting up 30 minutes early. Or not watching TV for an hour. Keep your Top 3 Projects at your highest priority.
An Insider Tip for you: Block out some time on your calendar every Friday afternoon to catch up with unscheduled things that came up, or to devote to your Top 3 projects. That way you have some flexibility built into your week every week.
Sample of Top 3 Projects for the Year
Project: Write a book on Making More Money
Why: Be the recognized Expert
By When: June 1, 2008
What Will It Take?
Research the target audience by January 15, 2008
Research books on the same subject by January 15, 2008
Create my own Exclusive Proprietary system for making more money by January 20, 2008
Learn how to write a book proposal and book marketing plan by February 28, 2008
Theme for the month:
January - research and proposal & 25% more clients
February - book marketing plan & 25% more clients
March - write chapters 1-5 & 25% more clients
April - write chapters 6-10 (by now you have 25% more clients - so you can focus on your book!)
May - manuscript to editor
June - book finished
July - manuscript to publisher (if self-publishing)
Use this outline for your top 3 projects:
What Will It Take?
Then outline the theme(s) for each month.
About the Author:
Jan Wallen works with companies that want significant sales results. Jan is action- and results-oriented. Once you start working together, she is 100% committed to significant sales results for you. To learn more, call (646) 485-4059 or go to www.janwallen.com
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