Episode 6 | Messy Productivity
In this episode of the Messy Back-End of Entrepreneurship, our Expert, Michelle McCullough, Success Coach, helps us with time management, productivity, and actually getting things done.
“Procrastination is just getting things done that were eventually going to be on your to-do list anyway… maybe.” – Unknown
E-mess from Alex Hochhausen from Astronomic Audio (https://www.astronomicaudio.ca/)
I am a solo-entrepreneur having started my business in July of 2018 and now things are really starting to pick-up for me. I am majorly struggling with time management. I frequently find myself looking at my calendar in the morning and say oh man I can’t believe I booked so many meetings today and then by 2 PM I am picking or choosing meetings to cancel or reschedule because I simply can’t make all of them. I don’t want to be that guy who cancels meetings all the time or misses networking events and opportunities to grow my business. So what sort of tools and processes are other solo-preneurs in this group using to keep themselves productive and punctual?
Wendy Maynard – Entrepreneurs face this all the time. It is a huge blessing a huge curse. Entrepreneurs have to learn time management and ways to stay focused. Start with a scheduling calendar to allow others to book time, but you can’t get overbooked. Schedule Once and Acuity are good options. Make sure to give yourself a buffer on meetings in case you go over then you don’t overlap. Second batch similar tasks, so that you are completing similar tasks each day. You may have a day for editing, interviews or calls, and then a day for working on your own business. Studies show that when we switch focus we actually become less effective. Lastly, make sure you are focusing on one activity at a time and not get distracted.
Having a calendar and integrating it in everything else you are doing is number one.
David Eggertsen – Make sure you have your priorities straight. Often times we put urgent things first when really they are not the most important things. Make sure you categorize the tasks you are doing correctly so that you are doing the important things first. Setting apart certain days for certain things is really helpful. Have one day where you don’t schedule anything, so you can use that day to get caught up on the things that you never get to. Friday is a great day to get everything wrapped up for the week, so you can focus on your family over the weekend. It is important to have a calendar and always have it with us. You can also utilize reminders and alarms to make sure you are on track. Try some of these suggestions for a week, then analyze how it went and make adjustments for the next week. It is important to figure out what works best for you.
Take time on Monday morning to reflect on the prior week and make any changes.
Alyssa Burgoyne – If we are already overscheduled and trying to do different tasks at the same time is a huge time waster. Track your time for the task you do until you actually have an accurate figure of how much time they are spending. Set a realistic goal of what you can get done in a day with your data and create a schedule. Alyssa uses the time blocking method. Do the tasks with the highest priority first thing in the morning when you’re fresh. Then throughout the day filter in with other tasks that need to be done. Make sure that your end the day when you need to end to take time to refresh to avoid burnout.
Mel Robbins – 5 Second Rule – The first four hours of your day are the most productive.
Success Coach l Speaker l Strategist l Show Host
Her #1 tip is to get 8 hours of sleep each night. It makes her waking hours more productive.
We are often burning candles at so many ends and trying to do so many things that it can be easy to say I will just stay up and work on this I can get ahead. Then we are not giving our best.
Find out which times of day you are the most energetic and doing the hardest things during those times of the day and doing the easy, mundane, or fun tasks at our least energetic times. Whatever needs us the most, needs us when we are most energetic. We need to be careful about giving projects our leftovers because it is not our best work.
One of the big differences between those that are the most productive and those who aren’t is that they know when they are being productive and when they are not productive.
They shift there focus when they are not being productive quickly back to on purpose tasks.
How do you manage your day?
Michelle uses a daily, weekly and monthly list. It is the regular things that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that are really going to make you feel productive. She uses a spreadsheet that I can access anywhere anytime that has daily activities. The things she does once a week get assigned to a specific day. You can look at the spreadsheet each day and see your daily activities and the weekly activities that you are doing that day as well. She can be prepared and ready to go. Her monthly activities are all assigned a specific day of the month. She puts her to-do list on her calendar so the time is actual blocked off and you are way more effective. Entrepreneurs can only schedule 60-75% of their working time in their calendar because sometimes things have to shift or move.
You need to give yourself flexibility and mirror your to-do list with your calendar.
Her assistants have their own daily, weekly and monthly lists. Part of her ability to grow is to invite people in but to make them productive as well.
The transitions that you make take the most time out of your day, so if you already know what those are it doesn’t take as much effort.
Michelle’s 7th Annual Marketing Blueprint Workshop is November 21 & 22, 2019. www.marketingblueprintworkshop.com