By Robert Middleton - Action Plan Marketing
In my Marketing Mastery Program, I teach all my principles of marketing and give lots of individual coaching and feedback to make sure they understand the strategies, and the processes to implement them effectively.
But I call that "The Easy Part."
The hard part is implementing what you already know. And there seem to be a thousand things conspiring to prevent us from putting our knowledge into action.
One of the biggest ones is simply managing projects and time. And in today's More Clients I want to share a simple but powerful system that really works to keep on top of and move forward with the zillion things you have on your plate.
First, a few things you're probably doing wrong:
1. You have a huge list of things to do and you look at it daily or perhaps it's gotten so overwhelming you don't look at it at all.
2. You don't have a weekly plan of the things you'll commit to doing this week - no matter what.
3. Your daily to-do list, if you have one, is way too long and is not integrated into your daily schedule.
I'll give you solutions to all of these, but the first thing to remember is that you don't have to work insanely hard to get a lot done. I'm someone who gets a lot done but I don't go crazy getting it all done and rarely experience overwhelm.
The big key is Priorities. That is, you want to be working on big things that move your business forward. Not a LOT of things but a FEW things that really matter.
So that brings us to Solution #1 - Your Big List
A Big List is a list of all the things you have to, want to and need to do. The problem with a Big List is that it's usually only ONE list. Big mistake. That only leads to overwhelm.
Every time you look at your Big List you freak out because of all the stuff it contains. You have just SO MUCH TO DO!!
The thing is, you don't. You can only do what you can do today, and not everything on that list is for today. So looking at it every day is a formula for losing the game of getting important things done.
You want to restructure your BIG LIST into a whole bunch of project lists. Marketing projects, client projects, admin project, any kind of project. You can put those project pages into some kind of online system or do what I do - put them in a binder.
When do you look at your project lists? Once a week and only once a week. Never, ever, every single day.
Solution #2 - Your Weekly List
Very few people do this, but you must if you want to get control of things once and for all.
Once a week, on Friday afternoon, the weekend or Monday morning, you leisurely page through your various project lists. Slow down to prevent overwhelm. Now, as you notice an item that needs to be done this week or that you really want to get done this week, you write that item in your Weekly List.
There's one restriction. Only ten items per week. This are not things you'd like to get done, these are things you are planning to get done. That's your productivity game for the week.
As you do this week-by-week you may discover you need to put a few less or a few more items on that list to fill your time. But the game is to only list items you really intend to get done.
Solution #3 - Your Daily List
I call this my Daily Control Panel. What I use is a 2-column full page daily planner with my appointments for the day on the left and my daily to dos on the right.
Each morning I open my planner, look at my appointments and then take a look at my Weekly List and ask myself what I can reasonably fit in today. If I have lots of appointments, I can do less, if fewer appointments, I can do more.
Then my productivity game is to accomplish everything on that list that day. Do I always succeed? No, but I do most of the time. With only ten priority items listed for the week I only have two to four items listed every day.
So every day I'm not scanning a list of a hundred things, going into overwhelm and just doing things frantically to get them off my list. That just stresses you out and you never really feel productive because you're "just doing things."
Instead, I'm moving things forward slowly and surely, step by step. That way, all the big things I want to accomplish get done and the little things (like answering email) get fit in-between the cracks.
If you're a member of the Marketing Club, you can have access to all the forms mentioned above, plus a teleclass on this topic: "How to Manage Overwhelming Lists in Three Easy Steps." Just see the Articles and Reports section.
You can join the marketing Club here and get this and $2,000 worth of hands-on marketing programs for free.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Don't underestimate the forces conspiring to distract you from important projects and tasks. Make it a priority it get organized and create a workable system for planning and time management. It might be the most powerful marketing activity you do this year.
What is your system for getting more priority items done? Please share on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.