The beginning of a year always feels a little rushed for me. The first day back to work in the new year feels overwhelming and has me thinking how am I going to get everything done? But it is entirely my fault. There is usually a lot going on at the end of a year because of the holidays and trying to wrap up business and clients so that I can take time off, so what starts to happen is I start to push things I should have done into the new year and then start to pile on new goals and intentions. Does any of this sound familiar?
Working on your business
What I am doing is working in my business and not on my business. What is the difference? When you work in your business, your business is governing your work, your clients and the everyday tasks are determining what you work on. When you work on your business, you are governing your business, you are working on your business not working on your work.
And the beginning of the year is a wonderful time to take a look at your business and work on it. So lets take this month and really work on your business.
To work on your business and get everything done, take out a notebook and do a brain dump. Write down everything that you need to do and everything that you want to do over the next year. Get it all on paper.
Then you are going to give everything a priority ranking.
I = Important (must get done working on your business)
U = Urgent (must get done working in your business)
1, 2, 3 = Use numbers to rank the important & urgent tasks in order of priority. 1 is top priority and 3 is lowest priority.
M = Maybe (tasks that you'd like to do, but maybe won't get done and that's OKAY)
D = Delegate (something that can be handed off for someone else to do)
I want you to spend at minimum an hour a day on your important tasks. These are the ones that you need to be doing first. It may help to think of your time in terms of the job title you are performing. Spend at least one hour a day being the CEO of your company. When you look at your tasks you may realize that many of them are Jr. Designer (drawing plans, shopping) tasks or Accountant tasks (expediting, billing).
You need to make sure that you are taking time out of everyday to be the CEO of your company (planning, performance) because companies won't grow without a strong leader and a good foundation. You don't want your company to be run by all Jr. Designers, which is what happens if you never choose to work on your business.
I want you to take all your Important tasks and start to put them into your calendar, into your project management software, your journal, planner or whatever else you use to schedule your time. Give yourself deadlines, they say that a task will take the amount of time that you give it, so be mindful of not giving yourself too much time!
If you don't put things into motion, they won't get done and the first step to putting them into motion is scheduling.
Here are some planning tools that I have used and have enjoyed.