Several times a day, I find myself asking the question, “What am I supposed to be doing right now?”
This stems from an approach to booking out my time in which my activities are thoughtful and pre-planned. No more wishy-washiness with my schedule.
I have been trying to leverage this approach for a few months without the desired effect.
See, I wasn’t committing to the work and asking myself the hard questions:
- Is this an activity that is truly important to me?
- And if so, then why am I not doing it as I’d planned?
After a chat with my coach (who rightfully chastised me for celebrating what amounted to a 65% effort in sales outreach I had agreed the previous week was important and to which I was fully committed), I decided to double down on a few items.
First, I was going to knock my sales outreach out of the park. The goal to which I agreed is one solid hour of outreach per day. Not researching, not, futzing around and making coffee, not thinking about outreach. Really doing it.
Second, I was going to make sure this hour was on my calendar each and every day.
And I would live by my calendar.
After a couple of consistent weeks of crushing this KPI, I decided to revisit blocking my calendar out ahead of schedule so that I could create a healthy balance of the four main activities I need to focus upon to keep my business moving forward:
- (The aforementioned) Sales Outreach (1 hour per day)
- Marketing and learning (roughly 40% of my remaining time)
- Client deliverables (about 50%)
- Operations (about 10%)
I also worked in some time for personal items like personal growth, lunch, and exercise.
Here’s what this is looking like currently:
It seems a little overwhelming at first but once one gets used to it, it actually induces a sense of freedom.
I no longer have to think about what I should be doing. It’s all there on my calendar. I revisit my activities every couple of months to make sure everything is still aligned with my business needs (for example moving more slots allotted to Learning/Marketing to sales or production if needed or moving my evening exercise to mid-day once the temperatures drop next winter).
Another pro tip (which I will try to reinforce more when I revamp this again at the end of August) is to carve out larger time slots for single activities and to dedicate more of a single day to particular items. I find I benefit from more time on Mondays for marketing and shifting production to Wednesday, for example.
So to answer my own question, “What am I supposed to be working on now?” It’s all on my calendar.
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