Do Not Manage Your Time, Manage Your List

Managing Your List Not Your Time

Are you working 10 hour days 7 days a week at your business? Do you feel as if you never catch up, worse yet, do you fall even further behind? If you are always exhausted it could be your time management system is letting you down. I worked that way for 6 months. Everyone kept telling me how I should manage my time, only it didn't  work for me. I had a calendar whose hours were filled with tasks I couldn't complete. Leaving me feeling frustrated and a failure. After some thought, I have chosen to use the list and calendar making method that has worked so well for me in my personal life. This allows me to  rinse and repeat my tasks yearly and seasonally.  I believe when you manage your list, your time falls into place. 

Don't Manage Your Time Manage Your List

Yearly Quarterly Monthly Weekly Daily

Your yearly business calendar should include the "why" of what you do. These are the big picture things that drive it forward. Although your daily to-do list isn't going to reflect this in a direct manner, the way that you execute your list will. If you haven't thought of your "why" then consider these very basic reasons.

  • A good set of core values will guide you and your business on the right path as you deal with people.
  • Your vision for the future of your business is what will keep you excited about creating new projects and looking forward to each new day.
  • Excellent client/customer service where you listen to their needs/ wants will keep consumers coming back for more of what you have to offer.
  • Clearly defined financial goals that are specific, achievable, measurable, and flexible let you know how you are doing and where changes need to be made.

Your quarterly editorial calendar is where you will outline your larger content projects. So your list of a few days ahead might read dental appointment 10 AM, pick up dry cleaning and fill in the quarterly calendar.  At this point, it might be nothing more than the phrase blog post every Tuesday or email every Friday that you write down. Here too is where you will write in product launch for June 30, and module creation slots for various days in the previous 8-10 weeks. You will also likely have a webinar penciled in for June 29 or 30. AD campaigns are also something  you want to consider in advance. When you plan in advance like this you are better able to create themed content.   

Your monthly calendar is where that central idea or theme that you're going for should be finalized. Here your list days ahead might say May 3,  blog post How To train Your Dog To Fetch, May 10, The Proper Way To Bathe Your Dog May 17, Recipes For Home Made Dog Treats. All of your projects, campaigns, and ideas should support one another.

Your weekly calendar is a place for fine tuning your process. So that on say May 2, your list has research training tips, take photos of your dog, and write your blog post.
So your daily list should not have 27 things on it. Seriously, 3-5 important items that directly promote your goals for the day and by extension the week, the month, and the quarter. These listed items need to be completed tasks and/or pieces of your larger projects.

"The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities"
  Steven Covey 

I hope you find this useful and I welcome all comments.

  ~~ Joyce