How to Hack the Work Week
So the word hack used a lot, especially in my industry. It has been used for many more years than what it has been used everywhere else. But here we are. Nevertheless, let's go through some ideas on how you can make sure that you have efficient tips on how to organise and attack the work week ahead of you.
It is Important to Plan into Five Lots
Most business owners have to have the role of the BDM, the business development manager, as well as the role of the salesperson, the marketer, and sometimes the bookkeeper, depending on the size of your business. So what I'm going to suggest over the next five days when you get to Sunday and you check out what you need to do, plan your day into five spots, five lots of information, five things or five topics that you're going to do every week.
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Start Your Week With an Awesome Monday
Monday is the day that you want to make sure you catch up on any of this stuff that's come through from Friday all the way through to Monday. You want to make sure you schedule out the time accordingly. Have a sneak peek at your emails, starting from the night of Sunday, and just think, "Okay, how long is this going to take?" Allocate that much time trying not to go over, maybe give yourself 20% more, but that's an absolute max. Now, business owners do this already by default a lot of the time. They have this crazy manic Mondays and they don't necessarily put the right amount of time towards doing that and actually getting over the problems.
So all these business owners are everywhere all around the place busy as on a Monday, and that is exactly why Monday is not the day for sales calls, for meeting drop-ins, for organising anything that would have any sort of structure that revolves around another business owner. If you're looking to be bringing on more sales and leads and doing cold calls or any of that crap, don't do it on a Monday. That's not a Monday task. That's a Wednesday or a Thursday task.
What to Do on Tuesday?
Tuesday's the day that businesses get to relax and unwind from the busyness of Monday to catch up over the weekend. Tuesdays are the days you can actually start scheduling in stuff and getting the grunt work done. Not working in the business, but working on the business is what Tuesdays are all about. Tuesdays are the days that you can do the research to find out is there a better accounting package? Is there a better way that we should be marketing our emails? Tuesdays the day that you actually get stuff done.
Wednesday and Thursday would be great days
Once you've got that stuff done, you know that Wednesday is going to be the day you jump out and you start marketing, and you start really pushing your message to business owners. The reason for this is they are in a sense more expecting of this. It's Hump Day, so they're okay, more likely with a call because I know the weekend's going to be coming up a bit sooner. So Wednesday and Thursday are great days to start sprucing your message, bringing on new customers and making sure that the word goes out there.
That’s What Fridays Are For!
Now I'm going to circle back through after I've talked about some of this planning. Goes without saying Fridays, no one wants to hear about sales stuff. No one wants to talk about that. They're not going to be making a decision very easily. The only times you want to talk to someone on a Friday is when there's some message that needs to simmer and sit in their mind over the weekend so you can then talk to them about it not on Monday, but on Tuesday. That's what Fridays are for. If there's some message, maybe you need to talk to a customer about renewing a contract or something like that, but Friday would be okay. It's a soft touchpoint and it's something that you can easily do, organise a lunchtime meeting a half-day Friday, and sit down with them and do that.
So Fridays are fantastic days for that because if they're not going to be making the decision on a Friday, they're definitely not going to be looking to be changing providers or making any huge decisions. But it's something that gives them a bit of time to settle in and think about over the weekend. Whether or not they actually think about it or do anything with it, that's a different story. But I strongly believe that you've placed seed and it'll start growing regardless of whether or not you're paying attention to it. Just think about that when you start talking to different people when you're talking to them on a Friday. Hey, you've had your Friday, half-day, you might've had a sneaky beer at lunch with a prospecting contract renewer. Sounds great, congratulations you. Go, son!
How to Improve a Weekend List?
Now you've jumped to Saturday and we're back to Saturday. How exciting is that? Jumping back to Sunday, you're back into your planning mode, which is great. Have a look at the list when you plan out what you want to achieve, know that you want to achieve at all. Make sure that you keep that information on that list on the list. As you achieve things, even if you've popped them into Outlook and you've popped them in your calendar with the times that you should be achieving things, and the dates that you should be achieving things, whether it be Google Calendar or Outlook or Office 365, or whatever it is that you're using, the tool doesn't matter, the method does. Make sure that when you pop everything in there, you still keep the original list because when you revisit that the following Sunday, you're going to be able to tick a bunch of stuff, and you're going to be so impressed with what you did, and that's going to be the starting list for the following week. We all know shit happens and you don't always get the ability to get everything done on your list that you have, unless you're very new in business and your list is tiny, or you've got some weird disorder where you just don't sleep and I'm jealous of you if that's the situation.
Organising Is the Key to a Great Feeling of Success
Nevertheless, chuck on whatever you didn't do from the previous list. This does two things. It lets you know what was potentially more important from the previous week because now it's been sitting there getting a bit longer in the tooth, but it also gives you some self-affirmation as to what you've been able to achieve when you put these big green done ticks on each of those line items. Once you've done that, that's going to give you a great feeling of success and that's what you want. You want to make sure you're getting these feelings of success because otherwise without that, what would we really be in this business for?
We want to make sure that we're making a difference, and we are pushing each other forward, and we are going all forward and ahead with what we're achieving. Some of the tools that you should be making sure that you're using on a day to day basis: always have a task list, always have a calendar where you have things written in there that give you scheduled times so you know when you're going to be achieving different things. Myself, I've got scheduled in for Tuesdays, every Tuesday, it's called the business blackout day. That is a day where there should be zero interruptions and zero meetings unless I absolutely have to have them, because without the Tuesdays the business doesn't grow, and I don't get to look into the new technologies that are out there. And without that, the business stagnates, and no one wants a stagnating business. So make sure you are using some scheduling tool to have your time available so you can see what you're doing when you're doing it. Make sure you're using task lists so you can see what are the things you need to do. Put a priority next to each of those items, whether or not it's a one to 10 top priority, or it is high to low or whatever it is. You might have just used different coloured pencils, if you're using a piece of paper, whatever it is, make sure that you have a priority list attached to that.
You Must Have These Excel Columns
One of the other things that I do is I have three other columns, so I do mind in Excel and the thread of the columns that I have is, does the task create money, save money or save time? And if it does any of those three, I consider it. If it does none of them, I dismiss it completely and I wonder why I ever wanted to do that idea. Maybe it was just a brain fart after too many beers. Nevertheless, once you've got those three columns and you think about how much money, how much time it can make a difference for you, if it ticks two of those columns, if it saves money and saves time, jumps onto that. Start looking at that. An example of saving time and money would be something as simple as changing your mobile phone provider from one that doesn't have a direct debit to changing one that does automatically take payments out and charges less per month. Straight away that saved time and money, so it's worth devoting an hour or something to that task to be able to save many hours throughout the year of having to reconcile, transfer money, and all that other jazz that goes with it along with if it's a cheaper plan overall, you're winning from both sides, so that's where you need to just double-check what you're doing.
Not Saving Time or Money?
If it's not saving time or money or creating money, there's no point doing it. So make sure your list has clearly defined columns and reasons for the tasks that you're doing. Have rough timelines, but don't punch yourself around if you miss the timelines. If your job does rely upon sitting in front of a screen for extended periods, make sure every 20 minutes just to look away off into the distance and just let your eyes relax a little bit. I love sitting down looking at a candle when I get the opportunity, or sitting outside and I'm checking out what's happening with the plants and any of the wildlife, and I think that's a beautiful thing to do, so jump back. Even if you're doing a refresher, I would suggest any day, especially long days, one or two times where you're absolutely giving you the benefit to be able to have a 20 minute break minimum, to be able to sit there and really unwind before you start focusing on the problem again, because if you work too much, you're not going to be doing very good quality work.
It's Time for the Final Planning
On the Sundays when you're planning, if you're lucky enough to have a few unicorns in your team as I do, make sure that you look at the tasks that you've got ahead of you. If there's more than what you know you're capable of achieving, give them and package them to someone in your business. One of the staff members, your right-hand man, your left-hand lady, whatever it is, make sure that you package that up, and they can then help you out and do that. If you can get the tasks achieved faster, you'll all grow faster as a team.
The Final Word
So have a think about that and make sure that you're patching them up appropriately. Stay good.
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