I have a confession to make.
I’m not a big planner. In my corporate job, I definitely wasn’t known as the super organised one. It’s not like I couldn’t see the value in plans. I definitely could. It’s just not somewhere my brain liked to go. You see the thing is, I’m always so excited to take action, that even the best laid plans ‘to plan’ – well they just went by the wayside.
But when I started my own business I realised things needed to change. If I wanted to feel in control of the direction of my business and maximise my time, well I needed a plan.
Cue project ‘PLAN’.
I was determined to find a way of planning that would work for me.
It needed to be super simple, but it also needed to be effective. I hate spreadsheets, plain and simple. So I needed a more visual way of planning out my time to make sure I was as productive as I could be.
I had lots of failed attempts. But after a while I settled into a routine that I could finally get on board with, something I could stick to and something that got me results. Let the angels rejoice!
Want to know what worked? I call it my ‘Down to the hour’ system. And very simply, I set my goals at an annual level and then break them down and down until I come to individual hours.
My ‘down to the hour’ planning system:
So first I set my goals and intentions for the year, then I plan out the next month (only), then on a Sunday I plan out my next week, and the day before I plan out my next day…then in the morning I break down into hours. And I do this on PAPER, so that I can see it visually as I work through the day.
Simple? But I find it really works. It’s actually something I can stick to.
Why it works…
The only way you achieve ANYTHING – from business results, to being happy, to losing weight, is to do it with intent on a CONSISTENT basis. Consistency is absolutely the key. Think about it…if you want to lose weight or get fitter, you can’t just go to the gym once for a whole day and reach your goals… you need to do a little bit a few times a week over a longer period of time to see results.
Achieving what you want in your business is exactly the same – we’re talking a marathon, not a sprint. Taking small (even tiny) actions towards your goals on a regular basis.
And that’s why, the only way to really get a result is to break your goals down into teeny tiny achievable chunks over a period of time.
And the thing I love about the system is that you can tweak it to suit your needs. So if you like to go digital, you could fill out the planners on your tablet. Or if you like to use a spreadsheet you can do that too, but if you’re creative, like me, you might be equally spreadsheet averse!
And, even better, I can plan the hours in the day to suit my needs. We all work in slightly different ways, so it’s important we can have flexibility in the way we plan our days too. I, for example, am so much more productive in the afternoons – so I plan my big meaty tasks between 2pm and 5pm. So guess when I’m writing this? 3.18pm on a rainy wintry afternoon!
Going from our biggest goals and chunking the actions down into hourly actions, gives us the best chance to succeed. So if you’re serious about growing your business this year, this is the best way.
So why not give it a try? Let me know how you get on.
Make it easy…
And if you want to make it even easier to implement my system, then I have created a downloadable toolkit – called The Creative’s Productivity Toolbox. It’s a completely affordable price and you can download it instantly from my shop. It not only includes all the printable sheets you need (including different planners) to plan your year using my system, it also includes a FREE bonus virtual 30 mins training session with me, which walks you through the whole thing.
To download your copy of The Creative’s Productivity Toolbox, click here.