Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.
– Zig Ziglar
Time is a resource that we cannot purchase or replenish; however, we use it unwisely. When you schedule your time, you think about what you want to achieve in a day, week or month. When you schedule your time, you tend to stay on track to accomplish your goals.
Truth is, we cannot manage time. Time continues to march on, time passes, and time really flies when you are having fun. The key to achieving your goals is not in managing time but in managing how you use your time by handling your priorities. The block scheduling guidelines that follow will support you in setting yourself up for success so that your goals and dreams are given the time and attention they are worthy of.
Perhaps you will use an online calendar such as Google to utilize the block scheduling strategies. A paper calendar will work as well. You will just have to spend a bit of extra time to manually fill in repetitive time block slots. If you are more of a visual person, download my free weekly marketing calendar that will keep you focused on the right activities to meet your income goals. Just use whatever tool suits your situation when you schedule your time because the best tool is the one that you will actually use.
First, fill your calendar with all the mandatory items, desired personal and family time such as:
- What time do you awaken each day?
- What is the time requirement for your morning routine?
- Does that include mental focus time to set your intention for the day?
- Do you exercise at set times?
- What about shopping, food preparation, meal times, etc.
- Do you like to take off on Friday afternoons? Saturdays? Sundays?
Do your best to fill in as much of your daily routine as possible so that your schedule accurately reflects your life. This will allow you to have a better handle on the reality of the time available to devote to your goals and business activities.
Next, add any planned vacations, workshops, seminars and networking events you regularly attend in your calendar. Be sure to include the following:
- Regular networking events you attend on a weekly or monthly basis
- Conference calls or online trainings
- Annual conferences/conventions you attend
Make a list of all of the activities involved in reaching your goals and in the day-to-day operation of your business. When creating the list of specific activities, do your best to include them in categories so that you will be able to easily block out time for the same types of activities at the same time. Think of an automotive company’s assembly line for example: it is easier and more time efficient to perform a series of similar tasks at the same time.
For example, telephone calls category would include:
- Follow-up calls to prospects
- calls to potential strategic alliances
- Setting appointments
Category ideas to schedule your time:
- Telephone Calls
- Email, Social Media, Copy-writing, etc.
Sample activities might include:
- Making follow-up phone calls to prospects
- Making calls to strategic partners/alliances
- Send emails after networking events
- Checking email
- Social media activities
- Paying bills
- Filing, organizing, etc.
- Writing, copy-writing (blogging, article writing, sales campaigns)
- Servicing clients (fulfillment and delivery)
- Creating marketing materials
- Continuous learning (teleclasses, reading, studying, etc.)
Once you create this list of activities, create blocks on your calendar so that you have structure for your business and your life. Here is a sample for your reference (of course, your time blocks will have different items to add):
Daily Practice to Schedule Your Time
Your daily practices and habits are your keys to success. One of the most fantastic things I have learned from all successful and accomplished people is that they attribute their success more so to who they became in the process of reaching their goals–even more than achieving the goal itself. For me this personal development aspect of the process is really the best part. And, yes, I am achieving extraordinary results.
- I have been reaching and exceeding my goals
- I am now closing more sales
- Income from unexpected sources comes to me
- I am seeing tangible results from setting up these disciplines
My clients have consistently shared that the inner shifts they experience – shifts in their thought process, their focus, the way they perceive and treat others, in addition to shifts in their belief in themselves has led to them having exceptional results in achieving their goals and increasing their income. This is the key to long-term success. So I hope that you are willing to do the inner work required to achieve the outer results.
What you are doing in this process is not only getting more clients and making more money, you are becoming a master. The daily focus and attention you are putting on your goals will get you what you want right now, in addition to supporting your long term goals.
Make it a daily practice to review your goals, spend time reading your affirmations and visualizing and feeling what it feels like to have achieved your goals.
Your daily practice should include a “business wrap” before you go to sleep at night. Give yourself credit for all the things you did accomplish that day. All too often our last thoughts of the day are about the things we didn’t get done, which can create negative energy. By focusing on what you did well, you are creating a mindset shift that will cause your brain to look for more of those experiences and allow your mind and body to rest and refresh.
Don’t Be a Lone Ranger
Now that you have created your plan of action (hopefully), the best way to ensure success in achieving your goals is by having a team to support, encourage and occasionally give you that kick in the butt that you need to keep moving forward.
- Find an accountability buddy and share your goals and action plans with each other. Set clear expectations on how you want them to respond should you fall off course, as well as how you want to be rewarded and acknowledged when you achieve them.
- Invest in a coach or a mentor who will be there to guide you in the process and support you through new areas of growth and/or challenges that you may encounter.
- Attend seminars and workshops to continuously increase your expertise and stay current on effective strategies to implement your plan. These also provide wonderful opportunities to meet new potential clients, strategic alliances and mastermind partners.
The simple steps that I have share with you over that last five days have made a world of difference on my own journey to achieving my goals. I hope it does the same for you!