You know the secret to the most productive week ever as a business owner? Saying 'no'.
That's the first and most important thing you need to do if you're serious about setting your week up for success.
Saying no to small, 'busy' tasks that only make you feel like you're getting things done, but aren't actually moving you towards your biggest, hairiest goals.
Saying no to unnecessary meetings and calls that eat up blocks of time you could use to focus on the tasks that matter the most in your business.
The biggest enemy to a productive day, week, month, year, and life is busy work that makes you feel like you're moving forward but really just keeps you standing still at the same place.
So, the first thing you need to do is decide right now to only focus on the most high impact tasks.
What does that look like in the real world scenario of planning your week?
Here's a 4-step process to help you have your most productive week ever as a blogger and online entrepreneur:
1) Take stock of all open tasks and goals
Get out your list of annual goals and projects you want to work on in the year (or use my goal-setting post to first get clarity on the larger goals you actually want to focus on and achieve).
Use your annual goals to create a list of ALL the tasks, projects, and goals that are still open and half-done.
One of the biggest mistakes we make when planning our days is to start with fresh new goals and tasks without taking into account work that's already been started and not yet finished.
This creates guilt and that nagging voice in your head that keeps bringing your attention back to the projects that are still waiting to be completed.
So to really make progress, do a brain dump of all the tasks and projects you started and still need to finish.
Next, set a timer for 10 minutes of make a list of all the goals, tasks and projects you want to tackle in the next 30 days.
2) Identify the highest impact goals and tasks
From your brain dump list, identify the goal or project that will have the highest impact on your business and focus on it for the next 30 days (or whatever amount of time is appropriate).
To make sure you have the most productive week, break your high-impact goal or project down into small digestible tasks that you can realistically complete within the timeframe you choose.
So instead of only saying "publish ebook", you want to break that large (and unspecific) goal into specific tasks that give you more focus and direction, such as:
a) Research ebook idea and refine the focus
b) Create an outline for the ebook
c) Write chapters 1-3
d) Write chapters 4-6
e) Design and create worksheets for the ebook
f) Design the ebook cover
g) Create landing page for the ebook, etc.
You see how that's much more specific and how it gives you a clear route to follow to complete your "publish ebook"?
This is one of the key steps in actually achieving your goals, so don't be tempted to skip it.
3) Schedule the tasks wisely
Next, take your list of all the tasks that you need to complete to achieve your goal and finish the project and divide them up into weekly tasks list for the month (or whatever amount of time you give the project).
Remember, don't cram your days with an ambitious list of tasks. We can only really focus on three important tasks a day, so keep that in mind while planning your week.
Unless you have help, you're unlikely to be able to write all the chapters of an e-book, create worksheets for them, and design the cover for the ebook all in one week.
So to make sure you have the most productive week as a business owner, space out the tasks, and whatever amount of time you think you need for each task, begin by allowing yourself double that time, at least in the first week.
Another way to get the most out of your work week is to theme your work days and batch all related tasks so that you're never left guessing what to focus on on any given day.
This way you also don't waste any mental energy switching between unrelated tasks.
Maximum focus = maximum results.
4) Make weekly reviews and recalibration non-negotiable
This is the closing (and most crucial) step that most business owners overlook: a weekly review.
To have the most productive week every week, you must factor in weekly reviews into your schedule.
Pick a day, like a Friday or Saturday, and dedicate a block of time to go over the list of tasks you had to complete that week. Did you finish everything?
If there is anything you didn't have the time or means to finish, add it to your task list for the following week.
By doing this, you achieve three things:
1) you never let incomplete tasks fall through the cracks,
2) you know exactly what you need to work on every day in the next week,
3) you build the habit of consistently working towards the goals that matter most to you.
At your weekly reviews, also consider what worked for you and what didn't. Don't be afraid to recalibrate and fix either how you batch tasks or theme your days.
You might even realise that you need to focus on other projects before the one you're working on. That's fine.
But make a decision and practice sticking with it.
Do what moves you towards your biggest goals most effectively.
MASTER YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIZE THE RIGHT WORK WITH THE FOCUS PLANNER
To have the most productive week ever as a business owner you need discipline, focus, and the ability to identify the goals, projects, and tasks that will be most effective in moving your goals and your business forward.
Ditch the endless to-do list mindset, avoid the temptation to fill your days with small "busy" tasks that don't build towards your larger goals, and take the decision to focus on the tasks that really matter instead.
Work smarter, not harder.
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