Just wanted to share with you a couple of tips on how to get more done by structuring your week a little bit differently. There are three techniques that I use all the time. For me, these have really increased the amount that I get done, but also the follow-through that I have which, ultimately, helps my overall income go up as well.
1. Block Out Your Schedule
Some time ago, I realized that life was happening to me and I wanted to happen to life more. I was responding to things happening in my business, rather than looking at what I needed to do to move the needle forward. So, a couple of years ago, I started blocking out my schedule. This entails looking at your week ahead of time and saying, “What do I want to have happen?“ The more that you are able to do this, the more you are able to get done.
For example, every Thursday morning I have a block in my schedule that says ‘Podcasting and Blogging’. I know that, for me, getting my podcast out on a regular basis is going to keep moving the needle forward. For you, it might mean that you’re going to block out when you have counseling appointments, or when you’re going to work on your business, or when you’re writing cheques for people that are working for you so that you can keep scaling your business. Maybe you’re going to have time each week that you’re going to spend on marketing your business. The more that you’re able to block out every week and have a rhythm, so that things happen, the easier it is to get more done.
2. Visualize Your Day
Second, I would say, is prepping. So, making sure that you are not just looking at your schedule a week ahead of time, but the night before as well. Today, for example, I know that one big thing I need to work on this afternoon is my keynote for the Alabama Counseling Association. A couple of thousand people are going to be there, I need to make sure that I really nail that. So, this afternoon, I have several hours that I’ve blocked out for that. I started looking at my schedule yesterday, so that I could start brainstorming and letting my sub-conscious work; being able to think about those things and start getting ideas about what I can add to the keynote.
The more that you prep your brain to be successful, you really start to think about those things so that you can visualize it. In the book, Smarter, Faster, Better, by Charles Duhigg, he talks about how there are certain careers where CEOs, top-performing fire fighters, and people in a variety of fields, do something that’s very common. And, that’s that they visualize their day a touch more than their peers.
So, when you’re visualizing your day, and you’re thinking about those meetings; when you know what to expect, your brain – when it comes into that moment and something happens that isn’t normal to what you had visualized – can respond quicker. This is because you’re going to respond to the stimuli that’s in front of you. So, if there are things that are happening that you’ve already visualized, then, the anomalies that pop up are going to be a lot easier for you to notice and take action on.
So, for fire fighters, what this looks like is, they visualize what a typical burning building looks like. And, those high-achieving fire fighters notice that there is a fire burning in the corner and there normally isn’t a fire in the corner in that same situation. So, they can then respond differently than someone that is maybe newer in the field. In the same way, we want to be visualizing our day so that we can really have an understanding of what we think will happen. Then, if something outside of that happens, we can respond in a way that is going to help us be more successful.
3. Take Action Immediately
Then, the last thing that I do on a regular basis, that helps me get more done in a shorter period of time, is that I take action when things are happening. So, for example, every Thursday morning, I have a meeting with Sam (Chief Marketing Officer) who is based in South Africa. And, if there is something that needs to be done that is really important, I do it right on that call.
If I need to send a proposal to a pre-consulting client, I try to have as much of that prepped ahead of time. This is so that, by the end of the call I can say, ‘Now in your inbox is a summary of our call; here’s a link for payment; here’s your next steps’. So, they’re not waiting and it’s not on my to-do list. The more that you can get done in a meeting and say, ‘Here’s what our next steps are’, the more you can move faster and ensure that people aren’t waiting on you to take action, you’re waiting on them.
So, those are the three things that, for me, help me get more done, stay more efficient, and, ultimately, help more people. Here’s a review:
- Block out your time
- Prep and think about your day ahead of time
- Take action on things as they are happening
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .