Over the years, I have learned to focus on the short-term to build long-term success. Some of the productivity systems out there that tout goal setting far off in the future can end up in discouragement. Life is moving too fast and there are too many variables which we cannot control. You may not have planned for the obstacles and failures that inevitably will occur, but your ability to deal with them has a lot to do with your success.
As we get set to focus on the new year, how about avoiding massive goals and resolutions. I think trying to develop one habit which helps you to execute better each week will produce much more change and progress in your work.
Good weeks produce great months and eventually a great year. Here are the things I like to do weekly to help me move the ball forward in my business:
- Define the week. On Sunday evenings or Monday morning, scope out the week and what needs to get done. I have various business systems to manage, but the main thing is to create a task list relevant to each system:
- Sales. The relationships and deals that need touch points, proposals and contact have tasks assigned. This list is my working list for the week.
- Projects. I have an overview of all existing client projects with milestones and To-Do’s. I also review any lingering communication gaps and team deliverables.
- Marketing. The content I need to deliver for my audience needs to be defined in an editorial calendar and task list. These get done early.
- Load the funnel. The tasks for marketing and sales get done early, preferably by Tuesday. This prompts reaction by my clients, prospects and partners.
- React and deliver. The latter part of the week is spent reacting to the things I pushed out on Monday and Tuesday – emails, content, phone calls and project communications.
- Mid-week review. Wednesday is good for reviewing what is left and if anything urgent has crept up. I revisit my lists and ensure I can get everything done that needs to get resolved by Friday. I focus on closing business and projects.
- Clean up. I like to spend Fridays catching up with any loose ends and ensuring the things that needed to get finished are done. The slate should be clean for the next week’s plans.
- Weekend bonus. I like spending weekends reading and writing. It is unstructured time and helps me to continue growing and delivering value in the areas I am passionate about.
It is a cadence I have become accustomed to for years and have found to be quite effective after working through many different types of systems. Your goals are defined and you execute against those in a reasonable and urgent timeframe. After many cycles, you can look back and see the progress of your work from executing consistently.
What are some ways you can become more productive?