The other day I had a coffee with a client…and a good friend. She dragged out her ‘to-do’ list…it was typewritten and ran over to a second page…the list seemed to go on and on…all 38 ‘thing’s she wanted to get done’ by yesterday…work problems at their finest!!
My eyes glazed over, and my brain immediately went to…how on earth is she going to get all that done?…if my eyes hurt, I could not imagine how she was feeling.
The dangers of a ‘to-do’ list are real…in business this type of thing can completely send you into overwhelm.
Not to mention overwhelm is the killer of dreams.
We have just started the fourth quarter of the year, planning is underway for 2019…and if you have a list of 38 things on your ‘to-do’ list…you may have a problem.
Rather than a random list of things, some of which have multiple steps…consider the 90-day plan…it may be an oldie…but it is a goodie.
The Festive Season Is Coming
The festive season is one of my favourite times in the year. People relax, it’s school holidays…one big chill out time.
With that said, there are many businesses who dread this time…if you’re in hospitality or tourism, it’s the annual ‘get smashed’ time of year…exhausting but well worth it with cash in the bank.
For others, it may be a time where cashflow becomes a problem, those in the service industry such as gyms, health and wellness to name a few, massive work problems every year.
It’s October and thoughts of planning for January and beyond should be the focus…however, if you’re like many people I speak to…let’s take a look at the next 12 weeks and finish the year the way you planned.
It’s 11 weeks till Christmas, 77 days to be exact ( from today…9th October). Obviously, many businesses who do close over Christmas, or who have challenges around cash flow, now is the time to start focusing on what you need to do and get done to enjoy your break with a strong cash flow.
What have you got left to achieve from the goals you set at the beginning of the year…for many, time passes, things change, which means goals may not be the same as they were 9 months ago.
Specifically, how many sales, how many clients or customers do you need to meet your financial goal and what social media do you need to plan, prepare, and schedule…so you can have your break without any headaches (or heartaches like last year) with anything to do with business.
There are loads of productivity tools, efficiency formulas out there, and finding what works can be a challenge.
The 90 Day Plan
This is something I learnt when I first launched Nurse Power in 2011, I found the detail a little challenging, but still super useful to stay on target with the main areas I wanted to grow my business in.
My work problems became manageable…there will always be problems, you just want better problems.
What I would love you to do to start with, is to choose your goal for the day you would like to finish up with the hard work because of course, you don’t want to be working right up till Christmas…unless you have to.
It’s 12 weeks from now, the chaos of December is over and you have shut the doors on this last day of trading, how do you want to feel?
What will you be doing? Who is with you? What is the quarter goals you have just kicked? What rewards have you planned?
For me, it goes something like this… It’s 5 O’clock on the 21st of December. The last email is sent, Facebook posts scheduled, courses written and sales funnels running like clockwork. YEAH!!!
There are three weeks of just hanging at home ahead of me, swimming in the pool, walking the poochies, Christmas with my boys.
How’s it going to feel?
This is what I want you to put into your goal. Write as if it were now…as in the present, full of descriptive words on who, what, and how you’re feeling as you celebrate the year that was 2018.
Now, the next thing we want to do is we want to reverse engineer. No doubt you’ve heard of this before.
Reverse engineering in business is the process of working back from your goal. Rather than focusing on the steps to get from today until the 21st of December, you want to focus on the process around the other way.
What this does, it allows you to break down the big ‘ass’ goal into main sections, which are then broken into chunk size pieces, which then go on to an action list. By the time you get to the week of the 21st of December, everything is pretty much done.
What has to happen to make this goal real?
You want to divide your time equally over the next 90 days.
Normally over a 90-day period, we have between 10 and 12 major priorities, and these are then equally distributed into three, 30-day segments because of course, you can’t do it all in the first month.
Map Your 30 Days
You should have divided the 10-12 major priorities into 30-day sections. Now it is time to break these down into weeks – 4 to be exact for the next 30 days. At this point, I would expect you to have no more than five weekly priorities.
Just remember you don’t have to achieve all your 90-day goals in 30 days, it’s not possible. You want to be able to divide the goals into segments. And it needs to be pretty darn specific.
So, once you have your 30-day goals, that’s going to give you the next four weeks. From there, take the weekly set of actions, and divide them into which week you’d like to achieve them in the next 30 days.
For example, if you were updating something on your website, you can’t do it all now. You might want to step it out so that you’re going to have a particular section completed this week, and then something next week, and then something the following week. So, it means that in four weeks’ time, your website could be completely up to date.
Priorities Become Actions
The weeks are now broken down into small chunk sized actions. It’s getting very specific now…you’re now up to creating a list of actions… whether it be into your diary, productivity tool, app’, or good old-fashioned pen and paper. Think ‘to-do’ list here.
This section should have no more than five to seven actions, all specifically related to a segment of a particular outcome, which directly impacts the success of your goal
Let me share a working example.
I’m right in the final stages of rebuilding the entire membership site for the Bron Watson brand. This has been underway for around 6 weeks already, with another 4 weeks ‘till the official launch.
If I had a higher level goal such as complete the whole program, it would spin me into overwhelm, whereas three high priority high return actions are doable…right?
Let me share another example, I’ve recently built a 5-day blog challenge. On day one, it’s just choosing topics. We’re just going to map out the basics because otherwise, it gets very overwhelming.
If I said to you publish a blog by Friday, there is the risk of overwhelming for someone who has not done a lot of blog publishing. To publish a blog, there are about 10 steps to publish.
Make sure you’re planning out all your action steps for the blog, so that by the time Friday comes, all you’re doing is perhaps making a couple of images, getting ready for the social circuit, and literally hitting publish on your blog.
Back To The 90-Day Plan
By mapping out your high priority high return action, you really want to know what you have to do on a daily basis to reach your 30-day goals because it gives you something to work on every day.
I too have a lot of things on a list, but I don’t have them all on today, because it leads straight to overwhelm, you simply get lost.
You get distracted, you think oh my God, what is wrong with me Bron, your productivity is up the creek.
In actual fact, it’s just that I’ve put too much pressure, expectation and not enough planning into what I want to achieve
From now on, all you should be literally looking at is the 30-day goals, the 3-5 priorities for the week. That’s it.
And it means it gives you something to do just for today, and these are your high priority, high return ticket items, good work problems.
For example, we’ve got the launch of the hub on the back of Bron Watson, in 4 weeks. What do I need for that? It’s going to be great when I get there, but what’s is on my action list today?
Why Do We Do This?
- Keep it simple – If all you have is 3-5 actions, your brain says… ‘yeah, I can do that’. You’re going to allocate the time, You don’t have to do it all at once but allocate the time.
- Consistency – commit to complete on the actions you have set – make an agreement with yourself to get it done…one action and moment at a time.
- Life is so busy, business is busy…when you take the time to plan, it saves a stack of time and energy.
- People love crossing things off, there is a sense of accomplishment. Compare the thought of getting your 3-5 things done…your list is complete. If you had 38 actions on there – the 3-5 would not look or feel like you have got anything done.
- You’ve got to make it doable. Today could be literally just a post-it note that’s my to do list for today, just a post-it note.
Every 30 days you want to review and write up the next 30 days priorities. The 90-day plan continues to roll month on month.
If 30 days is too much, start with one week.
Click on the image below to get my 90-day plan, I use this exact tool to stay on top of what I want to achieve.
Let me know how you go.