Once you have business goals set, it’s important to have time management tools to keep you on track.
In my last several articles, I’ve discussed some benefits and strategies of time management. Today I’m going to discuss the tools that can help you achieve the dreams you’ve set.
A good planner will allow you to make yearly plans. Start by writing down all of your dreams in the Notes section. By having them together in one area, you will be reminded in a quick glance of what you are working towards. This is where you should dream big!
Once you have your BIG dreams written down, you’ll want to break those down into quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. It’s nice to be able to see what you need to do to accomplish your dreams.
I try to start this process during the month of December before a new year. Once I’ve listed my dreams, I begin to set quarterly goals. Next I focus on the first quarter and break down those goals into monthly goals. Then the monthly goals become weekly goals. Finally they become daily tasks.
Because I like to stay somewhat flexible with my planning, I won’t begin the same process for the second quarter until the last month of the first quarter. By that time I have a better idea of what I need to accomplish during each month of the second quarter. When I try to plan too far ahead, I end up doing a lot of erasing.
Whether you choose to use a paper or an electric planner doesn’t really matter. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a place to record your dreams and break down those dreams into goals then tasks. Then make sure you take the time to invest in learning to use the planner properly.
Personally, I’m still a paper and pencil gal. I’m trying to make the switch to electronic, but I still find myself gravitating to my paper planner. If you are looking for an electronic version, I’ve heard raving reviews about Artful Agenda. If I ever decide to make the switch from paper to electronic, this is what I’ll use.
I have always been a list maker. I love the satisfaction I receive when I can mark off completed tasks.
You can make your list first thing in the morning. My preference, however, is to record my tasks for the next day at the end of the previous work day.
When you begin your workday, the first thing you should do is prioritize your tasks. Which tasks have high priority and needs to be worked on right away? Which ones are low priority and can be done towards the end of your workday?
As I work through my daily list, I add new tasks as things come up or assign them to another day. I always try to be realistic about which day I decide to assign the new tasks.
Making a list of daily tasks helps keep you focused. When you stay focused on the tasks in front of you, you become more productive. This is a great way to bring order to your days.
Again, there are paper or electronic versions. Because I’m a paper and pencil gal, I like calendars that have a large, lined area for each day. If you are looking for an electronic version, check out ClickUp. I’m trying to make a complete switch to ClickUp because of it’s capabilities to share lists with a team and set recurring tasks. It’s a super-power machine!
It is important to get organized. If you’ve just been flying by the seat of your pants in your business, imagine what you could accomplish with a few time management tools put into place. Having dreams written down and goals to accomplish them will make you more purposeful in your business.
Where should you begin? Start by deciding which type of planner you want to use. Once you’ve made that decision, block out some time to dream and set goals. Yes, this will not be a quick task. But it will be one that pays off in the long run.
Take time today to invest in your business by dreaming big, setting goals and putting time management tools in place! You won’t regret it.