I once heard John C Maxwell say at a seminar once, “you are either preparing for your future or repairing the past”. That statement has haunted me at various stages of my life since then.
“you are either preparing for your future or repairing the past”.
When I find that I’m getting overwhelmed, and rushing to get the book keeping done in time for my accountants or in a mad rush to catch the bus for the school run, I am painfully aware that I’m in repair mode; trying to make up for what I should have done yesterday.
In my experience there is only one antidote to help keep on top of the many balls I juggle:
Personally I find routine quite boring but I also find that without it, I lose control of time. I’m unable to react quickly to changes and despite my best effort every single ball is dropped.
It’s the daily habits which compound over time that ensure we are prepared for growth in our business. What do you need to do every day to keep your business ticking along at an even pace? Below are some of the habits have helped me keep my sanity.
- Know Your Personal Rhythm. What time of the day are you most likely to get maximum effectiveness out of yourself? Are you a morning person or a late starter? Plan your day around the time when you are most likely to be alert and will give tasks the best of you.
- Eat Breakfast. It makes a heck of a difference to your energy levels, puts you in a better mood and you don’t spend the day snacking on unhealthy food that’ll only slow you down.
- Use a Planner. To keep on top of things I’ve found the following approach helpful. Decide the tasks that need to be done on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, seasonal and annual basis. You’ll be amazed at how much more you are prepared for life. Of course don’t forget to check your planner before you commit to anything.
- Read and File. A lot of time is wasted looking for things that were not put in the right place at the right time. Get into the habit of reading mail and filing immediately.
- Prepare The Day Before. Could you decide what you are going to wear, write your to-do list, leave things you need by the front door so you don’t forget, draft an email on your phone, etc. Could you do all these things and more today; in preparation for tomorrow? It simply saves you from being in a rush.
- Don’t Procrastinate, Do It Now. Respond to correspondence immediately rather than leaving it for later. You’ll either end up forgetting to do it or you’ll miss the window of opportunity to convert that email into a sale.
- Setting Timelines for Every Task. Always set a date to achieving a task otherwise you’ll be amazed at how a day becomes a week, a week- a month, a month – a year.
- Weekly Assessment. It is helpful to measure your progress on a weekly basis. Setting time aside on a weekly basis helps to keep you accountable particularly if you are part of a partnership. Knowing that on a certain day each week you’ll need to feedback on your progress helps you hit the ground running.
- Rest & Take Breaks. It’s important to plan holidays and to take time to rest. It reduces the likelihood of getting run-down or burn-out.
- Exercise. I wish I could say I’ve mastered this one but it’s a ‘growth area’ for me. However, the one motivating factor is simply that exercise de-clutters the mind and creates mental energy for some more planning.