You're running behind, aren't you?
I get it.
Something came up and all of a sudden it's like days have passed and now you're playing catch-up.
It sucks to think that one little hiccup can throw you like that.
Imagine two hiccups...
(Okay, I'll stop. I'm not that mean.)
In preparation for all those little life and work "surprises", I created a rock-solid weekly system. (Which I'm sharing with you today.)
And when you use this, it'll skyrocket (and I'm not embellishing here) your productivity and even your output.
I can tell you, without fail and with plenty of hiccups along the way, that this tried-and-true weekly productivity system has withstood the test of time.
And has only gotten stronger.
So, before I ramble on here... want my system?
Get a more productive business in 5 days or less.
Grab my 5 super-simple efficiency hacks you can apply in 10 minutes or less. [ Includes the exact list of tools I use to grow + maintain my business with. FREE ]
Read on and take full control of your work schedule and day-to-day business maintenance.
1. Know Your Business
As ridiculous as this might sound, if you never set up a plan for your business, then you're likely running it with blinders on.
(You know, those flappy things that shield a horse's peripherals so they don't get spooked or distracted?)
Anyhow, if you don't know what you're doing with your business and blog, you won't get very far with this system.
With any system, really.
So, if you're unsure of the direction you want to take your business in, here are a good resource to start with:
There's no shame in not being certain right now.
I can't tell you how many years it took me to "figure out" what I was doing with my business. (And I'm 4 or 5 direction-shifts in at this point.)
I started online as a web designer, then I focused on graphics, then I switched to business coaching and consulting, and now I'm so happily a growth hacker specializing in productivity and systems.
(It's okay to be multi-passionate. It's okay to change. To evolve. To grow...)
But, once you know where you want to be and you take action on the plan you've set, that's when you'll see consistent growth in your business.
With that said—right now—brainstorm exactly what you [want to] do in your business, who needs your help, product, or service, and why you're doing what you're doing.
Why is it so important?
(There's a method to this so just hang tight if you're wondering where the heck I'm going with this.)
2. Review Your Schedule
What's going on in your life?
Sometimes we have recurring activities—like your child's swimming lessons, gymnastics class, exercising, reading, walking the dog, and more—that need dedicated time slots in your schedule.
All of these activities take up a chunk of your schedule. They shouldn't be overlooked.
Write down all of these activities that occur weekly and monthly.
(These will become a part of your task system. Almost there, promise.)
3. Theme Your Days
Here's a biggie.
Borrowed lovingly from Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter and Square), theming your days will create the foundation for your weekly system.
Theming is assigning your top business functions to one day of each week.
(Theming is also a way to build strong, positive habits in your business.)
For example, my week looks like this:
Monday = [Batch] Content Creation Day
Tuesday = Blog post launch (2x per month) and social / social media day
Wednesday = Automation and Editing Day
Thursday = Project Development Day
Friday = Project and Wrap-Up Day
Saturday = Family Day
Sunday = Family/personal day and planning the week ahead
It took months to find the right fit for me and my business.
For now, focus on listing out your top business functions.
If your list exceeds 7 functions (1 for each day of the week), think of a way to group some together in a way that makes sense.
EXAMPLE: On the first and third Tuesdays of each month are when my latest blog posts publish. It made sense, while I'm promoting my post in addition to it's automated promotion, to get social.
Social online through social media, Facebook groups, other social communities, and so on. I even go as far as making sure I don't work from home on Tuesdays.
(Because once I crawl in my little loner shell, it's tough to pry myself back out of it.)
Theme your days.
It'll make your workflow clear and focused. And within 30-90 days, you'll find yourself just doing the tasks and activities almost on a well-formatted autopilot.
Your mind and body are in sync. And you're managing your time like a productivity genius. (Seriously.)
4. Brainstorm Recurring Business Tasks
Whether daily or weekly, to maintain your business you're going to have to commit to regular tasks.
If you're not in the position to delegate (or if you simply prefer to "get your hands dirty"—I'm right there with you, Darlin'), you should implement this system to manage your day-to-day business.
Yes, there's probably going to be more tasks than what you're going to list on your first shot.
But for this system, we're only focusing on what is duplicatable—what you need to do each week to maintain your solid business structure.
You'll likely need to update your system quarterly—with growth comes more responsibilities.
Okay, let's break this down, shall we?
Step 1: Brainstorm all the tasks you need to do to maintain your growing business.
Here's a few of my tasks to jog your brain (if you need it):
Re-pin 20 blog posts from other entrepreneurs on Pinterest
Ping out [new] blog post
Share [new] blog post in all applicable groups
Map out 1 week of social media posts
Add social strategy to Buffer for 1 week
...just to name a few.
Step 2: Decide how often these tasks need to occur.
Daily or weekly?
Some daily tasks (or habits you may need to have listed to actually complete them) might be to:
Get the family up, ready, and out [of the house and off to school]
Respond to all *important* emails
Read 1 chapter (or 3 articles online)
Write for 1 hour (or write 1,000 words)
A house task—like fold laundry, wash dishes, etc.
Some once-a-week (or more) tasks might be:
New blog post promotion
Networking / connecting with clients
Edit, improve, and upgrade 1 older blog post
Review the previous week and record
Complete social automation for next week
Once you've listed what's what, you can then move onto...
Step 3: Group tasks using themes in a way that makes sense.
Remember those themes we did for the third point?
Here's where we're going to start using those bad boys.
So, looking at your 2 lists—themes and recurring tasks—start pairing up the tasks to the themes.
You can do this on index cards or on different pieces of paper—anything that you can use to visually organize your potential themes with.
Once you've group your recurring tasks in a way that makes sense, you can then label them with themes.
EXAMPLE: On Mondays I "Batch"-create content.
social media content for posts, email courses, advertising a product or course, etc.
blog content for the month—2 thorough posts a month (writing 1 post on one Monday and the second post on the following Monday, that is)
So, labeling Monday as "Content Creation Day" makes sense, right?
Once you've assigned tasks to your general themes, you can...
5. Apply And Conquer
It's time to assign your themes, partnered with related or supporting tasks with a set day.
You'll likely change this a few times before you find the best layout that works for you.
Because, just like your business, your system needs to grow, too.
Where will you keep it all?
In a planner?
On a wall-mounted system? (As shown in the image.)
Whatever you decide to use, make sure it's something you can keep up with.
For example, I found that being tethered to my office with the wall system drove me bonkers. I'd take a photo of my board before leaving the office, but there was such a "disconnect" for me, I stopped keeping up with it.
With a digital task list, I found myself overwhelmed and easily distracted by all the other prompts, reminders, and so on.
So, I went back to strictly using my paper planner (the Content Strategy Planner).
What will work best for you long-term?
Today, get to know your business on a deeper level.
Set up your base system—not something so rigid that you'll lose interest, and not something so flexible that you won't adhere to it.
End your day today with a solid grasp of what you need to do each week, and building up positive habits on the way will free up more time and allow for greater focus while working.
So, get started. (Seriously, right now... You know you won't do it unless you do it now. Well, if you're anything like me, that is.)
And when you're done, let me know @GoffCreative on Twitter how your system setup went.
I'd love to hear from you!