Productivity. It’s becoming the newest and most used buzzword. But, like almost all buzzwords there is a reason for this. And I will admit, sometimes it feels like the buzzwords are getting louder and louder, but that doesn’t make them any less real and useful. And I’m one of those people that wants to see your business run like a well oiled machine, but I also know the importance of recognizing and loving the fact that you are a human person.
So while I want you to really think about how you can improve your systems and makes them better, let’s take a look at what planning actually looks like for human people.
Step 1: Decide What You Actually Want
I’m sure you’ve been here too. You get all gung ho and end up making a plan around something that you think that you want. Or worse, what someone else tells you you should want. So then you make this plan to make it do. And while you’re planning, you don’t feel connected to the work you’re doing.
And then, when you start trying to execute, you realize that you actually don’t want this thing. Whatever made you think that you wanted this, it’s not making you feel the same way anymore. Now, I just want to say this for the record.
Just because you change your mind does not mean that you should, throw any plan that you have made out the window.
This is super important to remember because though you might not want it right now, doesn’t mean that that won’t come back around. And the only way that you’ve wasted your time is if you get rid of the work you’ve already put in.
So get real. Get really real. Make sure that what you want is actually what you want, not what you’re told to want, not what you think you might want, not what your biz bestie wants, but what you really actually truly want.
Step 2: Use the SMART Method
For those who don't know what this is, SMART goals aren’t just intelligent, they are a method of planning out what you want in a way that can be effective.
S - Specific
M - Measureable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Time Bound
This means assigning due dates. Real dates on a calendar.
This means measuring and keeping track of progress towards this goal.
This means getting what you really want.
Step 3: Give Yourself Time
“I built a six figure business in one year!”
We have all heard this claim. And while I’m not bashing those people (um they rocked it,) that’s not everyone’s reality. If you have a full time job, a family, and a new puppy, you’re stretched thin. And you can still make your magic happen, but remember to give yourself time to make this happen.
I am all for chasing down what you you want and grabbing it by the horns, but remembering that you as a human person need time is the most effective way to not end up hating your plan and goals.
If you can only do two tasks a day, then do them and do them well.
Step 4: Don’t Be Rigid
Yes, you have gotten specific. Yes you are breaking all of these goals into daily tasks to work toward them. But remember that life happens. And while in a perfect world, everything will go according to plan, we hardly live in a perfect world.
Keeping some of your tasks, when they need to be complete, when you can work on things fluid saves you from the evil critters in your brain that will (there is no doubt here) tell you that you have failed. That you aren’t [insert your thing here] enough. That you have fallen so far behind you’re never going to make it up.
And by keeping a rigid schedule, you’re critters are probably right. But by building in fluidity and grace, you’re giving your critters the finger and trucking on.
Step 5: For the Love Of Pearl, Ask For Help If You Need It
That’s right. I’m talking to you, “I can do it all.”
If you can, awesome. If not, that’s awesome too.
I’m going to share a story with you really quick.
See, I have this husband you happens to be really awesome on top of being cute. And when I ask him for help with pretty much anything, he is more than happy to try. If I need to write a blog post, my husband is happy to leave me be and let me work. If I need to have him review something for look, he’s tries really hard (he’s not the art type.) But I am still after over five years together learning to ask him for help.
Ask the people around you for help. I think that you would be surprised how gracious people are when you just effing ask.