So, you have a big Vision that gives you goosebumps and it’s plastered on your wall in huge letters. You’ve started to plan with your team about how together you’ll make that Vision a reality. And you’re all buzzing about the future and cracking on. Great stuff! I can feel the energy from here.
Now, all that’s missing is an effective Personal Management System. Not the sexiest title I’ve come across but even the most inspiring vision, and the smartest of plans will be wasted if you don’t have the means to keep yourself on track.
A Personal Management System
Your daily routine is the cornerstone of your personal management system, and should be crammed full of habits that will maximise your productivity, and move you closer to your Vision.
1. Get into the habit of planning your day the evening before (and your week on a Sunday evening). At the end of the day, you’re usually very clear about what still needs to done, what the priorities are, what tomorrow’s frog* will be. Advanced planning like this makes sure that you hit the ground running.
2. Chunk your work into 90 minute segments. This is a good timeframe for focus, and FOCUS is the key word – don’t multi-task – if you’re going to work on a sales letter, work on it for the full 90 minutes, or until it’s done, if you can do it within the 90.
3. Peak Practice – Work out which part of the day you’re at your peak – for me it’s first thing in the morning – and use that 90 minutes to ‘eat your frog’ – *do the thing that you don’t necessarily want to do, but that’s weighing you down mentally, because you know you really need to get it done.
Just get focused and eat the damn frog! It’s a really good success habit to get into.
4. Set yourself mini deadlines – always good for those of us who like a bit of last minute pressure – make them ‘drop-dead’-lines too! Absolute must delivers! Breaks are always a good deadline. Holidays are also excellent. Ever noticed how much more you get done in the days leading up to a holiday, or the minutes leading up to any deadline.
5. Switch Off. Both breaks and holidays are essential for your long-term productivity too – refreshing and re-energising your mind and body. The most successful businessmen and women really get this, and have made breaks long and short, a habit they will always keep.
6. Daily Exercise. Other daily routines and success habits that are good for your mind and body, include taking at least 30 minutes exercise a day – even if it’s just a walk down the road and back – and drinking plenty of water – two litres is the recommended amount isn’t it? I’m no scientist, but I can testify to the power of a lunchtime walk for clearing your head and setting you up for a productive afternoon.
For budding entrepreneurs, there are three other personal management essentials:
- A second in command. This may be one person or a whole team who can work self sufficiently, enabled and empowered to make the right calls in your absence. If you want to grow your business or create new ones you can’t afford to be stuck in the daily minutiae.
- An assistant or PA. There are only so many things that you can be brilliant at, or that really get your juices flowing; for everything else, you need an assistant – someone who will keep you organised, do the really important, but really boring (to you) stuff that eats away at your time. A mentor of mine refers to the £10ph, £100ph and £1000ph tasks in your business. Which are you spending all of your precious time on? And talking of mentors, the third essential is
- A mentor. What I’ve learned from the mentors I’ve worked with, is that they get you to the next level faster; they get you to raise your game – to see things from a different viewpoint – they share their expertise to help you grow. Your mentor is a key member of your support team – the sounding board and advisor who speeds up your journey to the results you’re looking for.
A Personal Management System takes discipline and time to develop, but when you learn to manage yourself, the business will be a piece of cake!
Do one thing: look back over today/yesterday. Did your work take you towards your Vision? Did you have frog for breakfast? If not, look to adopt these good habits and improve your routines.
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