5 ways to make the day-to-day and the someday happen
One of my fave quotes of all time is from Walt Disney who said, "All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them". Now, believe me, I know there are things we cannot control in life, but within our business there are often dreams we put on the "someday" shelf when in fact we could begin to brainstorm, analyse and execute them today.
I'm a believer that the "someday" and "day-to-day" can co-exist. It all comes down to planning. The five steps below may not bring to life every dream you have as a creative small biz owner, but they'll help you get clear on what you want and how you can make the most of your time to achieve that. Life is short. Don't wait for some day...
1. Know Your Values
What are the three values you live your life, and operate your business, by? It's a pretty big question, I know, but answering it is the first step in managing your time to get what you want.
For me it's:
I have built my business around those three elements, with enough time to hang with my son and husband, go for a walk, meditate and learn. I also choose to work with clients I feel can teach me, as much as I can teach them, and who understand and respect my parental commitments.
Not sure where to even start with this one? Download this PDF, follow the instructions and determine your core values. Values may change as your life changes, so come back to this exercise every 6-12 months.
2. Clock Your Time
Do you actually know how you spend your time? As in each hour, each day? If someone was to shadow you for a week, what would they find? Are you flipping through Facebook instead of sending invoices? Getting distracted by Beyonce's IG feed instead of updating your website? Use this template and map out everything you do in a typical week, including family commitments, exercise, lunch breaks etc. Review it. Are you being realistic with what you can get done each day?
3. Track + Remove the Fluff
Take your completed plan from Step 2 and track it for a week. You may wish to use an app like Moment to track the time you're spending on your phone (hello, social media #timesuck).
Once this is done, review Step 1 and ask yourself, 'Does what I'm doing align with my values?'. For example, if you value Learning, where is this happening in your business and/or for your staff? Are there things you could delegate that would free up your time and actually give people in your business a learning opportunity?
4. Unload the Someday Shelf
Think about those "someday" goals you have. Perhaps it's a product collaboration, a book, a research trip overseas, giving a keynote or just getting some time back to spend with your kids. If you were told that you could achieve one of these goals tomorrow, which would you choose? Focus on just this one goal and look at how you might break it down into monthly tasks.
For example, a book broken down may include:
research into your topic, audience and competition
researching publishers or self-publishing avenues
creating a list of chapters and topics
networking with other writers/editors
drafting your first chapter, second chapter
sending a pitch to publishers
Break it down and add this into your weekly plan.
You: I don't know where I'd find the time, Fiona.
Me: Turn off Netflix/Facebook Msgnr/Instagram for a week, my friend!
5. Outsource or Invest
If, after tracking the above, you realise you're spending time doing things that are tedious, time consuming and taking you away from key goals, consider outsourcing. Virtual Assistants (VAs) are an affordable option for admin or repetitive tasks and many are parents looking for flexible, work-from-home employment.
Likewise, if you're spending time trying to figure out a business area you have zilch experience in (such as PR, digital marketing or content) consider investing in a consultant to help you focus and fast track this work.
We're all so "busy busy busy" but we rarely stop and check why this is. Making time to work through the five steps above may just help you figure out how to make the day-to-day and the someday happen.
Want insights like this delivered to your inbox weekly? Sign up to the My Daily Business Coach weekly email packed with insights, tactics and tips you can use immediately to grow your own small business.