How to Control Your Agenda Every Day
One of the chief complaints I hear among consultants in the direct sales industry is “I just don’t have time to work my business.”
In reality, what this means is they haven’t found a way to fit their business into their busy lives. Believe me, I get it… we all have a lot of hats we wear each day. Between being a spouse, a parent, an employee if you still have that full-time J-O-B, a family member and a friend how in the world are we supposed to fit it all in? We barely have time for ourselves, much less do we find time to work our little home business.
I recently wrote a blog post on how to keep your focus when life gets crazy, but in this post I’d like to share a few practical tools I use each day that help me not only get my business activities completed each day, but also help keep my life balanced and keep me productive and efficient in all the areas of life that are important to me.
Can I just take a second to say, how did people survive before the internet?
I know, I’m a typical millennial. Technology is life. But really… how did they?
I cannot function without my google calendar. It allows me to schedule every important activity into my day, notify friends, family members, team members and prospects of upcoming appointments and events, and keeps my life perfectly organized in a beautiful, color-coded display I can access from any device in the world.
I make minor updates to my calendar almost daily, but I like to do a complete overhaul of my schedule every 90 days or so, evaluating what worked and what didn’t, and adjusting accordingly. Here’s how I set mine up:
To start, schedule in the activities you have NO control over. These can be the times you have to show up to your job, your kids’ school functions, church, family birthdays, etc. This is also a good place to schedule meal times, bedtimes and all those other mundane activities we do each day. Don’t forget to schedule time to sleep, brush your teeth and take a shower… you laugh, but I’m dead serious.
After scheduling in these activities you’ll see some open blocks of time throughout your day. This is where you take the time to schedule the activities that are most important to you and your goals. You absolutely should have scheduled time set aside for your health by going to the gym or getting on the treadmill. And you should also make sure you schedule in time to work your at least 5 days a week.
If you’re building a network marketing/direct sales company I recommend scheduling 90 minutes a day to work your business. Now here’s the cool thing… much of this can be done DURING various other activities… like listening to audio trainings or making phone calls to prospective business partners during your daily commute or while you’re waiting in the pick-up line at your kids’ school.
The first step to controlling your agenda is finding out where your time is going and using that knowledge to fit your business into the nooks and crannies of your busy life. Google calendar can help you do that effortlessly!
I’m going old school on your here, but a good spiral notebook is right up there with the internet in terms of importance in my daily life. I’ve been known to buy an annual supply of spirals every August when the school supplies go on sale. In fact, seeing how it is currently September, I have a fresh stack of unused spirals sitting on the shelf next to my desk as I type. I won’t tell you how many I have, but I will say it’s more than 10 and less than 30.
You’ll virtually always find a spiral notebook on my desk, and in its pages you’ll see lots of 2-column lists. Each day I make a list of business to-dos and personal to-dos in 2 columns on the same sheet of paper in my spiral. I reference the list from the day before to write down the things I didn’t complete in addition to adding any new tasks for the day. I consider this my daily running task list and it keeps me focused, on task and balanced in my daily activities.
I have a tendency to become one-track-minded, and can easily look up at the end of the day and realize that, while I accomplished a lot in the home office, I forgot to eat lunch or even so much as look at the pile of laundry on the floor. Having a list that’s separated by business and personal tasks helps me balance my activities and complete the most important things in each area of my life each day.
Daily Method of Operation
Regardless of how well you schedule your time or what items you write down on your to-do list, there will be days when life just gets busy and things don’t go according to plan. This is where having a bare-minimum daily method of operation for your business can be a HUGE win for your success.
Give yourself a set of tasks you’ll commit to completing every day, no matter what. I recommend reading/listening to 30 minutes of personal or professional development, reaching out to 2 new people about your business or product, and following-up with 2 people you’ve reached out to previously. You can usually complete these tasks in 45-60 minutes and can do many of them while commuting from place to place.
Make the commitment that, no matter what, you will not let your head hit the pillow each night until these tasks are complete. Will there be days when you do more for your business? Absolutely!! But on the days when life just doesn’t go your way, you’ll ensure your inevitable success by completing AT LEAST the bare minimum you’ve committed to, and go to sleep knowing that you held up that commitment to yourself, your family and your goals.
There are several other tools I use to help myself stay focused and increase my productivity each day, but these 3 are my go-to’s and the ones I use most consistently.
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