I’m a list person. I love the feeling you get when you can tick another job as complete! In fact, I love lists so much I have many of them – I have my sales pipeline tasks in my CRM, I have customer related tasks in our project management software, I have my business building actions in Trello, I have my general admin to do’s in Outlook and finally I have my 4 or 5 actions from my weekly buddy call on a post-it on my desk in front of my nose!
I’m sure there will be people out there that will say that’s far too many lists and question whether I can possibly work effectively with so many, but there’s a key that pulls it all together – diary planning
I don’t know about you but I can have lists of things that need doing yet when I sit down at my desk in a morning, I can somehow never quite work out what I should be doing. Morning isn’t my best time, I function best between about 4-8pm, so maybe that’s why I’m a bit dumb first thing. What definitely helps me though is to pre-plan my time in my diary. So last night I sat and worked out what I needed to do today and I blocked out time in my diary to do certain things. This morning, I open up Outlook and lo and behold, it tells me what I need to do, I don’t have to think, I just have to get on and do it.
You might want to do some planning weekly to make sure you have slots to do your customer work and work on the business, then daily you might want to be more specific about what those slots will include. But this is where the lists come in – if I have a slot for customer work I will go to my Project Management software and it will give me the list of things that need doing. If I have a slot for following up on enquiries I will go to my CRM and there will be a list of people I need to contact. In my 90 minute slot (time for working ON your business) I can go to Trello and my weekly Post-it Note and there’s a list of the things I need to do and ideas I need to work on.
So the key to making the lists work, at least for me, is to plan time slots in the diary at a time when my brain is functioning on full power so that when it’s not so bright I can just do what the diary says.