This post on the three D’s to success has been sitting in my pile for several months. The first quarter of this year has been incredibly busy, pushing this post to the back burner. As I write this, I’m on a plane traveling from Philadelphia to Atlanta, experiencing just how much fun it is to type with elbows tucked and tray-table perched on a lap. When did aircraft seats get so small?
Three D’s to Success
A while back my business coach emailed a message about the Three D’s to Success to our group. The ideas within it resonated with me. I am certain everyone desires to be successful in their business, but how do we achieve success? How do we organize our time and effort to ensure success is possible? Without focused intention and attention, it doesn’t happen.
I started Olinda Services with the motto “Keeping you on the path to success!” I want business owners to thrive and succeed. My goal is to eliminate the overwhelm, leaving time for you to focus on their money-making tasks. Sounds simple, but challenging all at the same time?
If you have worked with me, you know I’m a huge proponent of calendaring everything. I usually set aside a chunk of time for various tasks including professional development, client work, and growing my business. Do you do the same? Take your calendar out and look at the availability you have right now. Are you blocking out sections of time for success?
So, let’s take a closer look at what the three D’s are and how you can implement a Friday action plan.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a client project that I expect to wrap up within another two weeks. But, a quick look around my office shows I have a lot to do including shipping materials to a venue, printing award certificates on specialty paper and paper for other projects.
The “stuff” in my office is making me tense, frustrated, and ready to declutter. Studies show that clutter causes stress. It also increases the amount to time you spend looking for something.
Every Friday, schedule 30 minutes to put things away. If you don’t have a place for it, then get rid of it. Ensure every working project that creates clutter has an end date. That way, when Monday morning arrives, you have a clean, safe zone to work in. It’s a great feeling!
Do you have a handle on your work week? Can you see the big picture of what needs to be accomplished?
Each Friday, I put all open work into my task management tool. I then calendar the time. I know that XYZ client will need task one completed. I put .5 to 1 hour in the diary to manage that. I know that I need to devote 3 hours of my week to task two. I put it on the calendar. This item may be a single chunk of time or several segments equating to the amount of time I hope to spend on that task.
For larger projects, I reverse engineer the work. What needs to be done? Break it down into manageable tasks that are no more than 60-90 minutes each. For a current project, I need to develop an outline and PowerPoint deck for a speaking engagement. I took this project and broke it into pieces:
1. Monday – Develop an overview of the project and the key points. I already have a title and a broad scope of the project.
2. Tuesday: Develop Introduction and Section One of the project.
3. Wednesday: Develop Section Two and Three
4. Thursday: Develop Section Four and Five
5. Friday: Write a blog post, edit deck and send to the venue.
I will not have time to finish the PowerPoint, and I am sure I will spend more time on research, images and polishing the content. This outline though gets the necessary information in place and allows me to focus on the big picture.
#3: Do It
Stop thinking about it and do it. Sometimes we get paralyzed with indecision. This uncertainty hinders our focus and increases our fears. We overanalyze. We procrastinate and turn to Facebook rather than open our laptops and start typing, planning and calendaring.
Here’s a good example. I have an unexpected trip to Atlanta today. If I had procrastinated like I wanted to and put off writing because there was plenty of time in my mind to do it, I would be facing a time crunch right now. You can do this. Get it on the calendar and have your tasks for the week aligned.
What if you have more tasks than time? Ask yourself, what are the three frogs for your day or week? If the task list looks long and intimidating, ask yourself, “What are the three hardest things I need to accomplish?”
I don’t remember exactly where I heard the phrase “swallow the three frogs” but it resonated with me. I have a visual image of this story every time I see the phrase.
Well as fate would have it, Ginger’s front legs when down, frog went up and right down her throat. Imagine her surprise. She was not happy, and I doubt that she ever chased a frog again, BUT she did catch her frog.
I look at these tasks as high priority that give me a sense of accomplishment. I need to complete these tasks. When you prioritize your work, you discover what’s necessary to do right now. Can something wait for another day? Is your client schedule flexible enough to make a shift?
If you look at your tasks and prioritize, but still struggle with an overwhelming feeling, it may be time to move some work to someone else. If you are spending a lot of time on admin, for example, bring someone in who specializes in that. If you are spending a lot of time on web design work, blog maintenance, social media, or other tasks, maybe it is time to hire someone who can assist. Finances? Hire a bookkeeper.
Don’t know where to start, bring in someone who can do a high-level overview and make recommendations on building a team. You focus on the money making projects and let them concentrate on the day-to-day.
I am available to consult with you if you need to look at your structure and your time. Please reach out.