July 4, 2017

Frame your week

Does this ring a bell?

Your work day is starting.

Today is going to be a good day. You have decided to make real progress and tackle that to do-list of doom.

You sit down with your computer and...

"WHAT NOW?" you ask yourself.

Or you try to make use of the evenings to do some work but you are actually exhausted and can't do anything valuable. You struggle and wrestle for a bit and just have to throw the towel because visibly all your brain power is gone.

If these scenarios happen too often, framing your week would definitely help you.

We waste time trying to figure out what to do and what's the best action to make progress in your business. We ignore our energy level or the limitations of our lifestyle.

You don't always need a big software to help give you directions and keep on track.

Here are a few tips on framing your week & giving yourself the support you need.

Too often, we don't realize how much time we actually have to do our best work. We try to do things at the wrong moment because we are too busy to slow down, observe and prioritize.

Take a generic weekly calendar  (you can get one by putting your email in the form below for this or create one in Canva/Google doc/Numbers )

- Block out when you can't work -

Do you have weekly classes? Family rituals that you can't escape from? Date nights? Lawn mowing obsession of your neighbours that prevent you to record any good sound? Picking up kids at school? Time off and self-care should be in your calendar. It's too easy to always push that away as a solopreneur...

Block them out with a pencil in the calendar.

For me, Tuesdays are a no-no for podcast recording as the lovely lady who comes to clean the house never let us know when she comes during the day and obviously, hoovering isn't quite silent.

- List what you need to do every week to get traction in your business -

What do you want to get done at all costs?

For me now (yes I have to plead guilty, it hasn't been so in the past...), it's sending my newsletter and publishing the podcast. 

THAT is my priority. Client work on top obviously.

I will also need to do some admin/invoicing once a week. That's always good not to delay so I can get paid in good time for my freelance work.

I also need to do outreach to get more clients and get seen. so cold calling, connecting on social media. The less time you have, the more personal you need to be. No outreach, no sales usually, either now or down the line. You don't want to do only outreach when you don't have clients... Even if it's one call/email a day. Don't skip this.

Put the day you want things out in the calendar.

  • Sending your newsletter
  • Publishing a blog post
  • Posting to Instagram or Facebook
  • Facebook groups days you like to come and chat in for specific days (I love the business-for-cause thread in Freedom Hacker for example. Always discovering great stuff there.)

For me, I like to think by theme so

  • I do my weekly review on Sundays (when I don't, mayhem happens and things fell through the cracks...), sometimes Friday is I know Sunday is going to be full blocked
  • I post often on Instagram at the moment and I like to make post about WordPress on Wednesdays, Self-care on Sunday, and I highlight another account on Friday for #followfriday. The other days, I share the podcast episode, how I use my bujo, some tip about a tool for business... Some behind the scenes...

That gives you the "landscape" of your week from your client point of view.

Maybe you have to get all your paperwork ready for your accountant a specific day of the week.

Put that in as well.

- Make a list of the things that require all your brain/energy -

My brain/high energy tasks are

  • recording podcast,
  • recording videos,
  • writing content (sales pages, newsletter/podcast )
  • making sales calls
  • creating my strategy for the next products out and my editorial calendar.

- Make a list of the things that require no brain at all (I call that my Zombie tasks)

Many tasks you can do even if there are noise around or jumping kids. or when you are tired in the evening.

They still make a bit of progress when you do them.

Some examples:

  • Creating my images in Canva.
  • Pairing up my socks.
  • Doing laundry.
  • Deleting emails
  • updating plugins in WordPress
  • Prepping projects in Asana (every time I have a new guest, I create a new project from a template I have. it's prepped already, I just need to make the copy and put the name of the guest as a title.)
  • Prepping the file in Audacity for the next few episodes. Same thing. I copy from a template and give it a name. that's 5mn that makes me feel like it's started when I start my editing.
  • Refill my BUFFER list with tweets.

Now that you have your lists, look back at your past few weeks.

- When would be best to schedule in these times? -

(if you can block these time out, it's brilliant. Routines help a lot putting the good habits in.)

I love to colour code these.

  • Yellow for admin,
  • orange for learning (I am a learning addict, I can't go through a week without learning something. That's how I feel alive.)
  • pink for catching up of what I couldn't do the week before (it's good to have some buffer time because things happen. You can have a sick kid, be more social because a friend is in town etc... )
  • green for paid work
  • paler green for indirect money making activities (creating a course, networking and meetings with potential clients)
  • blue for time off and self-care

[bctt tweet="Framing your week should give you MORE FREEDOM, NOT LESS. You get that by being flexible and giving yourself room for manoeuvre." username="rightbraingeek"]

Make a list by action/domain/area of life every week

if you follow me on Instagram, you know I do a weekly review. I love scanning through various areas of my life and list what I will do that week for this area.

The client work that is booked in, the people/companies I want to contact, what kind of care I need to do, the events that are happening etc...

It helps me considering all areas and not skip on one, at least for too long (yes I have been in touch less with my friends recently because I am trying to squeeze as much content creation time as possible before film season starts. I know it's temporary and for a reason. Having the reminder in my notebook though allows me to remember that it HAS TO BE temporary and I can't skip that for too long.)

Final thoughts.

With these little blocks of time and the list of your priorities in each area of your life and work, it's easier now to know what you should be doing when.

Thursday morning? Yes, it's my content creation block. Have I done my newsletter yet? my podcast editing? BOOM. Faster to decide what's to be done.

Having boundaries in place helps you focus on what is more important.

I would love to hear from you and tell me if you have a similar map of your week or if you are keen to try it.

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