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Time Management 101: How to be more intentional + limit stress

We’ve all been there, running around like wild chickens trying to keep up or figure out what to do next.

Truth be told, I don’t always know what I am going to do each day because I plan everything out in advance, my brain rests easy knowing I don’t need to remember what’s next.

  

1. What are your NEEDLE MOVERS?

the most valuable activities you can take to grow your business (increase revenue and profit, and/or market share) resulting in a disproportionate ROI: super high returns for the time (start to finish), money (soft & hard costs), and effort (difficulty and skills required) invested.

 

Here is a list of Needle Moving attributes:

  • PROVEN = certainty of generating a predictable result.

  • ACTIONABLE = cause and effect activities that yield measurable results.

  • MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE = only what you need to do, and nothing more to produce the desired result, anything beyond is wasteful.

  • THEORY OF CONSTRAINTS = the sequential series of actions you should take next, one at a time.

  • MARGINAL GAINS = incremental application of 80/20 activities resulting in compounding exponential business growth.

  • RESIDUAL RETURNS = activities done once that continue to grow your business over time (aka foundational).

 

Needle Movers are not:

  • Showing up perfect

  • Having your life together

  • Knowing all your next steps for the next 5 years

  • Having X amount of followers

  • Having X amount of sales

  • Getting to a certain goal in order to take action

 

There is an example I like to go back to this idea that you are juggling all these balls in life. These balls represent all the things in our life like family, business work, household management, personal care, relationship, etc.

Since you will always be juggling balls, you need to define EVERY SINGLE DAY, which balls are glass and which are plastic. The glass ones being the tasks/people/events that HAVE TO HAPPEN and the plastic balls being the ones that can drop off your radar and pick it back up later without dire consequences.

For instance, if you wake up in the morning and have these tasks/events/social items to do: working out, answering customer emails from the weekend, grocery shopping, family dinner, and packaging orders (add children in the mix, and there ya go). You have to decide which of those things you HAVE TO DO (for you, and your family) and which you can let slide for the day.

This will all come down to YOU and where YOU are at. For me, I would let grocery shopping drop off my list (either order groceries or put it off till the next day). WHY? Because family dinner is a non-negotiable for my household and FEEDS my soul. Answering customer emails are important for growing and maintaining my business. Packing orders on time means a loyal customer which is important for growth. Working out first thing in the AM makes sure I am awake, alert, and present during my day.

How to find what your needle movers are:

  • 60% of your time should be focused on PQO

    • Prolific Quality Output

      • What is the primary field that you are trying to win in?

        • Selling Vertical Ledge stands, i.e. selling to handmade artisans stands that are modern, tap into visual merchandising, and create appealing booths

      • What are the outputs that actually matter the most in that area?

        • Getting our products in front of our audience. Our stands are unique and are of great quality, therefore I need to reach a large number of people and the sales roll in.

      • How much time are you spending on it each week?

        • Well, our primary way of reaching our audience is IG and Pinterest. Therefore I need to put most of my efforts towards IG and Pinterest content.

    • The other 40% of your day should be in the muck of life and business:

      • Emails

      • Packaging

      • Making

      • And all the backend work

 

2. Prioritize + Schedule

Prioritizing your needle movers into your schedule is a game-changer. If all I focused on was showing up online within Pinterest and Instagram, we would not be able to keep up with orders. We have a unique audience that specifically searches for us on Pinterest. I found where our audience lives and then I live there too.

We prioritize all our efforts on scheduling in our needle movers each day. I focus on the aspects of that specific niche and get really focused on what that means.

 

 

3. TIME CHUNKING: Action steps

Chunking is the concept of breaking up your day into larger chunks instead of reacting to constant interruptions. The more chunks of time you can devote to specific tasks, the fewer start-up moments you will have, and your efficiency improves commensurately.”

Let’s break down the bigger picture first.

 

ANNUAL CHUNKING:

  1. Start by writing out all your goals for the year in a notebook.

    1. Let’s use the example of wanting to make $50,000 in sales, gain 10,000 followers on IG and create an email list with over 2500 people.

  2. This is your annual goal, which means in order to achieve that you need to break it down even further. It is easy to do this- just divide it all up by 4 for a quarterly breakdown.

  3. Most of the time we can get caught up in the paralyzing state of how big our goals are and end up not going anywhere at all. Let’s break this down to a manageable number that will help you make sure your time is well spent and in alignment with your goals.

 

Quartly Chunking (AKA seasonal chunking):

  1. Take the example above and divide it by 4, and this is what you get for your quarterly goals:

    1. $12,500 in sales, 2500 follower gain, and 626 email subscribers

  2. By dividing this into seasonal goals, you can see that the numbers (while still overwhelming) are not as big and scary as the annual goal

  3. The tax season should trigger a “PIVOT” point analysis. This allows you to compare where you are in, to where you wanted to be. If you’re hitting your goals, keep going. If not, it’s time to readjust efforts.

 

Monthly Chunking:

  1. Time to break those numbers into monthly goals:

    1. $4,266.66 monthly sales, 833 monthly follower gain, and 209 monthly email sign-ups

  2. At the end of each month, you will use these numbers to determine if you’re tasks are aligned with your goals.

  3. The monthly review consists of looking back at the effort you put into certain tasks and see if they paid off or not.

This is were the bulk of our focus will be on:

 

THE WEEKLY + DAILY CHUNKING

Each month, I break my weeks up to and focus on specific tasks and nothing else.

Weekly chunk:

  1. Focus the first week of every month on scheduling everything out in advance:

    1. Emails

    2. IG posts

    3. Pinterest Posts

    4. Reel Batching

    5. Sales + Launches

    6. Giveaways

    7. Collaborations

    8. Partnerships

    9. Focuses + Goals

  2. For week 2- focus on content creation and graphics needed for all the stuff above. For example, if you are doing a Mother’s day sale, gather all the photos, edit the graphics and get it all ready so when it’s time to post, email, or show up- everything is ready for you.

  3. Week 3 is all about filling in the gaps for VL. There is typically a week where there are a LOT of orders, so we try to leave a few extra days for weeks 2, 3, or 4 for this. So this becomes a variable week. This could be the week that you sit down and make all your items or do the most time-intensive parts of your business.

  4. The last week of the month should always be focusing on analytics-

    1. What posts got the most likes?

    2. What post got the most comments?

    3. What REELS got the most views/likes/comments?

    4. What Pins are doing the best?

    5. What emails were opened the most?

    6. What stories did people engage with the most?

    7. What did I do that feel flat and didn’t add value?

    8. And most importantly, how can you create more content that your audience likes from the past month?

Focusing this last week on diving deep for a few hours each day and really trying to see what worked and what didn’t allow you to pivot your business in the right direction. This will allow you to grow much faster and change what is happening around you. If you get stuck thinking about what you THINK works VS what ACTUALLY worked, you’ll never grow.





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