A typical plan (if you’re using one) for the week or day looks like a giant to-do list that you check off as you complete items. Power Planning takes the to-do list and makes it functional and do-able.
Creating a Power Plan for your week/day includes the following:
All personal to-do’s/tasks
All professional to-do’s/tasks
Prioritizing and organizing those tasks
Blocking time on your calendar for every item
If you leave out any of those items, your plan is likely to fail, and your week will spin out of control.
The irony of self-employment is that the more freedom you have to run your day the way you want, the more structured your planning needs to be.
And for some reason, no one talks about this.
When you work in your home, just about everything that surrounds you has some type of personal meaning or emotion behind it.
Even if you have an office in your home, it is probably filled with personal mementos that make you feel good when you look up at them.
Call them reminders, mementos, tchotchkes, decorations, or…
The challenge is that when we are surrounded by things that remind us of people we love, happy times, and all that feels good, we subconsciously put a higher priority on attending to those things.
And that is not wrong… but it makes staying focused on your business and business tasks really difficult at times.
Without a solid plan for the day/week/month, you are more likely to interrupt the work you are doing to take care of something personal. And this repeats itself many, many, many times a day.
The great news is setting up a power plan is easy enough and can be completed in an hour (like we do in our Power Planning Work-in®).
The day starts well enough – you get the lunches made, the littles out of the house, and the dog walked.
With a nice hot cuppa, you sit down to your computer and check your email, Facebook, email, Instagram, email.
You look over at the clock on the wall and realize you’ve been sitting there reading other people’s posts for a little over an hour.
Time to get serious.
You open a fresh Google doc to start writing next week’s blog post, and over the top of your screen, you notice that you forgot to start the dishwasher.
So you get up, empty the sink, put away the cereal boxes, wipe down the counter and start the dishwasher.
Another 35 minutes gone.
Back at the computer, you start outlining the post. GREAT WORK!
But now you have to pee. So you get up, take care of it and stop in the kitchen to grab a glass of water (your coffee went cold over an hour ago).
You sit back down, take a quick peek on Facebook, and then start writing again.
Mid-thought, your phone rings…it’s your Mom.
“Do you have a quick minute? I don’t want to interrupt whatever you’re doing” (Mom still doesn’t get what you do).
After helping her figure out why she doesn’t qualify for a certain tax credit, you hang up.
And your stomach grumbles…
Holy Moly! It’s 1:15 pm, you haven’t eaten and haven’t made much progress on your post. After you feed your body and clean up the dishes… NOW it’s time to focus on writing that post.
By the time you “shut down” the office for the day, you’ve managed to create an outline for your post, and written a few paragraphs.
But you didn’t complete anything entirely, and tomorrow is likely to be the same.
This scenario plays out for thousands of course creators every day, and it is one of the reasons you see so many discouraged business owners in your Facebook groups.
People have great ideas – potentially life-changing ideas – that don’t come to fruition because they don’t have a daily plan for their business that includes room for both sides of their lives.
Starting your day and week with a structure is the key to completing everything you need to do to take care of your life and your business.
You have to look at both sides of your life objectively when planning. The key to that is to write out everything that you know has to be done that week, broken down into ALL the activities.
Example: One of the personal items is a Costco run.
Ordinarily, you’d write “Costco” on your to-do list and that would be it.
But unless you want to spend $1,200 buying every single sample you taste, you know that you need to break up the task “Costco” into a list of what you actually need to purchase. And unless you have all day to browse all of the aisles, you also need to consider the time it will
take for all part of the “Costco run.”
Power planning encourages you to break down the to-do into all its parts and attach a time element to it. For example:
Make Costco shopping list (15 minutes)
Drive to Costco and shop (1.5 hours)
Drive home and unload (1.0 hour)
So know you know you need to block a 15-minute period somewhere on you calendar for list-making, and 2.5 hours somewhere else on your calendar for the shopping experience.
Another example would be for your business.
How many times have you written “work on my mailing list” on your to-do list and not completed it?
Here’s why. You weren’t clear on what you needed to do and you didn’t account for the time it would take to complete everything.
Review analytics for last month: 15 minutes
Tweaking funnel and making sure it is operating correctly: 20 minutes
Write 2 new emails to include in onboarding sequence: 1.5 hours
Create a new opt-in for next week’s post: 4 hours
When you know everything you need to accomplish in a week, both personally and professionally, and the time commitment that is involved for each item, you can fill out your calendar AND be set up to succeed because you have a clear, organized, and timed plan for each day.
Using this method, you honor your commitments to both your personal life and your business.
But even with a planned, organized, prioritized, and time-blocked calendar, you can make planning even more POWERFUL if you add one magic ingredient: Accountability.
Accountability is magic because it is the one element that will keep you on the hook to finish what you’ve committed to completing.
When you share your plans and goals with even one other person, you’ve made it real.
It no longer lives in the ether of ideas. It has become an action item that needs to be completed.
And THAT is magic.
Making a Power Plan changes your belief that any given task is an untethered event and makes it something that you must do to move forward.
And this, my fellow Course Creators, is what will make you succeed or fail.
Your business success absolutely depends on your ability to complete the things your business needs. AND your ultimate happiness as a solopreneur depends on your ability to complete BOTH work tasks and personal tasks. The best way to achieve both is with a POWER Plan.