I’ll admit it. I’m a big picture thinker. I’m a visionary. I can be distracted by the next shinny object. I’ve been told I’m pretty normal for an entrepreneur… maybe you can relate??

This can lead me to spin in circles endlessly. It begins to feel like working all the time and not getting anywhere. I hear the same thing from many of my coaching clients.

I’m on a constant mission to find and create systems that break my BIG ideas into little daily tasks and keep me on track toward my goals. By knowing what needs to be done each day, I’m able to focus on what’s right in front of me.

Today I want to share some of my favorite systems. 

If you have some that I’ve missed please share in the comments section!

System I: Calendaring. I learned, way back when I was running election campaigns, how valuable it is to sit with a calendar and outline my project timelines.

I use two separate calendars. One schedules my day to day appointments by the hour. This is done on outlook, although a paper calendar will also work. I like to see the whole week broken into hours so that I know what open spaces I have to fill.

On this calendar:calendar

  • Block out your regular networking events, classes and other appointments as recurring appointments. Every other Monday I have a standing appointment with Maddie (2) and Kieren (8 mos.) for tea parties and walks to the park.
  • Block out vacations and holidays.
  • Block out time to work ON your biz – things like bookkeeping, marketing, content development. I do this on Fridays.
  • Open spaces are for client appointments, speaking gigs, workshops and other revenue generating activities

Second calendar:

  • First note any events or launches you are planning (in pencil or on sticky notes so you  can move it around)
  • Second: work backwards on the calendar adding the tasks that must be completed prior to your launch
  • Add regular marketing like your newsletters

 

System II: Task list. This is also a two part system. First I keep a running task list that keeps track of all the little pieces of any project. This is kept on a spreadsheet as a google doc and shared with my team. My team can check off items they have completed, check due dates and add things I may have forgotten.

task sheet

Step two: I look at my task list and choose the 6 most important task for that week. Those get written on a sticky note and place above my computer. If I finish those 6 early, I make a new list.

Client systems:

  • Timetrade.com gives clients access to my online calendar and lets them schedule their own appointments.
  • Dropbox holds templates, worksheets and resources that my clients can access directly – so I don’t have to email anything.
  • Echosign allows clients to sign contracts online and provides secure storage of contracts.
  • I also use a private, secret Facebook forum as a meeting place/ Mastermind center for my clients.

Setting up each system takes time, and a little bit of learning. But once done, it gives you more time to have those tea parties!

Let me know your favorite system below.