Each morning as I get started on my day I come and sit at this computer with a nice hot cup of coffee and one of the very first things that comes up is an appointment reminder in my Google Calendar asking me what I need to accomplish for the day. I’ve been working on refining this idea for a while, but I think I’ve finally come to something that will help cut through the chaos that being a self-employed web designer and tech guy can bring.
Any given day there are any number of tasks and to-dos that are screaming for my attention so I have to get focused from the start and take a look at where things are heading. If I miss this first appointment of the day with myself my day can spiral out of control and before you know it I’ve spent way too much time doing things that are of little or no value.
So I grab my cup of coffee and start looking at the list and get the brain working on what’s going to happen for the day. Here is what I have on my list.
What are you working on? What are you praying about?
This comes first. It has to come first. Having an authentic spiritual life takes real effort, and focus. And if the rest of the things that are going to happen during the day are going to get my best attention then I need to start by being focused and attentive in my spiritual life.
One of the things that helps me immensely is a daily email I get from MatthewHenry.org. It introduces an area of prayer by using the scriptures themselves as the source of the prayer. This is always helpful and helps me get dialed in.
Project & Lead Generation
What are you going to do to market your business today? How will you work toward your long term goals today?
Do something that helps grow the business. Maybe it’s a blog post, maybe it’s a podcast, maybe it’s an important conversation. I’ve now got a marketing plan that’s broken down quarterly to help me mark my progress and my objectives. I’ve also got my editorial calendar in place that helps me focus on the content that I’m creating.This is absolute essential every day. I have to be engaged in something daily that is helping me build the future of my business. If I don’t do this then my business will certainly die.
Internal Project Work
Which of the projects I’m working on for my business am I going to work on today?
I’ve got a few different things going on and there is always something that needs to get done. Maybe there are shipments that need to go out for Dragonfly, or new clients to get set up at Orracle Hosting or the next stage of development for other things that are being worked on.
The key to this one is balance. In terms of time, these are usually pretty quick tasks or tasks that are delegated to others that free me up to do only those things which I can do.
Urgent Tasks & Projects
With the others covered now, what urgent tasks need your attention today?
These are almost always those things that only I can do and need to do. These include my client projects and work primarily. I’ve got benchmarks for progress for each of them that I’m working on and having an effective plan to get these done is absolutely crucial for me to be able to maximize my productive time and work.
Maintenance & Communication
Who do you need to follow up with?
Depending on the level of urgency I usually try to save these things for last. I have to be responsive to my clients so I manage my communications a couple times a day, but try to leave these emails and other communications until the end of the day. Usually if there wasn’t an answer when the email originally came in during the morning, the answer is there by the evening giving me the opportunity to respond intelligently.
It’s also a time that I think about where I need help. What help do I need? Who do I need to ask? The biggest thing I’ve learned and continue to learn is that I always need help and I need to always be learning.
It’s also a time to implement my follow up plans with prospective new clients.
So this is what I go through each morning. By the time I’ve though through all this stuff I’ve got a plan for the day and I’ve finished off a couple cups of coffee, but it really doesn’t take that long. Then it’s off to getting things done. I get my focus on early and get my mind right early and it sets me up for a productive, successful day.
What about you? What’s on your list?
image by vnvlain