As an entrepreneur or business owner, chances are, you’re wearing a lot of hats. If you’re still at the stage of handling the client-facing workload along with the backend, well, you’re busy to say the least. It’s easy to wake up in the morning and get into the office with a mental checklist of everything you plan on accomplishing in the day. But would I be alone in saying that more often than not, that mental checklist goes out the window and your task list changes sometimes minute by minute, no matter how well you planned?
In order to keep a sense of control and consistency within your workday, especially as you’re starting out or growing, it’s important to carve some time out of your mornings to make sure the work you’re doing matters for your WHY.
Think about this: in your business plan, you probably developed 1-5-10 year goals. Can you truly say the work you did yesterday…all those hats, all those tasks, all the running around….did the work bring you any closer to fulfilling those goals? It probably didn’t, because it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day and forget about the bigger goals. But it’s time to change that.
To get started making each day count in the bigger picture, take a look at those business goals you set out to accomplish in your business plan. Spend a few minutes breaking them down into smaller ones right now, with priority ranking (low/medium/high) for doability. Every week, one of these smaller goals is now your Business Intention. Write it down, print it out, make it your background, whatever. Just don’t lose sight of it.
Next, follow these three tips for working with intention throughout your week. Instead of seeing it like you have something else on your plate to do, you will start to see your workload shifting in relevancy and your bigger goals come closer in reach.
- List of Personal Intentions:
This one is great to do Monday mornings, and only takes a minute or two. Start your week by setting intentional goals to better yourself as a person and business owner. Always keep your Business Intention in mind. You are the one responsible for evolving your brand, staying up-to-date in your industry, and honestly, for not becoming a working machine with no soul. So intend to separate work and life, and to do little things each week to be better at both. It’s humbling, and starts the week off well.
- Weekly and Daily To Do Lists:
Some people enjoy doing this at the end of their workday for the following day, but I like sticking with using a half an hour consistently every morning to prep for my day. Up to you! After you acknowledge your Business Intention of the week and make your Monday Personal Intentions, make a to do list of everything you need done by end of week (EOW).
This is important to do first, because your next task is going to be to make daily to do lists with smaller tasks, meetings, etc. for each day of the week, so you can be sure your week wraps up as intended. Then, each morning as you sip your coffee, assess your To Do’s of the day, and add in anything else that may have come up.
- Weekly Audit of Small Goals in the Big Picture:
As your last task on Friday (I’m sure we all work weekends too, but we’re outlining a traditional workweek here), did the work you accomplish this week bring you closer to your big goals? How can you adjust for next week for continued success?
You can do this in a notebook (like me), or with online organizational tools such as Trello or Microsoft Planner. Digital planners are great if you’re sharing ownership of tasks, though I’m always partial to pen and paper organization.
I promise you this: once you get the hang of it, it’s hard to imagine you went into the workday any other way than with control of your micro tasks and larger goals. There is nothing more satisfying than intentionally setting out to accomplish something, crossing off a to do list and feeling like your goals are in reach.