I have read repeatedly the secret all highly successful people have in common is an efficient workload routine that works for them. This does not refer to a generic to do list, but more planning out your day in a way the is optimal for long term consistency, productivity and growth.
It hasn't always been so easy for me to plan out my day, even though I have always been a "To Do List" woman. I LOVE making lists, there is something so exhilarating about checking items off. But without realizing it, I used to let other things that popped up take precedence over priorities that mattered more to my long term growth.
What I soon came to realize is that a planned routine, in writing, was my saving grace, it was my sense of professional grounding that was vital for my growth.
Then, I had a new idea (actually a very common recommendation that I finally listened to, ha!). How about if I just planned my day out, literally almost to the hour?
Imagine that you have already reached the most important goals of the day before its even lunch, is this even possible?
Once I started implementing a daily plan of action, I started realizing how much time I ACTUALLY had to create more, as well as how much of my time was wasted on distractions and energy depletions. I also started saying NO to so much, which was really a life saver.
I soon discovered that every morning, for example, I need about an hour for myself. I needed this time to be able to do things that for just for me, before I started interacting with the rest of the world. That included my phone, computer, emails...even before interacting with my husband and child. I knew I needed to rise and have this time before they woke up and needed my time and energy.
I also discovered if I planned out my day, item by item with a specific timeframe, I got so much done! Granted, some things end up taking more or less time (my timeframe is only an estimate) but having it in writing made me accountable and organized. Plus, if I forget or need a reminder, all I do is look at my calendar.
The secret boils down to this -- consistency: every day is the same process, the same flow, no matter if the schedule is different. Every "priority" is scheduled by level of importance, as well as how long it will take to complete.
Here is an example of how I plan a day:
6:30-7:30 - me time. This is EARLY (for me) and took a while for me to accomplish. But, it truly is the foundation of the rest of my day. Get up/ready for a workout. Walk the dog, pray, affirmations. Make hot water with lemon/ breakfast. Take a quick scroll of my inbox / ASANA and flag anything pressing I need to return or approve in the AM. All other emails can wait. Then, phone is off until 10am.
7:30 - wake my 3 year old son, Camden, up. Breakfast and green juice is made. Enjoy some time with him.
8:00-9:45 - workout + drive time
10-10:45 - Back home, rinse off, phone/computer on.
10:45-11:00 pm - Overlook initial flagged emails, respond to any that are super pressing, leave the other emails for later.
11-1pm - Time to create!!! I pitch clients, negotiate brand deals, write blog posts / create content, respond to blog / social media related posts and comments.
1-2pm- take any off site meetings/or on site conference calls I may have or do research for upcoming posts, courses or clients.
2-3pm- return emails or calls for the day (I do this later in the day so I am not distracted throughout my day. I always flag calls and emails and only take those that are immediate during the day. The rest wait until this time.)
3-4pm - Some days I pick Camden up from school at the time, or start to plan social posts for later in the evening, get content posted, plan out next day. Wrap up for the day!
4-5pm - cushion an hour for anything pressing.
I used to work until 7pm or later sometimes! Now, you can see how much actually gets done if you stick to a plan. It's so nice to have a clear cut START and END time of my day, ESPECIALLY since I work from home!
Here are some tips: write out on a sheet of paper your top 5 priorities, then schedule based on importance (what must get done ASAP and so on). Add an estimated amount of time each will take. Try to refrain from checking your phone throughout the day. If needed, schedule out 15 minutes to check social media or emails, but make sure you end when that time is over. It's amazing how much time we "waste" going down the social media rabbit hole!
Another perk I learned from this schedule was formulating an editorial calendar for my blog posts. This way I know weeks, if not months, in advance of what's to come, what I need to promote/post and what accomplishments are needed from myself and my team in order to grow successfully. No more missing deadlines. No more forgetting to post. It's all on my Google calendar every single day, itemized and prioritized. This also helps you when planning out content OR when you promote old content.
Tip: Pull your most popular posts from Google Analytics repurpose them by promoting them once a month on social media!
For an example social media editorial calendar template for bloggers, sign up below. This is just an example that shows you how to plan out promotional content, but feel free to change or add what works best for you!
How do you prioritize your workload? What have you found that works well, and what have you found that doesn't? Any advice to share with us? Please leave your comments and thoughts below by clicking the "comment" button at the bottom left.
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