It’s a New Year, and the chance for a fresh start! I always dream about organizing and planning a whole new year and setting goals for myself to achieve.
As entrepreneurs, our to-do lists are never-ending, but there’s a secret to our success…🤫
Planning and Prioritizing.
Prepare to walk away from this episode/post with a huge weight off your shoulders and a clear, focused mind. I’m sharing my planning and organizational process with you, right down to the days.
Here’s to a year of organization, focus, and having FUN working towards your goals! 🎉
Plan the Year
First things first – get a general overview of the year ahead.
I use Asana, an online project management tool that’s incredible – I love it so much and I use it every single day (still only using the free plan!). Check out this post on how to get started with Asana.
I create a new project with the board view and then I create a column for each month. Then, I start to add in what I want to do that month in the form of tasks. You can move things around if needed, so it’s a lot more flexible than anything on paper!
If you’re more of a pen-and-paper person, that’s totally fine too! Try to get a big wall calendar with all the months and weeks on it so you can see an overview of your year and goals easily.
Write down all the projects and events that you already know about: for example upcoming retreats, workshops, holidays, and maybe even some online course launches.
Take this opportunity to plan for some big things too. Like starting a YouTube channel or an online course you want to launch. This will help ensure that you are going to work ON your business in the next year, not only IN your business.
If you’re thinking “I have no idea what I’ll be doing in 10 months’ time!”, that’s totally normal – you only really need to be specific over the upcoming quarter or so, so just fill in what you know now. Remember, at this stage, it’s only acting as a general overview.
Plan the Month
Next, look at the month ahead. You can of course plan per quarter, and look at the next 90 days, but I found this a bit overwhelming so have decided to stick with one month at a time.
At the end of every month have a look at the month ahead and plan it out in more detail.
What deadlines do you need to put on your calendar?
What are you planning to create?
What newsletters do you want to send out?
If you have a blog or podcast or youtube channel, plan the content for the month ahead as well.
I normally do this in my digital journal, but you can also use a paper planner.
Next, look at everything that you have planned for the month ahead and choose your big 3 for the month. What are the big 3 things that you want to accomplish? Focusing on your big 3 means that you’re not going to get lost in the hustle. These 3 tasks with become non-negotiable for you because they’re going to help you grow and move forward in your business.
After each month, have a look at the last month and celebrate what you accomplished. Analyze your results, have a look at your numbers and goals, see where you are – and then plan for the next month.
Set Up a Weekly Schedule
Instead of just working on my to-do list and getting lost in the nitty-gritty jobs, what I like to do is to reserve time each day of the week for certain tasks to work on.
For example, my week looks like this:
Monday: Content day where I record new podcast episodes, write captions for social media, and generally think about content.
Tuesday: I have calls with clients, record feedback and critique for my Blissful Biz Incubator students, and when I have some extra time I also work on new offers or updates.
Wednesday and Thursday: I also have calls and work on offers or updates or anything that’s on my to-do list for the week.
Friday: I focus on admin tasks like bookkeeping, checking my financials, paying bills, and cleaning up my email list. Sometimes these tasks only take me a few hours and then I take the rest of the day off.
My goal is to move to a 4-day work week, so I don’t plan calls for Monday or Friday, however, I’m not stuck on that because it’s more important to me that I have flexibility with my schedule. Everyone is different, so find out what kind of schedule works for you and your lifestyle.
Weekly To-Do List
The next step is to create your to-do list for the week ahead based on your monthly calendar. I normally do this on a Sunday and because I have all my projects and tasks scheduled in Asana, it makes this really really easy for me.
The important thing here is that every project is separated into single small tasks.
For example, instead of just writing “plan new workshop”, schedule “come up with outline for workshop”, “write newsletter invitation for workshop” and “create flyer for workshop” and then set a date for each task.
Just like for the month, choose your big 3 for the week ahead. What are the main 3 things you want to accomplish that week, that will help you move forward with your business?
I look at my task list for the week ahead in Asana, and the projects that I’m working on right now, and check that I’ve actually scheduled the tasks out. Next, I make sure to check my calendar to see what events or calls I have coming up and then look at how much time I actually have each day to work on other tasks. Then, I start filling up the week, keeping in mind that I need to be realistic about how much I can actually accomplish each day.
This is especially important to your mental health and well-being because it’ll make the world of difference in how you feel at the end of the week when you’ve been able to accomplish everything that you set out to do, rather than feel like a failure for still having loads of unfinished tasks.
Because let’s face it, when you’re an entrepreneur, your to-do list is neverending. There’s always something to do – always. The secret is to choose what to focus on and to prioritize.
This is what we help our students inside the Blissful Biz Incubator with a lot, to help them plan the month ahead, what to focus on, and what’s actually important to move forward and get results.
Daily To-Do List
Finally, plan out your day! If you use Asana, you’ll see all of your tasks lined up and this will create your daily to-do list for you.
Of course, other things may have cropped up like a doctor’s appointment or a new call, so make sure to add these in and then reevaluate your list. Is everything that is scheduled for today still realistic? If not, reschedule some tasks now instead of at the end of the day.
If you don’t know which task to reschedule, use the big 3 method, or just a big 1! Just focus on getting 1-3 of your most important tasks done that day and move other tasks to different days of the week.
And there you have it! I hope you have fun planning your year, months, weeks and day.
And if you’re looking to advance your business even more in 2023 and are ready for a bigger step in your business, I’d love to invite you into my program Blissful Biz Incubator.
Inside the Blissful Biz Incubator, I teach you how to design your brand, grow your audience and create and launch digital offers like an online course.
What really sets it apart is that you get a ton of video trainings to help you implement things and take action, but you also get 1:1 coaching, group coaching, and personal feedback and critique for work you submit.
Go to www.susannerieker.com/application and get all the details.