Managing Your Activities

So many people say we should “manage our time”, but is it really about time? Or is it about managing the amount of activities that happen during that time? I’m a FIRM believer in planning your day before you end your day. Doesn’t make sense? Stick around and I’ll show you the way.

I am a self proclaimed over scheduler. Things pop into my head and I think to myself, “I can do that. No problem! Should only take a few minutes.” Flash forward an hour. I’m complaining to myself and still not finished. Or, I have the best laid plans and then someone asks me to take on the school carnival and I say yes, derailing everything else I had planned for, oh I don’t know, the next 6 months?

I finally had to take my life and my schedule back! I had to put all my activities in their place and only allow what was “open” for those last minute emergencies. Ever hear the saying, not my circus not my monkies? Well, that now applies to my life and my network marketing business. Your lack of planning is not going to become my emergency. I can help, but only if I have an open block of time available.

Last year, I did a series of videos on how to get your network marketing business up and running in 20 days.  One of the videos was about Scheduling Your Day. You can watch it by clicking the link.

This post is basically a follow up to that video. Many have been asking exactly how I plan my day, so I thought I would show you. Now, what you are about to see is not for the weak of heart. Don’t judge! Or judge all you want. Because for as OCD as this looks, I promise you there are 12 loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and crumbs all over my table (where do they come from, it is like they breed and multiple. I try, I swear I do!).

Here is where I start. I’m an old fashion paper planner kind of girl. This is what I buy. I get mine at Office Depot, but there are tons of options available. I LOVE a calendar with hourly appointment times. THIS IS A MUST!

type of calendar

 

There are monthly tabs for an overview of your month (super important appointments). 

monthly calendar

 

AND, the most important part! The daily section with hourly appointment slots. 

hourly scheduling

 

Ok, this is where it gets really good. Are you ready? You need a pack of highlighters or markers. I have tried, oh I don’t know, about 15 different brands. These are my favorite by far! Sharpie Liquid Highlighters. I think I found them at Walmart, but you can also order here  (man I wish I got a kick back from whoever is selling these on Amazon. You are welcome Amazon vendor.). 🙂

 

sharpie

 

What you do next is the BEST part. We are going to assign categories to each color. Now, these are my categories and what works for me. Feel free to create your own system. I just use my label maker to label each one. It makes me happy to just look at how cute they are. They just want to help. It is in their DNA.

marker list

 

So, what does it all mean? Well, here is my list.

IPA (Income Producing Activity) – This is for all my network marketing peeps. Or work at home mamas 😉 For me, an income producing activity earns me money. Or will lead to money. It can be doing follow ups, meeting with a prospect, reaching out to people that are interested in Plexus, etc.

Team Training – Working directly with my team, my runners, the people that really want to grow their business. This could be a weekly team call, new ambassador training, 3-way calls, voice messaging for weekly check-ins, etc

Admin – This is your administrative work. Your busy work. Social Media (NO, this is not income producing MOST of the time). Yes, I schedule in my social media time or I will get sucked in! This could be packaging gifts for my team, sending out samples, running to the post office, putting together a welcome pack for a new customer. Sometimes this is point stalking in my back office. Or am I the only one that does that?

Personal Development – I try to do some kind of personal development every single day. It might just be 10 pages of a book while I’m in carline, listening to an audio book in my car, participating in a webinar that is teaching me something new about how to grow my business.

Family – This is a BIG chunk of my day. Because I have 3 kiddos I’m running 5 nights a week to activities. So all those activities, rehearsals, extra classes, volunteering at school, ortho appointments, etc. all fall under Family. If you want to get really fancy you can assign each person in your family their own color. But honestly that just leads to fighting over who gets their favorite color and why does one person have more time blocked out than the other (they must be the favorite). Do yourself a favor and stick to one color.

Household – Yes, I schedule household stuff like, oh I don’t know, cleaning. Why? Because I do not enjoy it. And I would leave it until I couldn’t take it, or I knew someone was stopping over in the next 5 minutes. I put it on the schedule to keep my house in some kind of none hoarder type order. If you are one of those OCD cleaning type people, feel free to come over to my house and help out. Unless you are one of those slightly scary OCD people, then maybe don’t come over.

Personal – I’m not going to lie, this doesn’t get a lot of time on my calendar. I’m working on that. But I did get a treadmill recently, so I know have that time colored in. Personal time is for you to do something productive for yourself. Working out, meal planning, meditation, etc. Anything you need to keep your sanity and your cup full.

Playtime – Everyone needs this! And this is different than personal time. Playtime is whatever makes you happy and allows you to turn off your brain. Reading a magazine or a book (a fun book, not work related), watching tv, playing some dumb online game. Now please don’t color the entire time your kids are at school your playtime color. This is a treat, but also a necessity.

Relationship – Yes. Yup. Don’t argue with me. DO NOT roll your eyes. Schedule time with your significant other. It might just be a movie on the couch together, date night, “special” time. Do what you want. You don’t have to report it here. Just put it on the calendar!

color coding schedule

So how does this all work? Well, you need to put in the most important things first (appointments, must do items) and then start filling in. The idea is to get a balance of color. You don’t have to know right now what to do with each block. Notice on this particular day I have a green block and a blue block open. That means when someone asked me to send them more info about our products, I know I have time at 10 a.m. to do that. Maybe you block a huge personal block for the week. Perfect, your friend calls and wants to get pedicures. You look at your calendar and find your open personal time. Make sense?

Now, when are you going to do this? I personally get in bed each night and plan out the next day. I plan my day before I end my day. That way I can go to sleep knowing I have the next day somewhat under control (assuming no one starts puking in the middle of the night). Will there be bumps and do overs? Absolutely! I do have days where nothing is written down. It happens! But I can tell you that when I stick to this, I see the largest amount of growth in my business!

Go get your calendar and get your day planned out. You will be able to take a huge breath because you know you have things under control. I would LOVE to see your system when it is in place. Come on over to my Facebook page and show off your hard work 🙂

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