Posts Tagged ‘Strategic Planning’

Build structures for time optimization

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Your brain is a wonderful thing, but it isn’t perfect. Sometimes it needs a little help. And one of the best ways to help your brain to be its best is by building structures to optimize your time.

If you are not using a checklist for your job, you ARE going to miss things. There’s simply no way your brain can keep track of everything efficiently without that simple external structure. Whether it’s an app on your phone or a pad of paper on your desk, it’s an absolute business essential. And study after study has found that pretty much every job above French fry cook benefits from the introduction of stepwise accountability measures.

Break down each item on the list into steps, and force yourself to report in to the steps along the way. While you’re breaking it down into smaller bits, be sure to spend time on the big picture as well. Build times into your calendar to work toward key results, or they won’t happen.

Finally, don’t forget to prioritize. A list of thirty undifferentiated items will do nothing but stress you out. Create a simple—always simple—system of dots, flags, letters, or whatever you want to designate high, middle, and low-priority items.

Now here’s the counter-intuitive part: When you lay the items into your daily schedule, don’t put all of the biggest things first. If you have four big projects and you put them all at the beginning of the day, and #2 takes longer than you think, and smaller tasks creep in, and you get interrupted a dozen times—in other words, if a completely normal day happens—you are likely to run out of time AND FOCUS for #4. Instead, lay small, lower-priority tasks between the big ones as buffers. If one big project runs over its allotted time, these smaller cushions can be jettisoned until tomorrow or the next day.

Whether it’s the small picture or the big picture, don’t cross your fingers and hope. Build the structures that optimize your time and ensure that things happen.

Time Management

Monday, October 17th, 2011

* Transcription

Thank God it’s Monday!® Time management—no matter what line of work you’re in you know it’s one of the keys to success. Of course the people who need it the most are usually the least likely to do it because they don’t have… time! You’ve got to make the time.

Clear an hour on your calendar now. Create a list of every major project for the next quarter. Break each project into steps, then lay those steps into a weekly calendar—a series for each week. As each week approaches, break it out further into daily action plans.

Suppose I had to write a workbook for a conference. Finish the workbook by October first is kind of a weak goal. Instead, if I break it down into specific steps, like, the section outlines will be done in the first week and I will finish one section each week for the next six weeks. Finally, I’ll prepare the appendix and edit the manuscript in the last week. Now, that workbook will actually get done on time.

Do the same with every other project. Lay out the steps into your weekly plans and watch your personal productivity go through the roof.

Have a great Monday!

Roxanne

Roxanne Emmerich’s Thank God It’s Monday!® How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love climbed to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list and made the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists—all in the first week of its release. Roxanne is renowned for her ability to transform “ho-hum” workplaces into dynamic, results-oriented, “bring-it-on” cultures. If you are not currently receiving the Thank God It’s Monday!® e-zine and weekly audios, subscribe today at www.ThankGoditsMonday.com.

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Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

Monday, June 20th, 2011

* Transcription

Thank God it’s Monday!™ Your schedule quickly gets out of hand. And with the inevitable change of plans and complexity of the day, a minute-by-minute schedule is hardly useful.

Here’s a useful idea; plan your next day before leaving the office. Now you have a definitive plan, and you eliminate the need to lie in bed at night running over your various to-dos causing for restless sleep.

You can make plans to accommodate work that you find unmanageable. You can structure your time such that you can work diligently. And through this preparation, your productivity will skyrocket.

Have a great Monday!

Roxanne

Roxanne Emmerich’s Thank God It’s Monday! How to Create a Workplace You and Your Customers Love climbed to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list and made the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists—all in the first week of its release. Roxanne is renowned for her ability to transform “ho-hum” workplaces into dynamic, results-oriented, “bring-it-on” cultures. If you are not currently receiving the Thank God It’s Monday e-zine and weekly audios, subscribe today at www.ThankGoditsMonday.com.

Love this audio message? You may also download the MP3 version and PDF transcript below:



Download Instructions: Right-click the download button(s) and
choose ‘save link as…’ to save the file to your computer.

TGIM e-zine: November 8, 2010

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Issue 103 ~ November 8, 2010

In this Issue:

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Goodbye to “Sir or Madam” Marketing

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010
© Brunoil | Dreamstime.com

© Brunoil | Dreamstime.com

“Dear Sir or Madam,”

“Have you heard about our new [product/service]?  There has never been anything like it before.  Best of all, it’s designed just for you, [prospective client name here]!  Worry no more about [financial security/maximizing returns/funding college/on-time retirement].  Our [product/service] will fit your needs like a [glove/shoe/favorite T-shirt].”

Most marketing has gotten well beyond this level of obviousness, of course.  But below the smoother surface of our mail-merges, much corporate thinking about marketing is still stuck in the one-size-fits-all mindset that should have gone out with legwarmers.

American Express was successful for years with the all-purpose slogan, “Don’t leave home without it.”  But with the 1990s came the advent of a new consumer mentality, one that encouraged customers to feel that products and services were not generically designed for the masses but tailored “just for them.”  American Express recognized this and retooled its approach, adopting its revised, targeted slogan, “The right card for the right people.”  As Richard Weylman noted in Opening Closed Doors, AmEx had realized that “it is more important and effective to reach the right people than it is to reach many people.”

It’s one of the great insights of modern marketing.  In today’s advertising climate, the wider you cast your net, the lower your marketing ROI.  Instead, spend some time identifying and wooing the very specific fish that are most likely to bite on the bait you have to offer.

How do you identify these fish?  Look around your tank. They’re already swimming in front of your nose.  Your current happy customers are the best predictors of what your future happy customers will look like.

After all, your current happy customers are happy for a reason—they love what you have to offer.  If you think of them as generic “customers” and go out looking for more “customers,” you are missing out on the golden opportunity to discover just what it is that brought them in and kept them with you.  Do you have accounts belonging to young families?  Realtors?  Educators?  Members of the Kiwanis?  Golf-loving retirees?  New homeowners?  Each of these comes with specific needs and desires.  Find out what they love and want, then build tightly targeted marketing around that subset of your local population.

And how do you find out what they love and what they want?  ASK them!  Remember that people love to talk about themselves.  Send out a personal letter to every current client who recently bought a home.  Tell them that you are eager to have more clients just like them.  Who wouldn’t want to hear that?  Ask what would make their lives easier—from actual financial products and services to a pizza delivered on Moving Day—then create it, advertise it, and reel ‘em in!

In the end, your marketing should consist not of one big blast of generic information, but six or eight smaller, more carefully crafted campaigns.  Believe me—it’ll be the biggest bang for buck you’ve ever had.