Success starts with daily planning
When you have a company, you know the importance of setting goals. If you didn’t read our post about how to get happier clients we urge you to read it first. This post is about daily planning.
To achieve your long-term goals, you need to have short-term goals and to achieve your short term goals you need daily planning.
Daily planning is one of the single most important productivity hacks you can do. You can become successful with daily planning without any long term goals, but you can’t become successful by only having long term goals.
Small agencies struggle a lot with daily planning because it’s normal to have more tasks than you can ever accomplish in a day.
There are a lot of different systems you can use for daily planning, and we will give you some general guidelines for daily planning and a more productive day.
Where is your stress coming from?
If you want to be a successful daily planner you need to know how many hours you normally work in a day. Most people think they can plan eight hours work into an 8 hours work day. This is the road to disaster.
Most people will get extra tasks during the day from co-workers, clients or even themselves. You need to think about where you get all this extra work from and if you can do anything about it.
For almost everyone, you have to look at emails and calls.
In 4-hour Workweek, the author Tim Ferriss became famous for writing that he only checked his email once a week. If you are an agency, you can’t do that because you would probably get angry clients and more stress. But even Tim Ferriss is aware of this, and he thinks you should have a certain time when you check your emails, and it should never be in the morning because he thinks it will stress you out. Read more here.
This is not necessarily true, and it seems that Getting Things Done is a better system for agencies.
What is Getting Things Done – and how to use it
The short explanation is that it’s a system to get everything out of your head by planning it. Today plenty of software is based on this system, and it doesn’t matter which task management system you use.
When you get all your tasks into a task management system, it’s easier for you to track your time and plan your days, weeks and months.
When you use Getting Things Done, you don’t feel bad about emails, and it doesn’t matter if you look at them first thing in the morning. You look at all your emails, and if you can get it out of the way in 2 minutes or less, you should do that. If it’s a longer task, you plan it for later.
The reason why this system works is that you don’t let an email take control of your planning. If you think that every email needs an instant reply then you are letting your emails and clients control your time.
We are not saying you shouldn’t answer clients. You can tell them you received the email and then break down the email for all the tasks that it includes.
If you want to know more about Getting Things Done, you can read more about it here.
Try the Pomodoro Technique
The hardest part of being productive is that we are easily distracted (humans in general). It’s a good idea to have a time system where you work, and then you can answer calls or emails afterward.
Plenty of people swears to the Pomodoro Technique. Here you have to work for 25 minutes followed by 3-5 minutes break. After every four Pomodoros your break should be 15-25 minutes.
It’s important that you don’t use your computer when you’re having a break. Your mind doesn’t relax if you spend your breaks answering emails. Talk to someone or grab a coffee.
The reason why the Pomodoro Technique works is that it trains you to spend your time on actually work without any distractions.
After 25 minutes you can get back to emails or calls. Mos people should be able to work 25 minutes without getting distracted.
If you want to try it, you can read more about it here.
How many hours do I need for this task?
No matter what system you use, you have to know how many hours it will take you to finish a task. In the beginning, it can be hard to know, but as you keep doing it, you get better and better at estimating time.
We have never heard about a productivity system where you didn’t have to track your time. It’s a good idea to estimate how much effort every task will need.
When you do this, it’s so much easier for you to plan your daily schedule in the future.
Save time with software
If you want to make room for work you need to use software so you can work smarter. In the post about happier clients, we gave you a long list of software you can use.
If you have a task that you can automate you need to do it right away – even if it takes you a little more time in the short run. Automation is the single most important way to spend more time on tasks that will get you closer to accomplish your goals.
It was one of the reasons why we created Mimer Metrics, so you can spend time on other tasks than figuring out data in Google Analytics. When you use Mimer Metrics, you only have to set up your dashboards and reports once, and then all of it is automated.
You need to know all about your data, but you shouldn’t spend ridiculous amounts of time on it. We made it easy for you so you can spend your time on other tasks.
Start your daily planning with help from us.