Are you Living Your Ideal Week? In Blackboard Fridays Episode 101, Jacob talks about Productivity. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
OK, sure, your ideal week probably involves breakfast every morning at Hotel La Darsena, overlooking Lake Como in northern Italy.
In an operational, not visionary, context – your Ideal Week maps out the key tasks you want to achieve each week, and/or the category of time you want to invest each week. While you may rarely achieve an ‘ideal’ week, I guarantee you that documenting your desires will see you move closer to this goal.
Having Ideal Weeks for your team members is also a practical part of your RNR (Rest and Recuperation) strategy. As a business leader, you can stop wondering whether Tim has checked the mail and Tina has made those calls when you know these tasks are always done on a Tuesday morning and Friday afternoon respectively.
In this week’s episode, I will walk you through how to draft your Ideal Week and excite your team to create theirs. We’ll also talk about leveraging this to find more time in your schedule, for those really valuable activites like exercise, date night, and family time.
OK, and holidays to Italy.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
At its heart, one of the most important, most valuable and most common conversations I have with my clients, whether that’s working with their entire business in a 20, 40, 80-person organization or whether that’s working one-on-one with the founder, is about how they’re investing their time.
Their time, which is so valuable. Where is it going in the business and what return on investment are they achieving? You’ve heard me talk about it before.
Today, I’m going to go through a simple exercise I’ve used with a lot of business owners over the years to help them understand where their time is going and, more importantly, where they want to be putting it so that they can invest much more effectively moving forward.
Now, this fits into our overall R&R project. Roles and responsibilities to create rest and recuperation. You can do this as part of position descriptions and it often falls out of position descriptions when it comes to your team.
So, from your receptionist, your professional staff, your sales people, based on their position description, what tasks do they need to be doing, how do they need to be spending their week?
For you as the business owner, you tend to have a bit more flexibility and choice around that, and so you can look at the entire week as a blank canvas, and then, of course, add some color.
So, I’m using the same system we talked about back in episode 42, about how I color-code my time, my diary. We’re going to apply that to look at this ideal week. All I’ve done here, and I have a template that I can send you if you’d like it, is broken up the week, the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, assuming you’re working all of those days, and then the weekend, if you want to include it, and then separated the days.
As we saw, 10 episodes ago, some people like to have fewer chunks in their day. Morning, afternoon. Some people like a few more. This is a compromise for the purposes of appealing to the most number of viewers.
Now, filling out your ideal week comes from one, understanding what percentage of your time you want to be spending in those different areas, and also, critically, understanding your own energy.
So, some people I know, for example, make sure that early on two morning sa week, they go to the gym, they do some personal training. Others are much more likely to do that of an evening.
There’s no right or wrong. This is your ideal week. And we start to fill it out. How much time each week do you need to be spending on wealth? And that’s often a small portion of time. It may not even show up in your ideal week if you’re in the startup stage of business. How much of your time do you need to be spending on growth?
Now if that’s 40% of your time, that’s two days every week that you need to be spending it. Are you somebody who likes to do big chunks, a whole day at a time? Or are you somebody who likes to break that up? Maybe one morning and one afternoon a week working on culture or marketing strategies.
How much time do you still need to be doing delivering revenue, working with clients? That’s a pretty important one to make sure that that time goes in. And what’s the best time of day for you to be doing that? What’s the best time of day for you to be doing sales?
Now, I personally like to get all of my sales into one day each week. I’d rather do four or five sales meetings in one day, be very focused on that, than have one meeting on each day. I get the same amount of sales meetings each week, but I find that my conversion rates are much higher when I’ve got that dedicated day, than if it’s sprinkled in amongst all of these other colors.
Of course, there’s your administrative time. Going over invoices, debtors, going through the books, maybe you’ve still got some responsibilities for managing the premises or the HR of your organization.
Putting aside some specific time to do that each week helps you to get those tasks done even though they may be less energizing for you, and also ensures that they don’t bleed into some of the other, more important,more valuable aspects of your role as a business owner.
You can see, I’ve left a few gaps here. Again, that’s a personal preference. Some people don’t want to be too regimented. They want to have flexibility in their week. Others like to have this structure. They find that structure supports them to do what needs to be done and to get that balance right. What’s your ideal week look like? And are you living your ideal week?
So, two key elements for the final last bit of application for this. One, is that you will never live your ideal week to week, every week, perfectly. Documenting this is not about specifically structuring your diary such that it can never look like anything other than this.
However, by having this documented, by having this shared with your team, especially if you have a PA, can help make your week look more ideal every week. Even if you’re only doing 80% of this every week, that’s a heck of a lot better than the reality I see for most business owners, which is getting pulled from pillar to post and constantly being reactive, responsive with your time, which means that you’ll end up doing more red and nowhere near as much green and black as you require.
One last thing. For me, an ideal week doesn’t work because I run my business much more on a month-to-month basis. Most of my clients are scheduled such that I see them once or twice every month. So, rather than having a week, I have an ideal month.
I’m happy to share that template if in your world, running month to month makes a little bit more sense. And that’s great if you’ve got things like every other week you’ve got the kids, or once a month you like to have a date night or go away for a three-day weekend with your spouse.
However you see your time, putting a plan for investing it ideally will help you sleep better at night, get home early, and do what your business needs you to do to get the results that you want.
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