How and Why to colour code your diary

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Welcome to Episode 41 of Blackboard Fridays! And thank you again for your support (and questions – keep hitting reply and asking away).

You’ve probably noticed that I use a lot of colour, and if you’ve been watching a lot of episodes you will see that the colours I use are quite deliberate. It’s true – my colour coding system is all part of the overall businessDEPOT Way that we guide entrepreneurs to run better businesses.

The most powerful way my clients take these colours and use them in their every day life, is by colour-coding their diaries or schedules. Adding colour adds meaning, and the outcome is a more focused use of your time, and better team support.

In this week’s episode I explain the specific colours I use for meetings and tasks, and why grouping my diary into chunks of the different colours helps me achieve more in the same amount of time.

You can use whatever colours you want – but notice how these colours fit into the system with the Momentum Meeting Schedule from episode 37 (LINK), the Roles & Responsibilities we discussed in episodes 7 – 9 (http://businessdepot.com.au/insights/r-n-r-roles-and-responsibilities-pt-1), and all the way back to the Business Lifecycle that is so critical it was the focus of Blackboard Fridays Episode 1 (http://businessdepot.com.au/insights/speed-bumps-hurdles-and-brick-walls-part-1).

My intent, through these videos and the personalised or group advisory work that I deliver, is to do more than ask you the right questions. I’m here to give you a better business system that truly empowers your bright ideas. Why shouldn’t your business have a colourful future?

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.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.

Transcript

Hello Blackboarders. But now it’s probably clear that I like to use color. I like to use color on the blackboard when I’m running strategy days. I like to use color on the whiteboard. If you’ve ever seen me, take notes, you know that I love to use color when I’m taking notes and if you jump into my diary you’ll see I use color to code my diary. Now why do I do that? Well, if you go all the way back to Blackboard Friday’s episode 7, we talked about roles and responsibilities for the business owner splitting your time down into four different categories.

Black which is wealth, Green which is growth, Blue which is revenue, and Red which is admin. For me, color coding my diary along those lines helps me to do two things. One, it helps me to focus on different areas of activity at different times. If I’ve got a day full of sales meetings, I can have my head switched on just for sales. No point putting an administrative meeting right in the middle of that and similarly I can then look back and see where I’ve been spending my time.

Do you ever get to Friday afternoon and wonder whether week when color code in your diary and your task list is a way to manage that so I communicate this system with my team as well so that when they look at my diary they can see exactly what activity I’m up to and if they need to get into my diary to ask me some questions or to run a deadest meeting they can see at a glance exactly where that’s best going to fit so that my day isn’t bouncing around between those four different categories.

The last element which we don’t cover in that business, but I do for my diary, is some of that personal side of things. So in my system, I put personal activity in my diary as pink and then yellow is personal FYI information so when my beautiful wife sends me a an email to let me know that she’s going to be on a plane, which is actually what she’s doing right now as we speak. That considered my diary but I can tell at a glance that that because it’s yellow is not something that’s going to get in the way of my day. It’s just for my information.

You’ll also see, I’ve broken down blue into light blue and dark blue to separate the sales meeting activity. The actual client delivery of work again nearly days of your business, you’ll be doing a lot more sales than client delivery. You want to make sure you get that balance right so that you’ve got money coming in the door and you’re constantly ahead of the curve.

Now in Blackboard Friday’s episode 8 we set everybody the task of going through and determining exactly how much of their time they wanted to spend in each of those four areas. So for me right now, and this is something that can change as your business moves through its life cycle, right now I need to be spending 5% of my time which is about a half a day a fortnight on the wealth building activity and 5% of my time on admin and financials. They’re humming along nicely, they’re not a major focal point as I’d shift into the scale-up phase for business advisory. I need to be doing the client work which takes up about 50% of my time and I need to be dedicating 10% of my time half a day a week a day a fortnight on that sales activity to make sure that his client projects conclude there are new client projects coming in and that revenues humming along that revenue is energy for my business because I’m moving from start up into scale up—from the blue phase into the green phase.

I need to make sure I’m dedicating a decent amount of time to the green now. The green is one of the hardest elements of your business to schedule because it’s often time that you’re spending by yourself. It’s not necessarily a half day or a whole day meeting that you’re doing it’s building new product development culture so make a point even if you don’t have a lot of meetings in your diary to be scheduling chunks of time for you to focus on these different areas that will make sure that you actually commit to that time that you do what needs to be done for the percentage that you’ve set for what your business needs.

And again, because of the colors, it helps you see where your time went and help communicate to your team exactly what you’re doing across all of these critical areas of business plus it’s a heck of a lot more exciting on a Monday morning to open up a diary that looks like that and a diary that’s just lack of one.

Next Steps

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