It's another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.
If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>
Here are a few of my favorite Expert Briefs:
- Tips to Make Working from Home More Fun
- How to Protect your Time and Get More Done in an Online Business
- Fess up, Marketers. Do you use PLR?
Today's question is –
What does a “typical” day or week in your business look like?
(If such a thing exists.)
Do you have a to do list for either that you can share?
And, here are our answers…
Alice Seba of Contentrix.com says:
Over the years, I've worked strategically to make sure my typical work day doesn't look like a typical work day. I make sure I work with partners and contractors so we can all focus on our strengths…leaving me to work on just a few specific things in my business.
The things I work on are:
* Marketing Strategy: While this is done to some degree on a daily basis, most strategizing takes place annually, then quarterly and most in-depth, monthly.
* Email Marketing & Promotions: This is my real strength and what my daily work is really focused on. On a weekly basis, I plan out emails an promotions and then work on them each day. This includes communication to subscribers, customers and affiliates.
* Product Development: For some products, I simply work on the ideas/planning, but where my expertise is required, I am more hands on. I generally keep product development work to one or two days per week.
Things I don't work on:
- Support, inquiries and administrative tasks. I have a capable assistant to manage this.
- Management of most of our contractors or writers. My business partners handle this.
- Technical tasks. I have a techie on board to install scripts, customizations, etc.
- Graphics. I just don't have the skills. 🙁
So to make a long story short, my work days are fairly short and are focused on strategizing, writing copy and sometimes developing products.
I will often work a little in the morning and finish up in the evening…rarely working more than 2 hours at one time. I find working longer than that, I get really distracted and start exploring other things I shouldn't be!
I also keep my iPhone around and that's what I use for my online goof off time…separate from work time. The laptop is for work. The iPhone is for social media, reading blogs, etc. So you'll often see me tweeting in the bank line up, while waiting for the kids, and reading blog posts while I relax on the couch. 🙂
Shannon Cherry of The Power Publicist says:
A typical week? Really?!? Is there such a thing when you have a business with reporters calling all hours of the day (and night), twin preschoolers and a business to run?
Actually there is. And that's because I plan and organize my weeks. Here's a glimpse on how I do it:
1) I have a six months+ plan I work with.
I know exactly what I'll be promoting when it comes to my products and services, as well as any affiliate or JV promotions six months in advance. That way I can plan what marketing I will do for each thing. I use a wall calendar to map it out so I know exactly what marketing has to be done when. (Hint: I work backwards from the launch date to set deadlines on what needs to be done when.)
2) I know when I'm at my best.
Unlike Nicole, who tends to be a night owl, I am an early bird. My creative ideas are abundant in the early morning and I can write quickly. By 2 PM, I need a nap! So I make sure I schedule my most creative work in the morning on my to-do list.
3) I split my week up into segments.
I have two days set aside for talking on the phone with clients. One day is strictly for writing. One day is a combo of writing and planning. (I try to take an extra day off to make a long weekend. That way I can meet any school obligations my kids have, as well as a little me time.)
4) I don't do my own scheduling.
I've learned I am too nice when it comes to putting people on my schedule for phone calls, etc. So I send all stuff about my schedule to my administrative director, who knows which days are for calls and schedules people accordingly.
Finally, here's one last tip:
Know – and accept – that there will be days that will screw up your best laid plans.
A kid gets sick. A reporter wants to interview a client on Good Morning America. Your Internet service dies. It happens and there's nothing you can do about it. So when you plan, don't over-plan your days. (Psst! It's one of the reasons I try to have that extra day off a week. It's a great to have a ‘just in case all hell breaks loose' day.)
And, here's my 2 cents.
Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
First of all, I love this quote from Alice “I've worked strategically to make sure my typical work day doesn't look like a typical work day“.
And, Shannon – this rocks! “It's a great to have a ‘just in case all hell breaks loose' day.” Been there. Done that.
Boy, can I ever relate to both of those.
I asked our experts this question, because it's something I'm always in the process of re-evaluating and tweaking in my own business.
For me, the best use of my time is spent in content creation and networking.
So, the majority of my time that I work during the day is spent –
- Blogging here. (Creating content here.)
- Writing emails to customers & leads. (Lists and relationship building.)
- Connecting with my friends/mastermind partners & affiliates. (Goal setting, brainstorming, and JVs.)
- Communicating with my team so things are running smoothly. (Business management.)
- Getting exposure on other sites (doing interviews, guest blogging, article marketing, and video marketing). (Traffic.)
The one thing that's been put on the back burner for me the last few months has been product creation. It's the easiest thing for me to let slide “just one more day”… so I'm actively working on that now before I get strung by by my toes from my mastermind partner (and before my customers who keep asking me WHEN I'll be teaching my next course come knocking at my front door to kidnap me and make me finish it). Yes, we all have obstacles to overcome.
ok. Back to getting things done. You guys know I'm a project person, so I like to break up my tasks by “chunking” them.
Rather than writing one email each day, I'll write all three for the week at one time and schedule them.
Rather than writing one blog post each day, I'll write a few and schedule them.
So, I've learned that I work better when I focus on a weekly set of goals (or a weekly schedule) instead of a daily one.
I'm the kind of person who would spend one full day exercising each month rather than having to do it on a daily basis. I'll also put off laundry until I have nothing to wear and am running around nearly nekkid. Then I'll spend a day doing laundry, knowing that I don't have to deal with it for another month. I also prefer to do batch cooking rather than cooking a meal every day. I'd rather make one big huge batch of chili and freeze it in meal-size containers than to have to cook every day. It's just how I work.
However, I've also known people who NEED a daily schedule. They thrive on knowing exactly what they'll be doing every day. It's about knowing yourself and being true to that.
Rather than setting yourself up to fail – set yourself up to succeed.
I have two lists. A “must do” list and a “wish list” of things that I'd like to accomplish, but that's a separate list. 🙂 Never do the two meet.
So, here's my “must do” to do list for this week – the things that I have to do or my accountability partner will beat me:
– Final plan for my next infoproduct (outline, format, price)
– Order sales page for course
– 3 Blog Posts NOTN (here)
– 2-4 mailings (see promo schedule and decide based upon what provides most value to readers)
– Switch EasyPLR.com to WordPress (working with hubby on this)
– Daughter's birthday & party (make it rock!)
Next week, I'm focusing more on Traffic Generating activities.
The “must do” list doesn't look too impressive, in my opinion. (The “wish list” is much longer.) But then again, I don't work that many hours compared to a lot of my colleagues. In fact, today, I'm working a whopping 2.5 hours total. When I'm on vacation, I don't work at all other than checking email every few days. But, the only reason I CAN do that is because I outsource to really smart people.
One other thing that's really helped me with my “to do” lists is this book –
Focal Point: A Proven System to Simplify Your Life,
Double Your Productivity, and Achieve All Your Goals
Knowing where your focal point is – WHERE you should focus your time – helps to prioritize. Your list may be completely different than mine or Alice's or Shannon's. But, knowing where you should focus helps you to make a smart decision.
I hope this was helpful. Please throw your thoughts at me. I want them!