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Daily Planning Made Simple

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

One of the most daunting issues for small business owners is simply how to get everything done. Our minds race a mile-a-minute and it’s easy to get distracted. We wake up knowing that we need to finish items from previous days, move long-term projects forward, and then start to take action on all the great ideas that we’ve had in the last few hours since we went to bed! 😊 It’s difficult to get things organized; however, there is a way.

This simple organization strategy comes from combining my training while in sales with my experience building a business. It’s not necessarily the most elaborate organization system, but it will serve you well for both short-term and long-term tasks.

Immediate tasks. Make a list of what needs to be done, but do it daily, and do it at the end of the day BEFORE you need to do it. If you wait until the following day, then you will likely get caught up in the duties for that day and never make your list. It should be done the day before, and it should be in writing. It can be in a simple paper notebook, or even in a Word document that you continue to add to over time. It doesn’t need to be a fancy online tool. If you like tools, then find one that works for you of course. However, just realize that the tool isn’t what’s important. Making the list is what is important.

Long-term projects. Break them up into smaller steps, or milestones to accomplish, and then use a scheduling tool, such as the Tasks function in MS Outlook, to schedule items in the future. For instance, if you have a 12-step project, and the first step has to happen in the next two weeks, then schedule that first step for two weeks from now. When that is accomplished, then put the next step on your calendar. You don’t have to schedule out the entire project – just each step as it comes up next. In fact, scheduling out the entire project can often be wasted time as the project may change along the way. Only schedule the first milestone, and then schedule out as it progresses. If the milestone date changes, simply change it in Outlook. It’s a simple thing to manage, but it allows you to schedule out into the future without messing up your daily written task list that we referenced earlier. (Note: Some people use the Calendar for this instead of Tasks, but I always found that it cluttered my calendar, so I went to using the Task function instead)

No matter what tools you use, and I would suggest that simpler is better, using some method of planning both your immediate next day and your long-term projects will ensure that nothing gets skipped and no deadline or opportunity gets missed. It is a low-tech way of managing your workload and making sure that you get the important tasks accomplished without getting bogged down in what simply seems to be urgent at the moment.

As always, I wish you the best in your business.

Mark Goldman

(PS: If you’d like clarification on this organizational method, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m happy to discuss.)



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