To create an optimum day, I guess we better define one. An optimum day is one in which: (1) Target number of contacts with clients and prospects has been achieved. (2) Distractions are minimized. (3) Necessary research and writing is complete. (4) Notes from calls and meetings are entered in computer or sent to computer operator, who will enter them. (5) Coordination with team is maintained.
Let’s back it up a step. How do you get from first walking into the office, to having a day that looks like that? (1) Plan is made. (2) Plan is executed. (3) Plan is reviewed.
Boils down to planning, doesn’t it? Let’s back it up yet another step. What are the tools you need? I can do it with three: (1) Business Plan. This sets the direction and priorities. (2) Model Day Worksheet. Here is where the business plan happens—one day, one hour at a time. (3) Daily/Weekly Stats Worksheet. By keeping track of what you are doing, you can get bigger picture. Review is that pause that answers the question, “Are we there yet?”
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By way of reminder, your Model Day consists of time blocks I call “mini-days.” Only a single type of activity is performed in a mini-day, which should be anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. The Model Day is a planning framework in which to organize a fire hose of data and activity that comes at you every day.
Your mini-days must include: Daily planning. Weekly planning. Lead generation (this can be calling clients, cold calling, cold walking, seminar preparation and delivery—any activity that causes someone to respond for the first time). Lead development (following up on leads that have been generated but are not yet willing to set an appointment; this would be a phone mini-day).
Don’t forget: Meetings (these can be in person or by phone). Research and writing. Contact administration. Email. Breaks. Lunch.
You can also have mini-days for: Promotional writing. Staff training. Staff meeting. YouTube video preparation. Financial planning. Continuing education. Any other activity type vital to the success of your business.
As your business life changes, your mini-days will change. Perhaps you have been spending two hours every Friday afternoon training your team. Your team is now trained. Do something else.
In my mind, the two most important mini-days are daily planning and weekly planning. If you are intensely calling, be sure to add a third: break.
A word about breaks: Back in my cold calling days, I noticed that my first hour was normally the best. My theory was that I was fresh then. So I began to experiment with ways to create a second “first hour,” third “first hour,” and so on.
I finally settled on: Call for 50 minutes. Then take a 10 minute break. Get up. Walk around. Go outside. Back on the phone for 50 minutes.
Daily planning can be 15 minutes. It can be two hours. I review what happened yesterday, what should happen today, make sure any promises made are noted in my CRM, consult my weekly plan and drop those activities I can accomplish today into the mini-day where they will occur today.
Daily planning is where your strategic plan comes down to earth and gets done.
Without a Model Day that includes daily and weekly planning, your day is most likely a reactive smear rather than a proactive progression, accomplishing step by step the most important tasks of your weekly plan.
Daily planning helps create focus.