In A152 - How do you do a review of your week? I talk about how important my weekly reviews are. It’s actually quite scary how my wife can tell Sunday afternoons how distracted or off my game I am if I haven’t done my review that morning.
Can I be completely candid with you right now? This is a funny question to me because about 2 weeks ago…talking with a friend…when I start looking…I’m just distracting myself.
I’m going to share with you X strategies to have a productive week, without question, but you need to really figure out what works best for you. The tools, strategies, methods that make me productive may not be right for you and that’s ok. Just like maybe you are a night person and I’m a morning person. It’s just how we are wired.
So let’s dive in.
(I guarantee this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this before.)You need to plan your week before it starts. Whether that means you take Friday afternoon before you shut down for the weekend or are like me and plan on Sunday, you have to hit the ground running Monday morning knowing what you are working on.
Not planning ahead already sets you up for a slow start to the week.
My take: The reason I do Sunday mornings is so that I’m away from the fires of the week and can look objectively at all the things going on in the business. This allows me to prioritize the time effectively.
Use a calendar and put the important stuff on it first
There’s only so much time in a day. So the very first thing you is to use a calendar. Post-its are great for ideas and thoughts, not for time based planning.
Use your calendar as a constraint and for accountability.
Put all the important things like date night, workouts, Dr appointments, vacations, time with the family down on the week first. If it’s not already on there.
Next put your marketing and sales activities on your calendar. This is the blood of your business and needs to be something you prioritize doing in each and every week.
My take: Every single week we take my son to the Little Gym and that is non-negotiable. Sure there has been a time when something has come up that only my wife went with him, but 99% of the time, I’m there because it’s important to me.
Use booking application
You are having sales calls, client calls, and networking calls with friends and colleagues. They all take a different type of energy level to do and different amount of time as well.
By using a tool like Calendly or Acuity(https://acquity.com) it allows you to create events based around your calendar and the availability you set within the application.
Then you get a link to send off where the other person can pick a time slot that works best for them based around what you have available.
My take: By setting up specific availability, you are able to guard your time. You are also able to dedicate certain days or parts of the day based around your energy and concentration levels.
Theme your days
Whether it’s a full day dedicated to a piece of your business or a part of your day, I’ll leave that to you.
But make sure that if Monday is meant for Client A and Tuesday is meant for sales and marketing and Wednesday is Client B and Thursday is content and so on, keep to that.
Switching around is scientifically proven to be a detriment to productivity. If you can batch a single bunch of hours to a specific activity, your brain will easily move through those tasks.
My take: Base your days around your energy levels. As an example I like to leave my low energy tasks like administrative tasks towards the end of the day and end of the week. I’m most productive when it comes to tasks needing high concentration levels in the morning, so I won’t schedule most calls in the morning.
When I started out, I allowed calls and emails to run my week. I would take calls instead of scheduling and have my email open all day. I found myself consistently behind the 8-ball on projects and things like the business were always pushed aside.
That put me right into the feast or famine cycle. When I started guarding my time, prioritizing what is important, figuring out how to do that, and then just going ahead to do it, my stress levels and anxiety began to wane.
Peace of mind for myself and my clients became a reality.
Running your freelance business
More episodes in this topic:
What do you do when a crisis hits?
How to start building an email list as a freelancer?
How do you manage time wearing so many hats as a freelancer?
What software tools do you use for business? What is best?
How do you prevent, manage scope creep in your projects?
Do you schedule in time for exploring or reading articles online?
What is the best way to get income fast?
What happens if you can’t define a scope of work on a call?
What do I do first thing Monday morning?
How can I focus on my business when I’ve got a ton client work?
Do I have to be concerned with GDPR?
What are the tools and services that you use and would recommend to freelancers?
How do you have time for all that you do?
What podcasting gear do I use?
Does live chat bring you in business?
How do you followup with a lead after a proposal?
Did hiring a mentor really help you with starting up your business or your career?
What is my writing process
What is the easiest way to get a remote testimonial?
How do you determine a quality prospect?
How do you step away and actually take a vacation?
Are job boards reliable?
How to decrease the sales cycle or time to close?
How would you write a cold outreach email?
How to present different services that could potentially diminish your abilities in the minds of clients?
Should I bundle projects for clients or keep projects separate per client?
What product do you use for your business that you can’t live without?
What makes you stand out from other freelancers?
Do I drop this client?
How do I set a goal?
Do you meet leads and clients face-to-face?
How do I work “ON” my business and not “IN” my business?
What is the best structure for setting a goal?
How do you do a review of your week?
What do I say when a potential client says I’m too expensive?
What is activity based selling?
How to get more clients?
How to have a productive week?
Do you use a CRM for your business?
How do you choose the technology for your clients?
What is the structure of a weekly review?
What is the structure of a monthly review?
What are lead generation techniques to get me out of the feast and famine revenue cycle?
How do I know if I should buy a course?
What’s a polite way to tell existing clients you are raising your rates? And what is a reasonable percentage to go up?
How many email follow-ups should I send to a lead?
What do I do? I’m afraid to filter the tire kickers coming into my business because they are the only leads I have.
How to take the next step from contracting resource to solo business owner?
What do you think about Gutenberg? Schmutenberg!
How do I get better at sales?
How to overcome objections in sales?
How do I respond to an RFP?
How to respond to “I don’t need strategy, can you just do…”?
If you don’t have experience, how to you prove the quality without the education/experience?
How do you handle a client that has ghosted?
What do you ask during a sales call?
How to improve your sales process as a freelancer?
How to charge more as a freelancer?
How do you push past the imposter syndrome?
How do you segment your email list?
What to say when a client insists on adding something new?
What kind of content should I promote to potential clients?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach