The Control Freak's Guide to Getting Work Done
1. Plan your weekBeing a solo web entrepreneur means you don't have a schedule... or a weekend. You can work whenever you want. Or avoid it whenever you want. But you need a strict schedule to get organized. So you have to plan your week accordingly. Here's my very simple schedule:
- Monday: Too much mail. I hardly have time doing anything except checking and answering emails, following up with my Twitter followers and Facebook friends and catch up with the latest news.
- Tuesday: It's getting somewhat quieter. I can afford the time to get some client work done.
- Wednesday: Mid of the week is highly productive. I do all my client work I have. Besides, I have time to work on one of my own projects (send assignments to my development team, do a blogger outreach for our new features or events, write a blog post for my personal blog, etc.).
- Thursday and Friday: End of the week is highly creative. This is when I write (guest) posts, brainstorm new client campaigns, make notes for my further posts, etc
- Weekend: Lots of rest and reading while still brainstorming content ideas for future articles, structuring my knowledge, etc.
2. Plan each dayMy to-do list is what keeps me sane. It helps me almost always know what I am going to do and when. Here are a few tips on how I create and manage a good daily to-do list:
1. Keep the first part of the day mostly free (this is when I am checking and answering my emails, social media messages, etc);
2. Never interrupt your work without creating a new to-do. Besides being a solo entrepreneur, I am also a mom. My kid always wants my attention but even if I have to interrupt my usual working process, I always create a quick to-do list before closing the laptop. Otherwise I'll forget where I stopped!
3. You don't need any fancy software: Most to-do list tools are so feature-rich that more time will be spent (figuring it) than saved. For my to-do lists I use pen and paper, a simple .txt file or a whiteboard.
4. Create a new to-do list daily! This is why this almost perfect tool never worked for me. I know that many people really enjoy crossing the tasks off their to-do lists and adding new ones right there (this makes them feel the mission is somewhat accomplished). However I like arranging tasks on a new to-do list daily and having a new, clean list each time.Here's one of my actual to-do lists: As you can see, I don't manage to do everything within one day. I do just a bit, then a new list gets new tasks and new priorities! This keeps me extremely focused! A few other tricks I am using for my to-do list (as seen above):
- Using active verbs that call to action: This keeps me more motivated.
- Omitting tasks I do daily: Routine tasks (like checking email) won't go into my TO-DO list not to clutter it with something I won't forget to do anyway.