Hello Believe Nation. Today I’m going to talk about the seven ways to structure your day for success.
So one of the most common questions that I get asked, is how do I structure my day? How do I set up my schedule, my time, to have success? Consistently. Be productive. Because as an entrepreneur, you’ve got a million things going on. You’re wearing every hat in the business. And, oh by the way, you want a personal life, as well. So today I’m going to share with you the seven ways to structure your day for optimal success.
#1: Have An Inspiring Morning Routine
Way number one is you need to have a morning routine. You need to have a morning routine that inspires you, that gets you set up from the beginning, from the start of every single day to set you up for success. This is one of the biggest things that entrepreneurs need help with because, maybe you watch this video, on a Thursday afternoon at five o’clock, and you’re working so hard, you get so inspired and motivated, or maybe you’re meeting somebody.
Or maybe you listen to a podcast or something. Think about what gets you so inspired because, often what happens, is then you have tons of productivity, and then you wake up the next day and it’s gonea and you’re starting over and the alarm goes off and you’re sluggish, getting out of bed and you don’t want to do it. And you slowly grind into your day. Until some other random thing happens, and that gets you fired up and you’re off and running.
And instead of having these peaks and valleys, where you’re up and down and up and down, you’re riding this roller coaster, you want to think about what gets you most excited, motivated, inspired, productive, and plan that into your morning routine daily. To give yourself the best shot, at having a productive day today, where you’re going to go off and have a big impact. Where you believe in the big, crazy dream that you have, that you can make it happen.
Put that into your morning routine. And so for everybody it’s a little bit different. Some of the common themes, it could be having music. I love putting music on first thing in the morning. Something that gets me inspired and pumped up, and moving, and dancing. I love watching videos. The top 10’s. The mentor me’s. I love reading books. I love having a exercise routine. Things that get me going. This is what works for me.
You need to find what works for you and the best way to do it is think about when you have already been inspired. Because you have. ‘Cause you may not wake up every day inspired, but you have been inspired in your life before. Chances are it’s happened recently to you. What happened that led to that inspiration? And, again, instead of letting that thing be this random occurrence plan for it daily into your morning routine to set yourself up for a successful day.
#2: Ask Yourself The Question
Number two is ask yourself the question. The most important question that you can ask yourself every single day is what is the most value I can bring to my business today? This is something I’m obsessed with. And every day as I’m walking to the office, or walking here to Toronto Dance Salsa, I’m thinking about what’s the most value that I can bring to my business today.
Because you have a ton of things on your plate. Right? Entrepreneurs that I know, have a to do list this long, followed by an ideas list which is even longer. Right? Sound familiar? You need to focus on the thing that’s going to bring the most immediate, impactful value to your business.
Especially if you’re a solo entrepreneur. Especially if you don’t have a team to take care of some of the things for you. When you are literally doing everything in your business ask yourself every day what is the highest value task that I can do today that will advance my goals. And then go and do that.
#3: Have CEO Time
Number three is have CEO time. This ties into the last point. You need to make sure that every single day, when you’re going to your business, whether that is actually going to an office, if you’re sitting down in front of your computer at home, or going to a Starbucks, that you have CEO time every day. And CEO time, what I consider to be CEO time, is time to focus on the business instead of in the business.
Or yes, you have a million things to do. You’ve got tons of emails to get back to. You’ve got lots of social media to post out there. Everybody wants a piece of you. And you’ve got an ideas list, again, that’s a mile long. You need to have CEO time. I recommend at least 90 minutes a day of CEO time. Where you’re not just caught, in the day-to-day running of the business, and stuck on that mouse wheel.
You’re just going around and around and around and around in circles. If you don’t ever have time to focus on planning, and the bigger picture of your business, then guess what? You’re never going to get to the bigger picture for your business. You’re going to stay stuck where you are. So plan CEO time every day into your business. I prefer it in the morning. I prefer it before you open up your email, before you let your day explode on you. ‘Cause you wake up. You go to the office.
You look at your email. And suddenly, your day is over. You’re just constantly responding to other people. So whether you call it eat that frog, or first priorities first, or lots of people have different names for it. Making sure that you plan that into your schedule before your day blows up on you is important if you want to escape where you are. Because otherwise, you’re going to stay here. Instead of being able to grow out here.
#4: Chunk Your Time
Number four is chunk your time. Anything that you do multiple times per day, you want to try to chunk it down to one time per day. It makes a huge, huge, huge difference in your productivity, in how you structure it, so that you can get more important stuff done. And the classic one is emails or phone calls. Because, if somebody emails you and you look at it, even if you don’t address it immediately, it’s still, you’re thinking about it.
And it distracted you from doing what you should be doing. Which is whatever task you’re working on. And this is especially important when you’re doing creative tasks. When I’m working on my book, when I’m writing the manuscript, when I’m doing important research. I’m so in the zone of focus there that if you tap me on the shoulder, or you send me an email, or you try to call me, I don’t have a phone but, you try to call me, it takes me half an hour just to get back to where I was.
So that five second interruption isn’t really a five second interruption. You’ve screwed over a good chunk of my day. And so thinking about those important things that happened to you multiple times per day, how do you chunk that down so I’m only doing it one time a day, I’m focused on just doing that for the day, and it means that you lose, you lose some small potential wins.
Right? Like if you’re only checking email at 12 o’clock as an example, then maybe some really important media opportunity comes up and they need an answer by 11 o’clock. And you didn’t see it in time and so, you don’t get that media opportunity. You can’t get every single small win. It’s not going to happen. It’s not possible. You can’t be on 24/7. It is not possible. And so you have to be comfortable with losing some of the small wins because the time that your spending that is so focused is allowing you to go create something bigger and amazing. Chunk your daily time.
#5: Chunk Your Week
Number five is chunk your week. So just like we chunk multiple times per day to once a day, anything you’re doing multiple times per week, do once per week. So I look at the filming videos as an example. I film all the videos for my channel pretty much on a Wednesday afternoon. I’ll stand here at Toronto Dance Salsa, I’ll set up the lights and the gear and the camera and the books and the microphone and all that, and make 20 videos for the week. And it does a couple of things. Why is this so important? Like why not do three videos a day? Instead of 20 videos in one day.
One, because there’s setup time and take down time. This applies to anything. Whatever you want to get into, whatever tasks you have, there’s set up time and take down time. For this, I need to set up the lights and the camera and the books, and the microphone and all that stuff. I need to get it all ready. And so it’s much more time saving for me to do it all at once, all the videos at once, instead of having that setup and take down time each time.
The second thing is task switching is difficult. So when I’m in video mode, I’m in video mode. I’m just focused on the videos. I can bring the energy from one video to the next video to the next video, where it’s so hard for me to go from video mode, extrovertive, energy, enthusiasm, into research mode where it’s headphones on, don’t talk to me, introverted, analyzing, try to figure stuff out. And to take me from that state, introverted, getting work done, to hey come and be on a video, I’m going to have energy like this. I’m going to be distracted. I’m not going to be as upbeat.
I’m going to be thinking about other things and it won’t be a good video. Even now, I already have less energy. Who wants this on video? And so, understanding that your energy will change with different kinds of tasks is important. And so whatever is happening multiple times per week, try to do it on one day per week. So for me, what my schedule looks like now, Monday I’m working on all the video research, for this channel. Reviewing all the videos, seeing what has to be changed, what I like, what I don’t like. Making modifications. And in the afternoon, I’m doing book promotion work.
Could be research again on the book or it could be reaching out to influencers or could be making thank-you videos. I’m kind of in that zone. Tuesdays, I spend the whole afternoon doing Toronto Dance Salsa work. Wednesdays, I’m doing videos all afternoon. Thursdays, I’m doing phone calls and interviews and meetings. And, then Friday, is my CEO day. When I’m spending the whole day doing CEO bigger picture stuff. And it really, really, really, really, really, really, works and, again, you have to be willing to give up the small wins to go for the big wins.
#6: Value Your Time
Number six is value your time. I don’t think people value their time enough. I don’t think entrepreneurs value their time enough. If I audited your day and looked at what you were actually doing the day, there’d be a lot of wasted time. All the time you spend on Facebook, or clicking refresh on your statistics, to see how many people watch your YouTube videos in the past hour and going back and checking again.
Checking your sales numbers over and over and over and over again. Yes you could work harder. Yes you can add more hours to your day. Because you need to get more work done. But I would say that a huge chunk of your current day, even if you worked zero extra hours, could be way more productive because you’re just not focused. And that’s a harsh truth. That’s something that’s hard to say and hard to realize.
But if you look at your schedule, you look at the tasks you’re actually doing during the day, and you constantly self-audit to say, is this really the best use of my time? And then start to make adjustments based off of that. Because a lot of entrepreneurs complain that they don’t have enough time, but really, you’re not valuing your time enough. And you’re doing things that you shouldn’t be doing.
#7: Invest In Your Self
And number seven is to invest in yourself. I’d make sure that you find time at least once a week, if not every day, to invest in yourself. To learn. To grow. To try new things. To make yourself better. Because as you grow, as you gain in knowledge and experience, and expertise, your business will grow. And so that could be, meditation, works really well for some people. It could be gratitude.
I have a daily gratitude practice that I do every single day to remind me of the things that I have and I’m fortunate in my life. It could be watching videos to learn and be inspired. It could be reading. It could be trying to understand a new topic. It fills you. It makes you feel better. It puts you in a better mood. And it gives you more of not just inspiration but also the tactics of what to do. One of the things that really helped me in my early days as an entrepreneur, was reading this book, Radicals and Visionaries, every single morning.
And it was just three or four pages of a different entrepreneur that helped me get in the zone of being inspired but also, give me some tactics of what I could do. And so now, I don’t read the book anymore, but I watch videos. And it gives me the motivation and also the ideas of what I can do. And so you need to make sure that you’re spending time at least every week investing in yourself. Factor that in. Don’t let it happen by accident or randomly on the weekends somewhere. Book it into your calendar every single week, for every single day, so you are constantly learning and growing.