It’s true. Hindsight really is 20/20.
When I look back at everything I did, and more often than not didn’t do, when I had my photography side business while in the military I can sum up most of my mistakes into one category.
I took time for granted.
I took everything for granted.
With the safety net of my full time job and paycheck, I simply didn’t do everything I should have to use my time as efficiently and productively as I could.
And I paid the price for it when I retired from the military and jumped into entrepreneurship.
So let’s break it down so that you don’t do the same thing I did.
Here is the first thing I would do different.
I would schedule specific work time into my day for the business.
For example, I would schedule one hour a day specifically for my business. And I would treat this the same as if I were going into work at a job. I would plan to work from 9-10pm, Monday through Friday for example. I would also add one hour on Sunday night for something very specific, which I’ll get into later.
Did you notice something? I only scheduled one hour. I have found that if I only scheduled an hour I am more likely to “show up to work” rather than scheduling a few hours at the end of an already long day. I choose to make it easy on myself.
Now for the second thing I would do.
I would make sure that I had an action plan for each day.
I didn’t do this at first and I would just show up and do busy work, but not really be productive. And at the end of a given period, a month for example, I would work but not have anything actually done to move my business forward.
To change this, I would prepare my week ahead of time so I could just get into my office and know exactly what I needed to get done.
This is where Sunday night comes into play. I have found that I prepare my week much more effectively if I do it on a separate day, rather than on one of my scheduled work days.
I just sit down Sunday night and ask myself what needs to get done to move the needle forward for my business this week. By doing it the night before, it also removes a little emotional attachment from my business and enables me to step back and look at the bigger picture to make sure I am on pace with my longer term goals.
I schedule my work days & times along with what tasks are getting done each day.
As for the tasks, I go easy on myself here as well. I give myself one must do task, the most important for that day to keep moving forward, and that’s it. If the task is a bigger one that can’t be complete at one time, I break it down into smaller chunks that are realistic.
By doing this I’ve found that I often will sit down and get other things done as well, as long as my priority task is complete.
These two things, scheduling my work week and then the action plan for each day would’ve saved me so much time and ultimately money as well.
So don’t do what I did, or didn’t do.
Good luck, Chris