Planning ahead – why it’s important!!

Do you plan ahead, either for your business or your personal life? You should.

What does planning ahead mean to you?

Now that we’re into the new year, if you haven’t already, you should be planning ahead for your business and life.

When done right, planning can help you complete new projects, achieve your goals and your vision. And you can do this whilst still having fun and enjoying life to its fullest.

Alan Lakein said about planning…

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

It’s time to make sure your personal and professional goals come to fruition when you want them to!

So, what are the benefits of planning ahead… 

  • Spending less time and money

Leaving things to the last minute can cost. It can cost time and money and maybe even your sanity! By planning ahead, you’ll be able to take advantage of getting things cheaper, or prepare properly for business change and expansion, spending less time correcting what you are trying to do.

  • Less Stress

When planning ahead for your day, week and month, you’ll feel more in control of your time and life. No more not knowing where to turn to next.

And when it comes to finances, planning ahead will allow you to feel safe and be ready for the unforeseen costs that will inevitably happen.

  • Stay in charge of your time

Planning ahead means you won’t have to worry about what will happen tomorrow or next week. You’ll be in charge of your own time and that means you’ll be able to spend more time focussing on what you are achieving today, at this moment.

  • Assessing risks and opportunities

Taking risks is necessary for growth, expanding your comfort zone, and achieving success. Planning ahead gives us confidence to take the risks that others may not take and so it moves us ahead without worrying about competition.

  • Becoming proactive

Without proper planning we would not be ready to respond to challenges. So, we become reactive. Planning ahead helps you become proactive.

  • Prepare for the unexpected

Why not plan for the things you never plan for! For example, sick days or repairs to your car. What do we mean? Well, you can plan ahead for these unexpected events by saving money today, or maybe taking the time off to rest – you’ll feel safer if you do.

  • Staying true to your word

When you create an effective plan for your life and business, you’ll be able to stay accountable to your promises. We’ve all done it, forgotten to send an email we had promised or missed a meeting. And don’t forget, these things could be important to the success of your business!

Let’s look at how to plan ahead…

Just ask yourself some simple questions and see how easy it is to get started:

What do you want to achieve and prepare for?

What is it that you’d like to achieve in the coming year? Where are you looking to stretch past your comfort zone?

Where do you need to be more proactive?

Sometimes a little planning can go along way! If you prepare for the challenges ahead then you won’t feel like you’re running around to catch up or fix something!

Do you have an Action Plan?

Planning ahead will make you be more productive in the day-to-day. Having a clear action plan will allow you to get more done in less time.

 Do you want time to grow?

You didn’t get into business to stay stuck doing the same thing every day. If you want to grow your business, you’ll need time to plan for growth.

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.

Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.

Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

If you have enjoyed reading about why planning is super important, sign up for future blogs on our website.

 

Create a to-do list that helps you ROCK as a Business Man/Woman!

Do you ever start your working day not sure which tasks you need to complete, or even the order to tackle them in?

 Stressful isn’t it!

If you’ve answered yes, then you should consider using to-do lists to better organise your time and bring some clarity to your day.

Anything that helps you to focus on the important stuff has got to be good, right?

Taking the time to write a to-do list can have many benefits, here are the key ones to get you started:

  • Creating order – it’s an orderly way to organize how to do the things you want to do. Projects and plans can be broken down into bite size chunks and gives you a strategy for getting things done.
  • Prioritise – helping you to manage tasks effectively and in the right order. You can see all of the items at a glance and prioritize what most needs to be done according to timelines and importance.
  • Reschedule and organise your time – if you finish something quickly or you find yourself with extra time, you can quickly see where the best way to spend your time is.
  • Identify when to delegate – to-do lists help you to delegate work. If you see the list is too long, you can find others to help you get things done.
  • Feel productive – crossing a task off your list when it’s completed is a great feeling. This gives you back control and also gives you a positive productive feeling.
  • Relief from stress – as you see work getting done and that you are moving forward efficiently, it allows you to relax more. Even schedule in a well-deserved break if you need to!

…And most importantly….

  • Accountability – the act of writing it down in itself holds you accountable!

Try keeping at least 2 to-do lists: daily and longer term

You might find it worthwhile to have 2 lists on the go:

  1. One is for the immediate tasks you need to complete today or this week (short term plans and tasks).
  2. The other is for things that you want or need to get done in the future, whether it is in the next week, month or year (long term goals).

 Keep it flexible

Your to-do lists don’t need to be set in stone.  They are guides and are intended to help, not put pressure on you.  However, if you write it down, it’s usually something worth doing.

 Also, don’t forget to make your to-do lists fun!

If your to-do list ever feels like all work and no play, book in things you look forward to and fun things as well.  You might be meeting friends for a drink or meal (or both), a refreshing walk along the beach, checking out your next holiday destination.  Make sure to mix up the work with some fun!

…and if all else fails and you can’t seem to get to grips with writing and sticking to your to-do list, then Glow Virtual Assistants are here to lend a hand with planning and organising for you, so that you can focus on making your business ROCK!

About Glow Virtual Assistants

We’re a forward-thinking agency of skilled and qualified Virtual Assistants, specialising in supporting entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed, grow and shine!

  • We offer a range of services and tailor packages to suit the needs of you and your business.
  • Why not read what our clients say about us so you know that your business will be in safe hands.
  • Want a chat or got a question? Drop us a message and we’ll get back to you!

 If you have enjoyed reading about creating a to-do-list to make you ROCK, sign up for future blogs on our website.

How to Become a More Organised Entrepreneur

Do you ever feel that you are overloaded with work, and don’t know how to go about reducing that big pile of stuff; which has been building up for days, weeks, or even months?

Maybe it’s about time that you conquered that ‘Mount Everest’ of tasks and paperwork with my top 10 tips on how to become a more organised (and hopefully a less stressed) entrepreneur:

1 Braindump your ideas

Create a mind-map of all the ideas that are crowding your headspace. Use this to clear your mind and focus on each task in hand.

2 Write a ‘to-do’ list

Use headings and subheadings to narrow down exactly what needs to be achieved within each task.

3 Diarise everything

Use a scheduling or diary system to organise your time. Plan tasks ahead of schedule to allow you to dedicate suitable time for each one.

4 Outsource

Outsource anything you can to free up your time to run and grow your business. E.g. by using Virtual Assistants, Marketing Experts, Accountants, etc.

5 Plan often

Set aside designated planning time. Spend one evening (usually a Sunday works best) to plan and prepare your week ahead.

6 Don’t check email in the morning

Check emails at the end of every day rather than at the beginning. Use a small amount of time at the end of the day to plan and prepare for the next day.

7 Cut distraction

Turn off your phone and stay logged out of your email while completing each task. Fewer distractions mean you will complete tasks quicker, and you can reply to urgent calls and emails during coffee breaks in between tasks.

8 Schedule

Schedule email mail-outs and social media posts in advance so they happen automatically. Set aside time to schedule as this will save you time in the long-run (you can also use a social media management tool to be even more efficient at this!)

9 Tidy your desk

Clear your workspace so it is free from loose papers and clutter. After all, an organised space creates an organised mind!

10 Constantly review your progress

Assess what is working well for you at keeping you organised, and focus on doing these things (and remember that what might be working for another person won’t necessarily work for you – and vice versa).

 

These are all good and well, but are you still wondering where on earth to start with becoming more organised and tackling that mammoth of a mountain?

Here are some useful tangible items you might want to use to help you get started:

  • Mind-mapping software, such as MindGenius or imindmap (or just an old-fashioned pen and paper – and one or two highlighters).
  • A paper diary – electronic ones are great but sometimes it’s good to have everything there in front of you in black and white!
  • A list of useful contacts to lend a hand with your outsourceable tasks when needed.
  • Social media management programmes (e.g. Hootsuite, Buffer, etc).
  • Email scheduling software (e.g. Mailchimp, CRM database, etc).
  • A quiet and clutter free space to work and focus (even a desk in a library might be suitable!).

 

Basically, all of the above boils down to the fact that: “to fail to prepare, is preparing to fail.”

This mantra is very true both in life and business.  Setting aside a little time to prepare your diary, and plan your time in advance, will be extremely worthwhile in helping to organise your life, work, and most importantly your mind.

So, don’t wait until tomorrow to start planning your strategy to become more organised.  Give yourself that ‘phew’ feeling, and start taking action now!  (You might even get a better night’s sleep, and thank yourself for it!)

Still struggling?

Maybe you need some help, take a look at how we could support your business to shine