I do not like paperwork.
Having lived in other people’s spare bedrooms for several years as a contractor, I learned to travel light and compact.
However with paperwork based planning systems, you would be surprised just how soon you generate masses of paper and just how heavy paper can be when it develops into a pile!
Weekly planning is essential but if you only have a rough idea what you want to do and no idea how long it is going to take, where do you start?
Omar Martin, a highly successful marketer recommends developing each part of your business in harmony rather than over concentrating on one part and creating issues for yourself and your business.
Thus with that in mind I created several departments in my business,
- Administrator, me
- Marketing, me
- Production, me
- Sales, me
- Market Research, me
This may sound like madness but if you get in the habit of delegating tasks from an early stage, when it comes to actually implementing delegation for real, you will already be comfortable with doing so and will have a proven process in place to do it.
To manage each of these roles, I tried many project management systems but eventually settled into the following routine with Teamwork.
It is online which means no paperwork and it also solves both the what and how long issues I mentioned above.
- Blog hopping
- Blog post creation which I covered last week
- Responding to comments
However to be effective, every schedule starts with this simple question.
How much time can you allocate?
Once you know this then you can break it down into chunks for each of your daily tasks. You will most likely get your timings horribly wrong the first few times you do it.
This does not mean that planning is a waste of time.
It just means you need a time tracking feature and Teamwork has this built in.
As you start each task, simply initiate the inbuilt task timer and get on with the task in hand. Once the task is complete, stop the timer and repeat this process for your other tasks.
After several weeks of recording the timings for each daily task, you soon get a good and true picture of the actual times required. This can then be used in your planning stage to allocate your time correctly and even introduce other tasks into your daily routine, if you identify spare time in the new optimized routine.
As you can see in the image the responding to comments tasks is allocated to the inbox task list as I forgot to dedicate time for this.
Should you forget to plan for a task you can quickly add it to your list of tasks via the smartphone app or the desktop site, it can then be planned in correctly for the forthcoming weeks during the weekly planning session.
Whilst scheduling in your daily tasks is great, sometimes you want to have an overview of what is to come or even perhaps what your next blog post is going to be about, once you have finished writing it of course!
As you can see in the image, my blog posts are scheduled for publication each Monday and the provisional topic for the next few weeks has been decided
This makes life easier, as it allows you to know which Evernote Note, you should be developing, plus you can also see what daily tasks are scheduled without having to switch to the task list view.
In this view you can and should also mark the launch dates of any solutions you want to promote as an affiliate.
You can then use this to direct the content topics you cover leading up to the launch dates.
Ultimately on this calendar you could be adding the email broadcast topics and content topics for every marketing channel you use as well. By doing this you can coordinate the marketing for the affiliate launches you are promoting such that your message appears to be everywhere and thus is more likely to be the one clicked.
There is far more to Teamwork than I could hope to cover in a single post but hopefully you now have an idea of how you can use it to plan and manage your time. Eventually when the need arises, you will be using its many features to manage your team.
As I said I know there are many ways to manage your time and it would be interesting to discover what you system you use which of course you can share in the comments box below.