Learn how to create a profit focused schedule with super helpful tips from Hannah Murphy!
Staying focused and prioritizing is SO important as an entrepreneur. There are so many directions you can be taken and this often leads to distractions. These distractions can not only take away from your precious time, but can have an effect on your profit. So making a plan to stay focused is key! Hannah Murphy has figured this out and is sharing her secrets with us.
How It All Started
Hannah started university and wanted a way to make an income while she was in school. She applied to every job and just wasn’t finding what she was looking for. Eventually she happened upon a virtual assistant job and even though she had no idea what it was at first, she knew it was exactly what she needed!
After getting started she realized she had a passion for PInterest and started taking course after course to grow her knowledge on the topic. She started offering Pinterest management as a service, along with blog management. After this, her business blew up and she went from 3 clients to 27 clients in a matter of 6 months!
Through this experience she learned all about productivity and how to create a schedule that would support her large number of clients. She was often asked how she could manage the number of clients, and only end up working a few days a week. This began her passion of teaching others about scheduling and how it can reflect on priorities.
Assess Your Business
To start creating a productive schedule, the first thing Hannah recommends is assessing your current business. What tasks don’t actually need to be done? What are your priorities?
It’s important to focus not on how fast everything needs to get done, but what’s actually on the list. Obviously, if you have less on your list you will complete the list faster. So if you can go through and assess what is on your list currently, and eliminate some of those tasks, then your to-do list can be more structured.
Take time to braindump every task you are currently doing and then take the time to analyze it. Is it necessary? Are you doing too much in marketing? Are you spending too much time on sales tasks?
Think about what you would want your dream schedule to look like in your current season. Then you can adjust and bring the prioritized tasks into that schedule.
Entrepreneurs Need Structure
Entrepreneurs are dreamers! They want to do a little bit of everything and this can be dangerous for staying focused and productive. It needs to be toned down and creating a schedule that helps with this, as well as still supports creativity is so important.
It’s important for entrepreneurs to dedicate time to think through ideas, before jumping in and wasting time and money on every new idea. Add time to your schedule to brainstorm and think through your ideas and make sure they are worth your time.
The Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make
Responding to Tasks in Real Time
Basically this means that you are letting interruptions distract you from your to-do list and take you away from tasks that are prioritized. This can be you receiving an email and taking time to respond right away, or thinking of an Instagram caption and taking the time right then to write it all out.
Responding to these tasks right away can get you off track of your to-do list and interrupt your day. So it’s important to find ways to limit these distractions as much as possible!
The key to staying organized and not letting these tasks distract you is to always have 2 lists. Have the one that you create that is structured and scheduled, which is your priority. Then you have another list that is more of a braindump. This can be everything that comes up in your day that can be a possible distraction and what you can come back to. You can set a time at the end of the day to complete the task, or reschedule it to another day that fits the type of task.
This will minimize the switching between content and keep you focused on your priority tasks!
Saying “I Don’t Have Time”
If you are constantly saying that you “don’t have time” for certain tasks, that means that they aren’t a priority. Other tasks are taking up your time and taking priority, so it’s important that you are evaluating what you want to make the time for. If you evaluate what you are currently doing and find that certain tasks are not actually a priority, you will find the time for other tasks.
How to Stay Organized and Focused
Hannah’s tip for staying organized and focused works in 2 parts, having weekly tasks and daily tasks. For your weekly tasks, you normally have 4 parts of your business: sales tasks (content marketing for example), offerings (how you make money), operations (team management, bookkeeping, etc.), and projects (these are one-off tasks, like creating a new website). You can then categorize tasks into dedicated days, and focus solely on that area.
Daily tasks are ones that need to be done every day in order to keep your business running, but still should be planned out for a certain block of time. This can be first thing in the morning, at lunch or in the evenings. If you have a set time, then you know these smaller tasks will get done. This is when you can schedule all of those braindump tasks and know that is when you will complete them.
How to Tackle Your To-Do List
Hannah’s biggest advice for planning and scheduling is to first assess your tasks as mentioned before. Take the time to plan out your tasks and have a general mindset on what you want your schedule to look like.
Next, take the time to plan and create that dream schedule. Once you know you have eliminated any unnecessary tasks and have only the prioritized tasks, then you can go ahead and plan out your schedule how it works best for you.
Then you can develop the systems and strategies to maintain the schedule you created. This can mean outsourcing tasks, eliminating any unnecessary tasks, automating some of the tasks, etc. Whatever needs to be done to keep your schedule in tack.
Finally, you need to work to sustain your schedule by working on your weekly and daily tasks, and how you can manage distractions. You have to be sure that you are doing what you can to stick to your schedule and limit the number of distractions. This way you can be focused on what’s important and become more profitable.
When I asked Hannah the one thing that changed her business the most to be more profitable, she shared that the biggest thing was finding all of the tasks that were unnecessary and could be eliminated.
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