Strategic Planning - The KEY ingredient to productivity and a healthy work-life balance
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
When setting out your plan, whether that be on a spreadsheet, planning software such as Trello, or good old trusted pen and paper on a wall annual planner, your plan needs to show you a clear direction of where you want your business to go.
A strategic plan sets out your overall goals and helps you structure the activities you will need to carry out to achieve them. It will help you to stay on track in terms of your business mission, vision and values. It will hold you accountable to ensure you give yourself the time and resources to work on your business while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Plan around the clock
Plan your free, social, family and downtime into your weekly plan, please believe me when I say this! It is an extremely common mistake to think that YOUR personal time either doesn't belong on your weekly business plan or worse, is not important or a priority when running your own business!
By not planning your time away from your business and sticking to this plan, it becomes very easy to slip into habits like answering emails in bed at 11pm at night and working an unsustainable amount of hours, neglecting your own time to relax and enjoy life.
After all, the very reason you quit your job and became your own boss was to decide when you work and to have the ability to enjoy the activities you were frustrated with missing out on, due to being restricted by your working hours.
This may sound OTT to you, but I plan from the moment I get up in the morning, until the time my head hits the pillow at night. I have learnt that I need and enjoy at least 2 hours in the morning before I switch on my computer or do ANYTHING to do with work.
I used to be guilty of answering emails on my phone as soon as I got up while I made a cuppa, and often ate my breakfast at my desk. Sound familiar?
I found, when I really started assessing how I worked, that working those extra hours each week did not actually gain me any time and more often it had the opposite effect!!
I found I was jumping straight into work without giving myself, my mind and body time to properly prepare for the working day. I would often find myself procrastinating, losing sight and track of what jobs I was supposed to be doing and jumping all over the place from one task to another, getting to the end of the day with the feeling of accomplishing much less than I planned (or did not plan!)
We as humans are creatures who work extremely well to reward, so having the feeling of never finishing jobs and instead of having lots of open jobs hanging over my head, was not great for my overall motivation.
My morning now consists of getting up at 6am, doing some gentle exercise like yoga or taking the dog for a walk to calm my busy mind, eating breakfast with my husband and then enjoying a leisurely shower and starting work at 8:30am.
This morning routine, as with my evening routine when I finish work and my lunch break, are always timetabled in my daily & weekly plan as non-negotiable time.
BUT in order for any plan to work, you need to be continually monitoring, evaluating and updating it accordingly, as you and your business grow and develops. Also ensure all your diaries, including your online booking scheduler reflect what's timetabled in your weekly plan.
Having a plan in place can help you overcome the little and big bumps in the road, with much more damage control and much less stress. Even the largest most well-established businesses and organizations can not predict unforeseen events, and the last 18 months living through a global pandemic has been a huge example of this.
Interested in finding out more?
If you would like to know more about how The Mari Method can support you and your business to achieve more structured and sustainable ways of working, then please get in touch and book yourself in for a complimentary consultation