There’s a wise old saying that goes like this:
If you’re early, you’re on time.
If you’re on time you’re late.
If you’re late, you’re left.
Now, for those who are perpetual procrastinators, this might feel a bit uncomfortable! But the reality is that successful people all have a number of similar habits that contribute to their success. One of the most critical habits they have is this:
They are planners.
Let me ask you this. Are you familiar with the 80/20 rule? The 80/20 rule applies to everything you come into contact with, though you may not realize it. It looks a bit like this:
80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients.
80% of the problems come from 20% of the causes.
80% of your time will be spent on 20% of the people you work with.
The way you spend the first 20% of your week, month, year, etc, determines how the other 80% is going to go.
So, 20% of the year is 72 days. So, the first 72 days are critical to the rest of your year! Do you have a plan in place for those first 72 days?
Preparedness is key to launching you forward into any task or goal you set out to accomplish! So if you want to launch into the coming year with a ready to implement plan, the time for planning it is NOW!
So, what’s the best way to go about it? Well, I detail all of the specifics in my book “Selling With Intention,” but here are my top 5 tips to schedule your best year NOW:
1. Schedule a year at a time.
Yes – the entire year!
I have a year-at-a-glance planner that I use to schedule my whole year. Now, do things change in my schedule from time to time? Sure! But when they do, I have a framework to work from with which to make those changes and keep my priorities and goals aligned and in front of me.
2. Plan your leisure time first.
Yes, you read that right! Plan your time off first! Why?
Most people start planning their schedules by putting work in first. Then, they try to fit their life around their work. My friends, this is backwards!
If you do not prioritize your leisure time, the reality is that it simply won’t happen. Too many other things get in the way of our schedule if we are not intentional about that downtime.
So what do you like to do for fun? Put it in your calendar! Schedule your vacations in this time as well. Right away, you’ll see how being intentional about your time OFF can make your time ON more intentional.
3. Time With Loved Ones
Next, fill in the time you intend to spend with loved ones and family. Ironically, even though this is the most important we can spend in our lives, it’s the first item in our schedule to get sucked away from us into other, less important things.
Scheduling time with your loved ones can oftentimes fall into the category of scheduling leisure time. The two can overlap and that’s okay! But know that your leisure time can also include things you do for yourself.
4. Plan Your Health
As you start to look closer at the individual days of your year, first address how you intend to take care of your mental and physical health.
Do you work out? Put it in your calendar! Be intentional, and include the time it takes to shower afterwards, so your workouts don’t accidentally impede on your schedule.
Include your time for worship, meditation, and/or mental health activities here. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! Self-care is crucial for your success!
5. Plan your days
First, plan how you will END your day. Again, it seems backwards, right? But planning how you will END your day prevents you from falling into the temptation of allowing the final hours of the day to become idle.
Finally, plan your work time. (Refer to my book Selling With Intention for the details on the success formula!) Determine how much money you want to make, then run the numbers which will tell you how many calls to make, appointments you need to schedule, and how many sales to close. In many ways, sales is simply a numbers game! But to run the numbers, you need to know them!
People today tend to report that they are so busy! I think there are many things that factor into this perpetual busyness. But I also find that when people choose to intentionally schedule their lives, they find that they have more time than they thought!
To be early is to be on time. Next year’s success starts NOW.