In this episode:
00:44 – A recap on part 1 and part 2
01:21 – An important communication tool
02:30 – A guide to getting things done
03:43 – Get THIS to have an overview of your business
04:10 – Keeping it simple
05:21 – Your action step today
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James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. This is part 3 of the Planning mini-series. In part 1, we talked about why you’ve got too much noise happening and how you can zero in on what’s important to you with your goals and how you could get all the ideas out of your head.
In Part 2, we talked about routine and just reinforcing deadlines. And in part 3, we’re now going to cover the execution phase, which is getting stuff happening in your business rather than just thinking about it or talking about it. We really want to drive results. So I’m going to share with you what we’re using now in our business to execute.
The most important primary tool that we have in our business right now is Slack. That is giving us channels and direct messaging so that we can drive activities and reporting. So when we have set down with our 12-weekly review point, we go through all the data, we make decisions, and then we have to actually go and do the work. So we’ll set down the goals, and this is where our little production lines come into play.
We have production lines for our publishing schedule; we have production lines for our research and development team; we have production lines for our customer-facing projects that we chat about behind the scenes where we’re sharing tickets, swapping insights into how they’re resolved. The goal is that when we sit down at our 12-weekly review point, we’re going to measure progress within the business.
One of the most important things is I get a daily report with the numbers that is a snapshot of what’s happened this week, versus last week, versus last month, versus 6 months ago. So I can really plot progress.
“Measure your progress.”
Standard operating procedures
The other things that help get you rolling along the tracks, in tune with our train metaphor, are standard operating procedures. That is that all the processes have a guide as to what needs to be done. So let’s say we’re shovelling coal, we would have an operating checklist. If you’ve ever been to a hospital or an airplane, you’ll see that they have checklists.
So it might say, ensure that you always have safety equipment, hat and gloves, use the shovel to pick up the coal, and then transfer it into the boiler, taking care not to touch the hot door. These sort of things would probably in a checklist, and that is going to help the person who has to shovel the coal. Maybe they’ll be called an engineer or something. And the train will move forward because it’s got the energy being fed to it.
So have standard operating procedures for every single role in the business. And roles can be made up of tasks. I’ve talked before about the task transfer. But tasks can simply just be broken down into what are the small items that are being done that when clumped together turn into a role. You could have a task per Post-It note, and you can shuffle them around between different roles.
“An SOP for every role”
Also, it’s important to get feedback along the way. In my business, I’m mostly speaking to my managers each week to get an overview of what’s happening in the business. They’ll report on the team’s progress. They will mention any challenges. They’ll also let me know what their schedule is for this next coming week. And if we string those weeks together, by the end of 12 weeks, we’ve had 12 progress points where we can actually get a net result.
I also don’t have big tasks list. If you research any of the most successful, productive people, most of them have a very simple system. For me, it’s just one or two items written on my whiteboard. I seem to know what I’m supposed to be focused on because I have things designed to nag me if I don’t.
For example, my virtual assistant will let me know if I need to supply podcast for the episode to be published. They’ll also let me know if they are too busy, or if they’re not busy enough because we have what’s called a traffic light signal. They’ll send me a green, orange or red to let me know how busy we are. So I can at a glance know the activity level.
Because I have this routine set for my weekly scheduling we talked about in episode 2, where I have day scheduling, where I have recurring appointments with my top-level students, and I have a recurring live monthly training for SuperFastBusiness members, then I have a schedule in place that means I don’t need to be constantly thinking about what I need to focus on right now. I’ve already identified it each 12 weeks. This is the target and then I set about the systems to deliver that.
“Simple system for productivity”
So here’s your action. If you’ve been listening to this podcast series, it’s a 3-part series, part 1 is about getting sorted out, part 2 is about getting into routine, and this part 3 is about getting stuff done; to pick a topic from this podcast that really resonates with you and act upon it immediately and make sure you log in to SuperFastBusiness membership, if you’re a member.
If you’re not yet a member, then join up because I’ll actually help you. I’ll get your own action section and you can keep me posted with what you’re up to and ask me questions that I might have prompted you with along the way with this series.
I will also share with you what I’m doing in my business. If you come along to the live monthly training, I’ll give you some great tips.
So go and make an action item of one and implement it. And then come back to this post and tell me what you did and what results you got, and if it inspired you and if you got a new way of thinking about things. But the most important thing is that you now know opportunities come flying along every which way because other people have set plans and those opportunities are often a result of their plan in creating an opportunity for you.
Their plan to publish a course meant they’re going to email you and offer you to buy it. So you have now fallen across the opportunity that they created because they have a plan. So now you have your own plan. You’ve got the train metaphor to roll on with, you know that regular check-ins and high frequency and important reporting will help you get a result, and now you have to go and do it.
So keep your task list small, join SuperFastBusiness membership, and I’m looking forward to discussing this in similar topics inside the community with you.
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