As driven entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders, we have ambitious goals. There is a lot we want to accomplish and often, not a lot of time to do it. We are constantly dreaming up new ideas, learning new things, and building new connections. We have a lot on our plate and continue to pile more on.
In a recent newsletter, I stressed the importance of doing more with less. Rather than chasing down every connection, spending time with every social media platform, and trying out every marketing tactic you can, you should pick one or two and really learn the ins and outs. The same is true when it comes to advancing your career. If you try to accomplish too much, you won’t accomplish anything.
When I organize my daily, weekly, and long-term goals, I stick to the number three. Three big projects, three long-term goals, three areas of business, etc. Less than three, I’m not pushing myself hard enough and more than that, I’m likely to end up with half-finished projects and missed goals. Three is the magic number.
Step One: Long Term Planning
Take a moment and ask yourself…
What are three things you’d like to accomplish this quarter?
What are three changes you’d like to make?
What are three ways you’d like your life to be different?
Where do you want to be in your career and what are three things you can do to get you there?
Your responses should be tangible, attainable, and specific. Instead of, “I want to increase my client list,” say, “I want to secure four new clients, each with a budget of $5,000+.” Instead of, “I want a new job,” say, “I want to find a position that increases my salary by 10% and values quality of work over time spent working.”
Step Two: Mid-Term Planning
Once you have the three long-term goals you’ll be focusing on, then you break out the three tactics you’ll be using to achieve those goals. For example…
Goal: Secure four new clients, each with a budget of $5,000+
- Attend in-person networking events that my ideal clients would also attend
- Cultivate relationships with those who are potential referral streams
- Host free webinar trainings with a pitch for services at the end
There are plenty of other tactics you could utilize – email marketing, social media, advertising, etc. – but by concentrating all your energy on three specific things, you’ll be able to do those things well and make a greater impact.
Step Three: Short Term Planning
Once you identify your tactics, it’s time to plan out the tasks and projects associated with those tactics. Using the example above, your weekly schedule may look like this:
- Research potential networking events and compile a list
- Create a list of people already in your network for potential referral streams
- Brainstorm list of potential webinar topics that would attract your target audience
- Identify which networking events you plan on attending and input them in your calendar
- Reach out to 5 people from your list of potential referral sources and ask to schedule a coffee date
- Identify the best webinar topic for your target audience and create a title
- Research additional networking events and compile a list
- Reach out to 5 more people from your list of potential referral sources and ask to schedule a coffee date
- Create webinar sales page
- Attend a networking event!
- Follow up with initial referrer outreach
- Promote webinar on social media
- Follow up with contacts from the networking event
- Follow up with second round of referrer outreach
- Promote webinar on social media
I work with many entrepreneurs and aspiring leaders that feel SO overwhelmed by all they have on their plate, but when you break everything down, you actually CAN get everything done. By focusing on three projects each month or quarter, and taking a few steps each day to complete those projects, you will accomplish more and avoid overwhelm.
For more guidance in breaking down your months, days, and weeks, don’t forget to download my free productivity toolkit, which includes daily and weekly planner sheets to help organize your time.