“How do you get so much done in a 30-hour work week? How does your Team accomplish so much in one year?” Well, as usual, there’s a process behind it – and in this episode, I’m sharing all the details behind my time management + massive productivity!
You know by now that time is your most important resource, right? But how do you use it most productively? How do you plan for the big + little ‘to do’s’ that pull you away from your Big Vision? That’s where a lot of new-entrepreneurs especially struggle hard – and those are the questions I’m answering today.
I get a lot of questions about this, because I typically work 9:30a-3:30p – and now I’m planning for two non-work days (outside the weekend), too! It sounds a little crazy, but it’s totally possible (for me and for you).
In this episode, I’m sharing my whole planning process start to finish, for both life + business goals. And HINT – It has a lot to do with planning, working backwards from your Big Picture vision to your daily ‘To Do List’, and coming back to your Ideal Life when you start to feel out of alignment.
Tune in, and then tell me – Did you like this episode? Would you like to hear more episodes like this one? Let me know inside a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!
[2:50] I typically work 9:30a-3:30p – and here’s how.
[3:25] Anytime I’m feeling overwhelmed, I go through this process.
[5:43] How I breakdown annual goals into quarterly, monthly, and weekly goals.
[7:32] Now, here’s how I hold myself accountable.
[9:28] You might realize, “Oh, I have to cut something out.”
[10:13] Here’s how we use this process in setting our business goals, too.
[13:11] That’s how everyone knows exactly what to do everyday.
[15:57] TIP – Just figure out one step at a time + work backwards.
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Emily Hirsh: I’m Emily Hirsh, and this is The Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast. Attention, innovators, influencers, creators, and game-changing entrepreneurs: your internet domination begins right here.
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Hello friends. Welcome back to the podcast. I am coming off of a lot of travel. I feel like pretty much the whole month of July I have been traveling. I was, let’s see. I did a couples two-night trip to Colorado. We went hiking. And then we went to California a day after that for the fourth of July. And then my husband was gone for a week, so that felt a vacation… not really a vacation, but… no, that was said totally wrong! Not a vacation! It felt like something was totally off [with] the routine. But my friend came during that week, so I guess in that way it did feel a vacation. It wasn’t a normal schedule.
Then the day after that, I went to California. I spoke at War Room, which is Roland Frasier, Ryan Deiss’ mastermind. Highly impressed with it, it was amazing. Got back from that, and then [now I’m] heading to Toronto soon to speak at Archangel, which is Giovanni Marisko’s mastermind event. So, super excited about that. But seriously [I’ve] been on so many airplanes, and I hate flying. It’s been a crazy month.
So I am here today, [I’m] actually going to share something… I don’t know, we’ve never done a topic like this on the podcast… It’s my process for setting business and even personal goals. I shared a post about it on Facebook, and it got a lot of good attention. People really liked the process. And, it’s something that I feel like I’ve done naturally all my life, to kind of deal with how to get things done, how to set up my life so I love it, how to set up my business. But I think it’s actually been one of the biggest contributing factors to accomplishing so much.
I think how you spend your time is so important. Time is the most important resource that we have, and if we use it wisely and strategically and intentionally, we can do a lot and accomplish a lot. And so I am very intentional with my time, very protective of my time. But really more than anything, I’m obsessed with planning and getting the most out of my day. I don’t even work eight hour days. I typically work from 9:30 to 3:30 on an average day. And so, I’m not working full eight-hour days [and therefore] my work time has to be extremely productive and efficient for me to get everything done and then get to go be ‘mom’ and be with my kids and take that break to be with them, because that’s why I do what I do at the end of the day.
So here is my process. And you guys can copy it. If you’re doing it, great. Let me know if you like this episode: send us a message, share it on instastory, message me on Instagram… because I want to know if you this type of a topic. So, here’s what I did. I just did this today, and I did it last week when I was on the plane.
So anytime that I feel either overwhelmed, like “Oh my gosh, there’s five projects going on, so many things I don’t really know where to start,” and just scattered in a bunch of different directions, or if I just feel out of alignment with my routine. So this [means] in my personal life… if I kind of got out of my morning routine I was doing, or I just don’t feel good about the way I’m spending my afternoons with my kids or my evenings, or my workouts kind of fell off. Anytime that something feels out of alignment and I got out of a habit that I was in for a while, I have to do a reset.
So what I do is, I start with writing out, basically, my perfect year. I start “big picture,” “bird’s-eye view.” So I’ll start with a perfect year: it would be this many vacations, this many couples trips… really big picture. Usually my perfect year is focused in on vacations and then maybe financial numbers or big goals like, “We want to buy our house!” or whatever it is.
And then I’ll focus in a little bit deeper on quarterly, what do I want to do every quarter? So my husband and I want to go on a couple’s trip every quarter, for a couple of nights away, without our kids, and go to different places that we haven’t been before. So that’s a quarterly goal of mine. So things like that, what do you want in a perfect world? Imagine there’s no limitations, but also be realistic – because if you literally do this, and you’re like, “I want to live in Fiji” and you do, but that’s not possible for you, you’re going to be frustrated. I don’t actually want to do anything crazy like that. I want a really good, “normal” life (normal in quotes because my life is totally not normal!). But I want a life that’s sustainable, and I want my everyday life that could be seen as boring, to be amazing, and I can create that. So I look at quarterly, and then I look at monthly. And so I look at what are the monthly goals, and what are the things I want to do? And then how do those weeks look that build that month?
So this is where I get more detailed. So I would write things like, “I want to have a weekly date night with husband, and I want that to be on Fridays. I want Saturdays to be family day where we go on an adventure somewhere new, somewhere that we haven’t been, or fun and we get out of the house, ideally we’re in nature,” whatever it is, “[that’s] my ideal Saturday.” Then this time around, I actually wrote this out, because I was super inspired by somebody who I follow who works three days a week. So she has three days that she works and two days that she saves for just content creation or consuming material or she doesn’t work that day if she doesn’t want to. But basically having complete white space in her calendar [for] two weekdays a week. And I was like, I want that.
And so this time around when I wrote this, I actually changed it and I said, “Wednesday and Friday I’m not working. Wednesday is going to be for my self care appointments, massage, acupuncture, whatever it is. And Friday’s going to be a personal development day where I actually consume books or courses or whatever I want to,” because I feel I never have enough time for those things. I’m sure many of you feel that way. So I reworked my schedule of like, “Mondays, team meetings day, planning days with my team, check in days. Tuesdays, booked for content, or interviews, or team one-on-one check-ins. Wednesdays is nothing. Thursdays is also open for calls, team check-ins, podcast interviews, content creation. Then Friday is also no calls.” So I redid that, and then I wrote out, “Saturday I want to do our family adventure. Friday I want to do a date night. Sunday I want to have time to do weekly planning.” And I wrote it all out. There was a ton of stuff, and I actually then sent it to my assistant, and I said, “Rework my calendar, hold me accountable to this, keep the boundary for me on the days off.”
Then I also gave her the job of booking any of my personal appointments, because what was happening was, I had to go get my nails done before an event, and I wasn’t scheduling it, and I was putting it to the last minute and not taking care of it, because I was in charge of it. So I passed it off to her.
Then I get into the day, like what exactly do I want my morning routine to look like, literally by the minute? So it’s like, “I wake up at 5:30,” you guys might think I’m crazy, but I’m telling you this is life changing! “Wake up at 5:30, meditate 5:45,” and obviously it’s ideal. I might get up 15 minutes later that day, and that’s okay – but I have this perfect vision of what I want that to look like. [So my] morning routine, my working hours, my afternoon with my kids. And so for me, I actually really struggle with going from work-mode, where my brain is being used, and it’s fast paced, and I’m just really stimulated, to being with my kids sometimes, because it’s such a change in pace… and playing Legos, or my son loves the Super Wings… like [playing with] toys is boring to me, honestly it is. And so I struggle with being present during that. And so I’m creating a routine that allows me transition time to move to that. So that’s something I struggle with, so I have to write out “what is my perfect day look like” so that I don’t struggle with that.
What does my evening routine look like? When do I get time to read? When am I going to have time to go in my sauna? All of those things that you’re like “Man, I wish I had time for those!” Put it in your calendar, plan it out, the perfect vision of your day, your week, your month, your quarter, your year – and what does that look like? And then you go and implement it. So what I did was, I wrote all this out, and then I had a vision: my day, my routines, my week, month, year. And then I made a to do list, and my to do list was like, “Send the calendar updates to my assistant,” [and] I needed to “make a list of all the family adventures that we could go on, on Saturdays” so that Saturday isn’t coming around, and I’m like, “Where should we go?” but [instead] I have an option, “make a list of fun date night ideas” …
I had a whole to do list. How do I make this happen? What changes do I need to make in order to make this happen and make this a reality? And then I do, and then all of a sudden it becomes a reality, and your schedule is exactly how you want it. You’re getting to fit everything in it. It all makes sense, because what happens, too, is if you’re trying to fit too much in, and then you go to do this exercise, you’ll be like, “Oh, I have to cut something. I can’t do all those things in a day.” And for us high achievers, myself included, that happens a lot.
So that’s my process for planning, and then I use this for business. So let me talk to you guys about that. So we just did our monthly planning today, and I feel like we have so much going on in our company constantly, especially with the addition [of] our IGNITE course. So we have the entire ads department updating things for clients, selling to new clients, marketing, and then we’ve got IGNITE, prepping for the next launch, taking care of the students. It’s a lot. It’s a lot, and I have a team, but it’s a lot. So I was feeling overwhelmed, and we had our monthly planning.
So what I did, I literally got a blank piece of paper, and I just wrote down everything that had to be done, everything I could think of. And when I thought I was done I was like, “Okay, what else?” Because you know those things in your head when you’re like, “Shoot, I’ve been forgetting for five days to do that thing,” and it just drives you crazy, and then you forget again for two more days, and then you have that quick reminder? I hate those. So I write it all down, and try and get all of that out. Then I planned it.
So what I did was, I broke it out into projects, and really they’re quarterly goals, they end up being usually about that time frame. And then I broke it out into different section projects. So for example, we have our next IGNITE live launch. That’s a project, that’s a several month project. And then we have our live event happening in 2020, that’s a project, several months project. We have overhauling our ads manager training again for our internal ads team, our new ads manager hires. That’s a whole project that will probably take more than a month. We have building out, this is top-secret cool, a database. So we’re actually building out a database so that clients can log in to an area. Eventually it will be a login, eventually maybe an app where they can see their daily stats. Because my team tracks daily stats in a daily tracker, and I want clients to have a daily dashboard. So that’s a several month project that we’re working on. So we have all of those.
Then I broke it down into everything that needed to be done in those projects. And my team helps me with it. I don’t know everything that needs to be done in all those projects, but I know what’s in my brain, and so I’m getting out what’s in my brain. And so then I can take that, and I can assign months to the different projects. And so then at that moment I have “Here is August to do’s,” and it feels so much more doable, because you can put things on, and you can say like, “It’s fine. We know we have to do that, but we don’t have to worry about that until September or October, and we know exactly what we have to do,” and then my team can be really clear, “Here’s our a month’s to do’s, and then going into each week, here is what we have to do.” And when everybody’s clear like that, it really helps us be really the most productive. But it also helps me feel I’m like not overwhelmed and I’m not scattered when I have so many things going on. I feel very in control, because I only know what I have to do, and I know exactly when that’s happening.
So for me, I break [down] those projects, and I figure out, “What do I contribute to those?” So I record podcasts episodes, or I’m going to be recording some new videos for our clients who come on with us as onboarding videos. Those are my tasks. And so when I know that I actually put them in my calendar, “When am I getting them done?” and I block that time off. And so my calendar is packed every day, but it’s packed so that I’m productive. Like my meditation is in my calendar, time with my kids, but everything’s in my calendar so that at every minute of the day, I know what I’m supposed to be doing. And so I’m not like, “Oh, jump over here to email, or jump over here, or I don’t know what I should do.” You know that feeling where you have 10 minutes, and you’re like, “What do I do? I’ll just check Facebook.” I never have that. I know exactly what I have to do. I plan my day, I plan my weeks, I plan my month.
So part of this… this is my process for setting the goals, planning them, and then making them happen. So it starts with that “What does your perfect week, month, year look like?” And so for example, I just ran into this podcaster who I listen to and I love, and I heard her say, “I take two days off.” And I was like, “I want that. That sounds so great.” My calls have gotten scattered, out of control lately, where I don’t ever have a full day with no calls, and I used to, and I need that back. That was a week and a half ago that I came across that. And then instantly I did this exercise and send it to my assistant, we’re changing my schedule around, boom, it’s done.
So you have the power to set those schedules and use your time exactly how you want to, and when you do this, you can accomplish so much. I guarantee you this is a huge contributing factor to the success I’ve had in building my company, because I see a vision of my launch or I want to be a X million dollar run rate. And then I just see it, I figure out how to make it a reality, like the to do’s that have to happen, exactly where we’re going. Then it just becomes easy. It just becomes crossing those things off, getting them done, following through with your commitments, things that you put in your calendar… and your life becomes this dream life, “dream life” that you dreamed of. I mean, how many people think, “I want to take two days off,” and a week and a half later, my schedule has been reworked so that that is my reality? Not many people think that way, but you have the power to do that. And that’s what I’m trying to say.
And also when you take everything you have to do in your business, and you just, like that process, brain dump it, break it out, and then just figure out what do you have to do for the next month, and then use that to figure out what you have to do for the next week, and then your day, you will get so much more done, and you won’t feel overwhelmed.
So that’s my process for setting business, personal goals, and figuring out every day, what my day looks like. And I feel like I’m an extremely productive person. We as a company, and as an individual, I accomplish so much more than the average person, because I am so focused, and I know what I’m doing everyday. And anytime I get off of this, which I do… like recently I actually went through a month where, this month I was traveling so much, I was out of my morning routine. My workouts were scattered, some were in the afternoon, some were in the morning, some days I skipped, and that is not me.
Everyday… I hate that. I feel so out of alignment when that happens. So I have to sit down, and be like, “Okay, what do I have to change? Exactly what am I changing? What does my days look like?” And then I do it, and so that changes it. So everybody kind of falls off or gets out of a habit or does an unproductive thing or forgets something, but it’s bringing it back constantly to your schedule, to your calendar, to your commitments, and following through with them.
All right, you guys. Let me know if you liked this. I hope it was inspiring for you. I know people liked it when I shared it on social media, because I just did this exercise on a plane. I feel so much better every time I do them. I’m just like “Okay, I’m in control again. I’ve got this, I can accomplish all this!” It seems doable. I just feel so settled after I do it. I did it again today, for only the business, for our monthly planning to prepare for that.
All right, you guys. Well, thanks so much for tuning in. Like I said, share this on Instastory or send me a message somewhere, and let me know what you thought of this episode, and I’ll see you all next time.
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