How to Make October Super Productive
I love October for a number of reasons, but the big one is that it’s the perfect time to start tying up loose ends before the end of the year and planning for next one. Here’s how I’m doing it this year.
How to Make October
Welcome to October!
Wow, I seriously can’t believe how quick this year is flying by. I know it sounds quite cliche, but I think as business owners we notice it much more.
The problem with the perceived quick passing of time when in business is that it only seems to highlight what we’ve not accomplished yet, what’s still to do and what hasn’t been a success.
The movement of time brings up some very negative emotions and that comes hand in hand with negative self-talk, pushing too hard and potentially burning out, and we don’t want that.
October is one of my favourite months for a number of reasons:
- It’s Halloween at the end of the month, which is my favourite festival.
- The summer months are over, holiday season has ended, the kids are back to school and it finally feels like business as usual
- We have a whole 3 months left before the end of the year which makes it a fantastic time to make some decisions on what we WILL accomplish before 2018.
Why I’m starting to plan 2018 now!
I’m starting earlier than usual this year. In previous years I’ve been waiting on the release of a specific planner or goal setting book and each time the release dates have held me back until around mid-November. This has never left me with enough time as I don’t like to rush my planning and review phase, and I always find that being aware of the fact that business will be slower over Christmas and New Year means I take on more work during the end of November and early December to compensate for the seasonal income drop.
In the past, I’ve also said to myself that I would spend the time off during Christmas and New Year time planning as my workload is reduced, however in the 4 years I’ve been in business, this has never happened. By December, I’m tired. I need a break and I want to spend time with my family and friends. If I don’t take time off over Christmas and New Year then I start January drained and fatigued instead of well rested and raring to go.
So you can see, I have some great reasons for starting my planning early, and there are no rules to say we have to wait until the New Year.
Your Best Year 2018 by Lisa Jacobs
Last year I followed Lisa Jacobs Your Best Year 2017, and I really made some progress in my business with the guidance from this book. I’ve decided to stick with this again but make a bit more of an effort this time, and start earlier. I’m actually very lucky as I’m part of Lisa’s Luminaries Club so I’ve already got my hands on an early release digital copy. The official launch date is 17th October. and you can find out more about Your Best Year 2018 >>here<<
Find your goal setting and planning solution
I highly recommend starting to think about your goal setting and planning solution for 2018. Planning and goal setting is essential if you want to get things done.
Now, one thing I’m not a fan of is planning too far ahead, and being too strict or unrealistic with our goals and plans as we just set ourselves up for failure that way. Instead, I keep these things very fluid and chip away at them weekly instead of spending days locked in my office just before the 1st January frantically trying to put some plans in place! This never works.
Check out >> Goal Setting Doesn't Have to be Boring <<
The best plans we make are the ones we mean deep down in our heart and soul. And we can’t write down heart and soul stuff if we bully ourselves into it, now can we?
If you’re struggling to know what to use for your 2018 planning and goal setting guide, then think about what you’ve used in the past and why it worked or didn’t work for you. This will help to work out what you need. Then don’t be scared to try something new. Remember, this is a very personal experience and the only right solution is the one that works for you. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing.
Danielle LaPorte Desire Map
A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
Now, this is a book I dip in and out of all year long. The information in here helps me use my Lisa Jacobs Guide even better as it encourages me to think outside the box and not be so clinical with my goal setting…….which has been a fail for me in the past. I use this book because it provides an influence that I need when my default setting is to plan everything to the N’th degree. And I know I need this influence as the more fluid and relaxed I am the better my year will be. It’s basically a goal setting training manual for my heart and soul.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who needs to soften their goal setting and get into the flow much more. You can find out more >> here <<
When I first discovered Danielle LaPorte and her Desire Map, I wrote a blog about my experience of using the book which you can take a look by clicking the link below.
Creating a Snagging List
This month, I’m starting a snagging list. And if you haven't heard the term before, it’s something used by tradesmen such as builders, painters and joiners and it refers to those little jobs to be done at the end of a job, the things that need touching up or finishing off.
Now, I don’t know about you, but starting something in my business and finishing it are two very different things. I’ve had stuff on my to-do list since January which has just never been given a priority, and I’ve also got things which I’ve started and not finished. And just knowing those things exist unfinished kind of bugs me. This is why I’ve decided to create a snagging list for my business.
All I’ve done is create a To-Do List Snagging Worksheet and I keep this on my desk. As I’m working through my days and weeks, I’m adding all of those things which come to mind that need to be either completed by the end of this year, moved to next year as a project and scheduled in, or removed from my list completely as they’re not relevant anymore.
By getting them down on paper, I can make a decision about them. One thing I am aiming for with this is to not drag this year's crap into next year.
It’s time to accept what I won’t get done this year and either move it to 2018 or leave it behind for good. Making decisions like this is very powerful as far as being productive is concerned, and I promise once you start this task clean up, you will find it hard to stop. It’s quite liberating!
Grab your FREE To-Do List Snagging Worksheet by clicking >> here <<
New Month Tasks
At the start of each month I have a number of task I make sure I do without fail as these keep me focused and on track all month long.
Plan the month ahead
Out of frustration at not being able to find a good solution to help me plan the month ahead, I’ve created my own workbook which is available to all member’s of my Zen Productivity Membership Club. And each month, on the second Tuesday, I host a live planning event inside the private Facebook group where we all plan our most productive month together. I love doing this as it helps to keep me accountable and also means my member’s are getting super focused on what they’re going to accomplish in the next 4 weeks.
I talk about planning the month ahead in this blog >> How to plan your most productive month the easy way <<
Working with Numbers
This is the bit most business owners try to avoid, but it’s one of the most important tasks in your business. There are two sets of numbers I work with each month, they are:
- My business finances
- Social media and audience stats
Inside the workbook I mentioned above, I’ve created a page for each of these as it prompts me to review my business income and expenses for the month gone by and also set my income goals for the month ahead.
I also work through a tracker, entering numbers from my social media and email lists. This helps me to see what’s worked, what hasn’t worked and what I can do better.
Review big goals
Big goals are those which may take several months, or even the whole year to accomplish. They’re the things which you break down into smaller manageable pieces to work on each month and therefore keep heading towards your goal. I like to review these a couple of times a year. And if it’s not something you’ve done before, you might find this free printable useful.
Grab your free download by clicking >> here <<
Scoping things out
Something else I also like to do each month is have a one-page calendar printed out. I use this to help me scope things out such as product building or launches. I do this for projects so I can be realistic with my time. The handy thing about this printout too, it that I can scribble all over it, and print out as many as I need, I’m not messing up a page in a planner or workbook.
Grab your free download by clicking >> here <<
So there we have it!
That’s what October is looking like for me. As you can see, I’m really starting to think about next year. Everything I’m doing is to help get loose ends tied up and plans in place ready for next year.
I’m chipping away at this, so it’s not a big scary task and I’m finding as a result, I’m more open to new ideas and inspiration seems to be everywhere.
Have a great October and happy planning!
Have a super productivity day.
What are your productive goals for October?
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