I often see business owners move from activity to activity with no purpose. I was in this position till I finally put a personal management system in place.
About 35 years ago I started with the Franklin Planner system, which has now become Franklin Covey. This was before the days of ubiquitous computers so the system was done with paper and pencil. You can still buy this system today.
I then moved to several computer systems and today I’m using OmniFocus which is a Macintosh product. OmniFocus is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done strategies. For me, this system has been the best because it’s allowed me to focus on projects that are important to me.
Start with a big rock focus. It’s too easy for us as business owners to get side tracked on projects or activities that just aren’t that important. We get calls where people want us to pay attention to what they’re selling. Our employees have problems they want our input on. Many times our personalities get in our way and we just like what I call bright shiny objects.
We have to be careful of bright shiny objects. They look like they might be important, but more often than not they’re fool’s gold. This is where a personal management system comes into play. If instead we choose two or three large projects and had a personal system that helps us focus on those projects we would likely be more successful and less stressed.
Review your projects weekly. Big rocks are the important things in our life that can move our life in a positive direction. We also might have twenty to fifty other projects that require our attention.
Big Rocks need to be the first thing we review on a weekly basis. After the big rocks we’ll have a list of 20 to 50 other projects that will need our attention. Some projects we’ll want to look at weekly and some just once a month. If we have projects that require our attention less than once a month we might want to move these to a place we call someday.
I suggest that you set a time once a week (I use Sunday’s) and look at projects that are due for review. You can then decide whether there is anything you need to do about those projects and schedule those activities either in your computer based or paper based system.
Personal management systems require discipline. The problem with any system you decide to use is it requires discipline. I find that having a buddy system in place for the first 90 to 120 days helps in making your personal management system become real.
When someone works for me and it’s time for them to use a personal management system I have them send me their weekly plan for three or four months. After three months they wouldn’t need supervision because the habit was formed and if they didn’t do their weekly plan they would feel lost.
You might think about putting together a buddy system. If you and a friend (like your significant other) want to start using a personal management system you might trade your weekly plan with each other. After three months you’ll likely not need help staying disciplined with your new planning system.
If we’re busy, and we all are, having a system that helps us make sense of our life is a good thing. What about you, do you think a personal management system would help?
We’ve put together a case study on how to become a passive owner. All of the people we know that have successfully done this have a personal planning system so they know what to focus on. Click on the button below and get your case study.