Time is Money. Make your time more valuable with this annual planning tool.

Chris Milton Annual Plan 2016
We all have a long to do list and usually it can feel easier to tackle when you categorize groups of tasks. He suggested breaking them up into days as well. For his business, one admin day with four client days seems to work best for his productivity and his business is growing very well.  After showing me the template, he broke down how to plan out the year.

Here’s a summary:

Make your time more valuable: Plan vacation time first.

While this may seem to be counter productive, it is hard to stop and take spontaneous vacations.  It’s important to keep a balanced schedule – we all need a break.  Put this “off” time in first, it works as a great milestone to chase and also helps others around you plan for your absence.  I’m sure you can relate to the super productive feeling days before a vacation, give yourself an extended productivity boost by planning in advance.

Make your time more valuable: Quarterly Benchmark and Planning

(Yes, it takes a whole day).  For many people, like myself, there is a lot that happens each day.  Analyzing this over 3 months takes time, and that’s only half the task. Use this day to both review, set new goals and adjust expectations for the next 90 days.

Make your time more valuable: Dedicated Admin days.

Every tasks usually has a couple parts to it. For me, that’s client side, work production and paperwork.  Trying to simultaneously do these things in one day leaves more half done tasks than completed work. By adding an entire administration day each week, I feel more organized and no long fear my mountain of paperwork.

Make your time more valuable: Remaining days become growth days.

What’s left might seem like a fraction of what you feel is needed, but you’d be surprised how much more productive you are when you focus.  In this context, being able to focus on growth days (read: revenue generating), each day can be more productive.  While the initial example I saw was divided for admin days and client days, my workflow requires one more split.
Client days and creative days.  At this point, I’m trying 1 client day and 3 creative days. Here’s why:
  • clients have a distinct on boarding process with our sales team and I typically only get called into client meetings for strategy and planning.
  • our workflow has picked up tremendously and that means more work, but also an opportunity to improve process and team collaboration.

I’d like to try it this way for all of Q1 but it may become 2 client days and 2 creative days.

Make your time more valuable: Break down goals to daily measurements

Now that each day has a purpose, it might be easier to qualify goals in to more manageable pieces. Personally, I like daily metrics. My daily metrics of things that are required need to be done by 11am on growth and creative days because the rest of that time is project work for clients and our team.  What can be flexible is after the daily metrics.  I know for our sales team, the daily metrics are much less intimidating than a week or month.  Focus on your monthly goals and really break it down to a daily amount of work.  If you fall behind on one day, try to make it up on the next, but also make note of it.  Your daily budget of tasks may need some adjusting.

Chris Milton Annual Plan 2016

Make your time more valuable: Download the annual planning tool

You can start this right now! Here’s the link to a blank 2016 annual planning excel sheet that you just need to colour coordinate.  If you would like to share your calendar, please tweet @chrismilt #AnnualPlan or leave a comment below.

All the best making this year most productive. Each hour should be worth a little more than last.


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