Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Sounds cliche but successful people plan, and they plan well!

It’s no secret that the most successful people have a strict routine that they stick to, BUT! That doesn’t mean that you need to overwhelm yourself with a diary, a calendar, a planner, a phone diary, and a booking system and just end up all over the place. 

We’ve all been there. Would you rather spend the day thinking about anything and everything rather than what you’re supposed to be doing, or do you prefer the sound of not only knowing exactly what needs to be done, but also when it needs to be done?

Choose one system that works for you, and master that. Once you are happy that you are sticking to some form of daily, weekly, or monthly organisation in your work life, you can then begin to look at other options for home/family life etc.

It can be as simple as using your phone diary and the notes section to plan out your time, but we will cover some proven methods of increasing productivity and sales. This also frees up more time to do the things that you would rather be doing, like spending quality time with friends and family.

When I did my business training I was given the best advice in the world – never to walk into a day ‘cold’. Meaning that if you wake up on a day to work without a proper structure, you will endlessly flit from task to task without getting anything done effectively.

Sound familiar? Taking just 10 minutes the night before (or better still planning the week out, perhaps on a Sunday) will guarantee less procrastination and more productivity! 

Time Blocking

“I wish I had more hours in the day!” Sound like you? Well we can’t add extra hours to the day but we can certainly make more efficient use of the hours that we do have by Time Blocking. You could produce the same output as a 60 hour working week in a carefully time blocked 40 hour week!!

When you plan ahead and dedicate specific blocks of time to your tasks, and only those tasks, you will be more focused and less overwhelmed with the thought of everything on your to do list.

Unlike a list of ‘to do’s’ this isn’t an endless list of things that require your attention, that you’re unlikely to complete and end up beating yourself up about, but more about ensuring that you actually follow through on what you intend to do! Sound good?

It’s really not complicated either, each block is a general guide, starting with your high priority tasks planned in during your most productive time of the day, to ensure that they are given the most time and energy. 

If you’re more focused in the morning after a work out, plan around that! Or maybe the afternoon is better when you have no other distractions. Then you can plan your other low priority tasks around this. Examples of high priority tasks are mostly anything that brings in revenue, closing sales, following leads, actively seeking new business etc.

Try to block in no more than 90 minute sections at a time, and add sufficient breaks for a stretch, to hydrate and for a snack/lunch. But not for distractions such as scrolling, checking emails or chatting on the phone! These can have dedicated times at the beginning or end of the day, or during lunch. 

However, if you have important admin that you need to complete, this can be done to prevent it from adding to your next time block and causing overwhelm.

Daily / weekly theming

This can be applied to yourself or designated members of staff. But this is particularly useful for the salon owner or manager, who is most likely to have many different areas of responsibility that all require attention.

By allocating a particular day of the week to certain tasks, it allows for flow of ease and reduces cognitive overload, (which in turn leads to exhaustion), as there is no switching from theme to theme.

For example, I have an admin day on a Monday, because I’m nice and refreshed from the weekend and I like to get all of my work that I am most likely to put off done, ready for the week ahead. 

You might decide that you will dedicate a Wednesday to creating content, Thursdays are for email campaigns, Sunday is for planning, Saturday is for friends or family…

This doesn’t mean that you dedicate the entire day to those themes, but it helps you to consider which days are better suited to which themes. 

What else is going on that day? 

Do the kids have loads of classes you need to pick them up from, is there a day that you will have the house to yourself? Whatever planning it takes to ensure that you can give your high priority tasks the most attention, and are more likely to be able to get them ticked off the list.

Task Batching

Task batching usually applies to smaller similar tasks that are batched together and completed together.

Eg. Replying to DM’s, texts, whatsapps and emails, social media posts and engagement, copy writing, or planning.

You may decide for example that you only want to check / reply to messages once per day at 3pm to reduce stress levels, so adding that in as a batch task may be easier for you than a full day of admin once per week.

Likewise you could set aside two 15 minute times per day to do some social media engagement, maybe once in the morning and once in the evening for example.

Or you might schedule your social media/email campaigns 2-4pm on a Friday, meaning they are then planned out and ready to send, which saves you thinking of what to create and saves time creating each day.

When you consistently swap from app to app, and device to device, this causes cognitive overload and leads to fatigue and overwhelm. 

Give these time management tips and tools a try and hopefully you will start to feel more balanced pretty quickly!

If after reading this you feel like you need to make some changes to your daily planning, The Salon Trainer is offering a free Positive Productivity Planner to help with your organisation and time management! 

The planner is digital and really simple to use, just print the pages that you need and create a system to suit you on a weekly or monthly basis. Simply head to https://thesalontrainer.teachable.com/p/productivity-planner to claim yours!