What is your best use of time right now? Right now you are choosing to use your time reading this article. Cool. Self-development and education are very important. Have you ever sat down and asked yourself what the most valuable use of your time is and then actually made sure you are investing time in your most highly valued tasks? If you don’t, you’re not organized, and it’s costing you money, lots of money!
When Regine, my office manager, came to work three years ago, I explained to her on her first day that my absolute best use of time is as follows:
1.) Being on Stage
Anywhere or everywhere for being paid or for free
2.) Creating Content
Whether writing an article or creating a YouTube video. It’s my choice of marketing and prospecting time.
3.) Creating New Products / Programs
Having new programs to offer allows me to multiply my time. I can create a new program for my online University and offer it to hundreds of people.
I then turned to her and explained that her job is keeping me on those three tasks as much as possible. I figured she would eventually understand that I have a challenge sticking to that plan! When I was explaining it to her, I was reminding myself.
Every speaking business model is different. There are many versions and each have their challenges, but I believe your use of time is the difference between success and failure, earning money and being out of business. Period.
That being said, being organized is actually the top priority. If we are not taking the time to prioritize our time, we are wasting time! If you are an emerging speaker or a part-time professional, then you have even less time to use well. Our passions and emotions may lead us to spending too much time on the part of the business we love, and that can be detrimental to our whole business. It’s what we do off stage that determineswhether or not we get on stage.
When my desk is a mess and I start drowning in Post-it notes, I get stressed. When I’m stressed I make mistakes and miss important tasks and follow-ups that are crucial to business. Whether it is 99 sticky notes on your desk or 342 emails in your inbox, your being disorganized is costing you money for sure. It is only a matter of how much you are losing and how quickly.
So, how can you get organized? Great question to start with. Decide. That does not mean you have to schedule an entire day that will loom over you and stress you out even more. You’ll probably rationalize why that is a bad use of your time the day before anyway. I suggest what worked for me. Schedule 30 minutes a day to get organized and plan. Put it on your calendar right now. When you do your thirty minutes, you will notice the progress, and the weight of disorganization will start lifting off of you. You will probably uncover some crucial profitable to-dos that you missed along the way. That should remind you of the importance and profitable nature of being organized.
To help me with this self-commitment, I use is a free online stopwatch as a tool. Go to http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/, set a timer, and don’t stop organizing and cleaning your desk until the time has expired. If you’re on a roll, keep going. When you’re finished with your 30 minutes, you can go back to being squirreled!
Planning is also a crucial part of becoming and staying organized. When I find myself off-track and overwhelmed, I realize I’m drowning in Post-it notes. I need to get back to what works, which for me is having my major projects and all my tasks organized in one place. This is my master plan. Do you have one? Is it in one place? My master plan changes and evolves over time.
Another free online tool that I love is Kanbanflow.com. I like it because it allows me to have a KanBan board for each of my big projects. I even have a separate board to keep my big annual event, Lady & the Champs, organized.
Because I’m very visual and not technical, I love this tool. It is simple and easy to work with. I also like to work on paper, so I do the organizing and planning in Kanban, then I print out a single piece of paper and work with it. During the day I’ll write on it, and then I’ll update the online version and print a new one to work with.
If you are already super-organized, you get it. Please pass this article on to one of your disorganized friends. Most of us need a reminder that time is one of our most valuable assets whether we are part-time or full-time speakers. Being disorganized costs you money. Getting organized and planning will bring you more peace, more enthusiasm, more momentum, and more money. I Darrentee it.