I ask a lot of questions of my clients. A lot.
“What do you need help with right now?” “What are your priorities for your website this week?” “If you could ask me anything, what would you ask?”
Often times, I get a blank stare back at me. A sweet, wonderful, adorable blank stare.
This actually answers my question beautifully.
Let me know if this sounds right: You are so busy with projects and tasks and due dates (and life), so you just haven’t had the time to stop, step back and assess your year-end objectives, let alone time to determine next steps towards them. Frankly, you’re not quite sure how to formulate the answer to my question, even though you know you need help.
Am I close? Here are 3 tips that might help.
It would require committing 2 hours of your time this month. If you can give yourself that, we’ll aim for 3 things:
1. Clean up your desk: 30 mins
2. Clean up your media plan: 30 mins
3. Clean up your passwords and logins: 1 hour
Now, you might ask how this helps your website.
A clean desk makes for a friendlier place to work on your website. A clean media plan lets you know what to do on your website. And a clean passwords manager makes it easy to communicate with others online.
Grab any timer that works and let’s get started.
Set the timer for 30 minutes.
1. Throw away any obvious trash.
2. Put items away in their proper place (i.e. headphones and coffee cups).
3. Collect anything “loose and questionable” into one pile. If this pile feels too overwhelming to sort now, get out your calendar and schedule a time THIS MONTH when you will sort it. Otherwise, start at the top, and make your way through the pile, filtering items into the following categories:
A. 2 minute task: Look at the clock. If you have time (and are inspired) to do the 2 minutes tasks, do them. If not, schedule a time on your calendar when you will complete all of the 2 minute tasks.
B. to do later: Schedule when each item needs to be completed by (i.e. mortgage bill due the 6th, order birthday gift for assistant on 20th, follow up on submitted proposal 27th, etc.)
C. to delegate to someone else: Get these to their new owners asap and be done with them!
Do some air guitar. Turn the timer to zero and let’s move on to the next exercise.
A media plan is a 12-month (calendar year) plan that has the following milestones penciled in:
- Specific business goals you’d like to achieve and WHEN you’d like to achieve them.
- Special events to attend or note for your business.
- Seasonal peaks for your business.
- Themes for your blog and newsletter, based on time of year and other influences.
If you don’t have a media plan for your business, no sweat. Download my Playbook and do the exercise in Chapter 1 to create one. It’ll change your life.
If you haven’t already, place a copy of your media plan on the wall in your office where you can see it. The larger the better (I use a large white board). If you don’t have a wall, tape it to your desktop. Get it framed and sit it on your desk. The key is to make it visible any time you need it for reference.
I can’t tell you how many times I glance at mine, just to make sure I’m on track. For example, I was stumbling a bit with what to write about today, but my handy MP reminded me it was spring cleaning…. shazam.
Set your timer for 30 minutes.
1. Look at your media plan.
2. Find this month and review what you planned. Have you completed these goals? If not, what are the immediate next action items necessary?
3. On your calendar, schedule when you will complete these next action items.
4. Look at next month and do the same, so your calendar should contain scheduled milestones directly connected to your media plan.
5. If you still have any time, jump in and work on your first defined action item.
Grab some Bubble Yum. Turn the timer to zero and let’s move on to the final exercise.
Storage of passwords, logins, software licenses, etc. is a common weak area for everyone, I think. You are not alone. But, if you want to join me in being the 1% who manages them, you’ll experience a magical world of freedom. Not only do I know where my info is, it’s easy to find, navigate, and update. Yes, I do feel slightly superior for this, I admit.
Set your timer for 1 hour.
Feel free to turn on your favorite music and get a sinful snack to munch on while you do this. Make it an excuse to treat yourself cuz “we’re goin’ in”.
Category A: You already have your logins and passwords collected in one place
Cool. You’ve done the initial heavy lifting. Now let’s make sure you’re using the correct logins, or the correct email for your graphic designer (if you have 15 listed for her).
1. Start in the A’s and delete any duplicates.
2. Take the time to update any old items you come across.
3. Status Check: Do you use an old notebook? Does it look like the picture above?
4. Consider buying a NEW NOTEBOOK, or (don’t panic) creating an online passwords manager. I strongly recommend 1 Password. If you feel ready for this bold move, for today just schedule on your calendar when you will purchase this notebook or 1 Password. Schedule 1 hour for starting that transfer and call it a day today. Good job!
Category B: Your passwords are scattered here and fro, like little children playing hide and seek.
Gotcha. You’re gonna love this exercise, because you’ll see the most progress. This is going to feel amazing!
1. Carefully gather and collect all the passwords you can find into one big pile.
2. Select a tool to contain these initially. A box, folder, drawer, inbox. In case you run out of time, we want these to be safe.
3. Consider buying a NEW NOTEBOOK, or (don’t panic) creating an online passwords manager. I strongly recommend 1 Password. If you feel ready for this bold move, for today just schedule on your calendar when you will purchase this notebook or 1 Password. Schedule 1 hour for starting that transfer and call it a day today. Good job!
4. If you possibly have any time left, and you have a shiny new notebook or 1 Password purchased, take the time to enter in a few items and celebrate this victory.
Don’t give up here until you get all of your passwords and logins UPDATED, CURRENT, and ORGANIZED in one, safe, manageable location. If you have to schedule a Spring Cleaning, Part 2 (even if it’s not until next month), the completion of this task will absolutely make your business, life and … everything better.
Now, put the timer away, turn up the music and do a full-on office dance.
So, what would you answer if….
… I were to ask, “What do you need help with right now?” “What are your priorities for your website this week?” “If you could ask me anything, what would you ask?”
Hopefully this article made you feel a little more organized for the rest of the month, with the ability to formulate an answer or two to these questions.
I know I’d love to hear them. And, I’d bet others would, too. Write a comment below or share this article with a friend!
What a great list for spring cleaning. I think it’s about time to get this list ready. Thank you for the tips!