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"Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings." - CD Jackson

Great ideas need…

Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.

– CD Jackson

Ideas are so fun!

Sometimes making them real is less fun.

Landing gear is that frustrating bit where you figure out, decide, and commit to what needs to happen to let your great idea fly (or not crash land in a ball of fire).

When you get those steps laid out (create the landing gear), it feels like most of the work is done!

All that’s left is following the steps (or landing your plan).

pink highlighter checking off to-do boxes with text over the image that says "If something had to give this week, what would it be? Or, does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done? Does that result in frustration because you have important projects or tasks that don't get completed every week? After all, unexpected things come up (good and bad) and things take longer than you thought they would. Which means other things don't get done."

Does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done?

If something had to give this week, what would it be?

Or, does everything that you want to get done this week have to get done?

Does that result in frustration because you have important projects or tasks that don’t get completed every week?

After all, unexpected things come up (good and bad) and things take longer than you thought they would. Which means other things don’t get done.

But how do you prepare for things you can’t plan for?

Let me share a little about how I plan things.

I have a list of tasks to be completed each month (you can read more about it here), and I assign these tasks to a week each month.

For example, I schedule most of my social media a month at a time. So, it doesn’t HAVE to be done until the last week of the month, but if I don’t get to it for some reason, then the first week of the following month won’t have posts until I’m able to get to it.

To prevent this, I schedule creating my social media posts for the third week of the month instead of the last week. This way, if I don’t get to it for some reason, I can do it the following week with few issues.

I called it a “Controlled Failure Point.”

The idea of a controlled failure point is to have points of failure that cause minimal ripple effects. 

In my social media post example, if something needs to give on the third week of the month, that can be it, and the only repercussion is it’s a higher priority task the following week.

It might feel wrong to plan for things to go a bit off the rails, but this is how you prepare for the things you can’t plan for.

You have nothing to lose and sanity to gain.

If you’re wondering what your “Controlled Failure Point” might look like, ask a question in the comments below.

Type writer with piece of paper that says "Goals." Over top of the image is the text "How do you make sure all the projects and goals that you want to achieve get done?"

How do you make sure all the projects and goals that you want to achieve get done?

How do you make sure all the projects and goals that you want to achieve get done?

This is a question I was recently asked by someone who is ambitious but lacks infinite time.

Okay, so we all lack infinite time.

She has multiple ideas and projects that she wants to do this year. She wants to move forward with all of them now. But she knows if she does that, it might be too much for her audience at once (not to mention her).

This is where a marketing calendar comes in.

Start by looking at your goals for 2021 and then make a list of all the projects you want to do, events you want to host/create, and things you want to promote​​​​, and put them on your marketing calendar.

It doesn’t have to be super detailed, you can make it simple.

Next, think about how long each idea/project/goal needs for prep time, promo time, and delivery time.

​​Not everything ​​​​has every category. 

For example, you might decide that you’re spending one week in March to promote your already created freebie. There is prep for that (writing the promotional social media posts and scheduling them). There’s the time you’re promoting it and staying engaged with those posts, but there isn’t any delivery time because that’s automated.

While you’re​​ promoting the freebie, you can work on the prep for a project you’ll be promoting in April.

I walked my Next Level Business Mastermind clients through this process during our 2021 Planning retreat. 

Creating a marketing calendar helped them know what to expect in the upcoming year.

It also prevents finishing up one project and then quickly trying to determine what you want to do next so you can get it prepared and out there. 

Instead, they know what is on their agenda for the year, and ​what needs to be done in the background while promoting something else.

Do you use a marketing calendar? Why or why not?

On left: Picture of "make it happen" notebook; On right: text "How to plan to move things off your everything list and not let something stay on it forever"

How to plan to move things off your everything list and not let something stay on it forever

On my Facebook page I asked which topic you’d like to see covered and the winning topic was ideas for your “Everything” to-do list.

One question someone had was “how to actually plan to move things off of it and not just let something stay on it forever.”

First, let’s talk about what the “everything” list isn’t. It’s not something you look at every day. You look when you’re doing your planning for the week or any other planning you do (month, quarter, or year).

It holds your plans to reach your goals and intentions.

One mistake I made when I started using an “everything” list was making it simply a list of everything that needed to be done. Usually, I grouped it by project, which was helpful, but much like the woman asking the question above, some things never moved off of it.

To complete the items on your “everything” list, I recommend that you group your list by month and assign each task to a month. And anything that you’re not planning on doing in the next 6-12 months or ideas that you want to develop later go on your “later” list.

The next grouping is by week. Prefill your week with tasks or projects that recur monthly.

My monthly recurring tasks include:

  • On the last week of each month, planning the upcoming month
  • On the third week of each month, I select the quotes I’ll post to my business page, create the image, and schedule them.

​Create the prefilled week template for 5-6 months out. This allows you to add things to it as things come up, such as:

  • reaching out to that person who said now isn’t a good time but to check in with them in 6 months
  • sending your bio to that group you will be speaking to closer to your speaking date
  • deciding if you’re going to move forward with an idea (yes, you can add decisions to your list too!) you had for later in the year

Assign these things to the month and week you’ll do them and not when they’re due (this gives you wiggle room).

When you do your monthly planning, map out the tasks you need to complete for each project or goal, and assign those tasks to weeks of the upcoming month.

Now, you’re set to create your weekly list. You cut and paste (or rewrite) the tasks you assigned for the upcoming week to this week, add the tasks you do every week, and the loose ends from last week. 

When your tasks are assigned to a specific week (or month if it’s happening much later), you’re much more likely to get it done.

There’s a lot of information packed in up there, so please leave a comment with any questions you have OR tell me if you have an “everything” list and how it’s set up.

I just can’t get started in the morning

The other day I came across a Facebook post in a group that went something like this:

I’m just getting started in my business and I’m struggling. I can’t seem to get started in the mornings.
I know I’m good at what I do, but I just can’t get going.
Any insight or advice for me?

And there was some really great advice for her in the comments that included:

  • Go for a walk (or move in some way)
  • Set up a morning routine that gets your juices flowing
  • Do something else for a bit when you’re stuck
  • Know your most productive time of day and plan your day accordingly

​I agree with all of this advice.

I can also understand the posters problem.

I am not a morning person.

Left to my own devices (i.e., no plan), it can be quite a while before I actually start working.

This is why my last task each day is to plan the next day. I’ll plan to start my day at a specific time, and if I don’t start then, things on my daily list won’t get done. And that will bother me.

However, it’s not just about planning the day; it’s about planning the day for how I work.

I know if I put the most challenging task of my day first that I’ll procrastinate getting to work. 

Instead, I’ll generally put one or two easy or quick tasks at the beginning of my day.

This means I’ve already crossed at least one thing off my list before I’ve been in the office an hour. It creates a bit of momentum for the day.

If you also have problems getting started in the morning, try this and let me know how it goes.

Otherwise, what do you do to get started in the mornings? 

Comment below and share with me!