Episode 45: How to Build the Perfect Week for Progress

Good morning! It has been a wonderful weekend. Had a little bit of clouds. Life was good, because, see I want you to look above the clouds. Do you know, when you’re on airplanes, and you’re in the clouds, how dark and dreary it can be if it’s raining or snowing? But when you get above the clouds and you’re at that altitude and you look and you see nothing on the horizon but bright sunshine. And that sunshine is what I want you to experience today here on Live a Life by Design. Hey, I’m your host, Jimmy Williams! I am so honored to share a few moments of your Monday with you today. Cause I’m gonna give you the secret I believe to having a progressive week, every week, on your goals.

So many of you have written in and had concerns about, ok, I know now I’ve got my goals, but how do I stay focused on these goals, and how do I achieve them? Particularly if they are stretch goals. These are goals that really make me become someone bigger than I am. And I will tell you that it does take a team for some of the very largest goals that we utilize in our company. At Live a Life by Design, we’re so much more than just talking about you. I want you to be an influence to those around you. I want you to have the kind of lifestyle that you have a team that is intuitively tuned in to what you’re trying to accomplish.

Remember that rising tide raises all boats. So those of us that have leadership positions on a company or in a team, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re an executive in a company. It does not matter. You still are a micro-entrepreneur, even if you don’t own the company. You have the requirement. If you want to be successful, to engage, inspire and lead others and the same goals so you can reach the ultimate pinnacle of success.

This week I want to talk to you just a few minutes and share what helped us take our team and function in the most efficient and effective way possible. Now you can probably tell by my voice this week, I’ve had a little bit of damage on my jaw. And it’ll be back to normal, but hey, I always tell people it’s not the face that attracts clients, it’s the brain. So, if you’ll bear with me this week. I apologize if I slur just a little bit. You know, but, when you have work on your jaw, sometimes it just causes a little bit of dysfunction for a short period of time. I promise you I’ll be back to my good old self in no time.

This concept that I’m gonna share today is one that I picked up from my business coach many years ago. Dan Sullivan, of Strategic Coach, based out of Toronto and Chicago, IL, taught me this concept so well, that when I came back, met with the team and adapted this concept into our weekly plan the company’s efficiency took off. I was able to see more clients, or potential lifetime clients. I was able to work more effectively on our clients solutions. In other words, how we could resolve their concerns and issues for the future. And we called this, the perfect week.

So we’re gonna talk about how to build your perfect week for progress. So, let me tell you what the ideal week is for me. You know, what are the elements that I look for in an ideal week. Well, first, as an entrepreneur who leads a wealth management firm, I wear many hats. Most of you listening wear many hats too. So this juggling act has to occur where you have everything in synchronicity. Everything needs to work together at a certain time. You need to communicate to your team those timelines and the days and so forth. So that’s what we’ve accomplished.

You see, to maintain proper control of the company’s goals, operations, regulatory requirements and personnel needs I must have a balanced week to address all of these areas and meet with clients and potential clients. Lead the investment committee. Create solutions for our clients challenges in life, and provide feedback and other assistance to our marketing team.

Just listening to that list makes me a little bit weary that if I didn’t have a concept and tool that I’m describing to you today, I’d be stressed out all the time. And folks I’ve got news for you, I’m not stressed out. It sounds like a lot of activity, but today I’m giving you my secret hack to keeping our team and me progressing toward our goals for a successful year.

We observe three types of days on our team. Free Days, Focus Days, and Buffer Days. To more describe each day, think of the activities that each day entails.

Free Days

Free Days: Free Days are represented by 24 hour period of doing no work, no work emails, no work telephone calls, no work meetings, no work reading. You get the picture. This type of a day is intended only to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit to allow you to perform at your highest level on days of production. For me, weekends, holidays, vacations, I call them also Self Focusing Trips, might be a short trip, for two or three days, just by myself, etc. are my Free Days.

It is critical to your success, that you provide for Free Days in your week to maintain the level of performance needed to meet the demands of a challenging career. If you don’t rejuvenate, you can not be efficient. You can not run the level of performance you need to be ultra progressive. You have got to be with a team that operates efficiently or you waste so much of your energy.

Focus Days

So let’s talk about the second type of days. Focus Days: To understand Focus Days, think about your production days. This type of day consists of performing my top three revenue and or value generating activities. Then I use 80% or more, I do not do less than 80% of that day. So if it’s an 8 hour day, and I have 80%, I’ve got 6.4 hours of that day committed to these types of activities. Meeting with clients, researching and creating client solutions, and meeting with potential clients. These are my top 3 activities. That is all I will do on a Focus Day.

To accomplish this type of scheduling, we’ll share in a few moments the structure of a typical week for me. But before we discuss structure, let’s discuss the last type of day, called a buffer day. Before I take a significant number of Free Days, such as my annual sabbatical. I will spend a couple of days simply working on the matters that allow me to enjoy my free days without calling into the office, checking work email, looking at my Slack. By preparing adequately before you leave the office, your mind will comfortably relax knowing that you have addressed the important areas of your business or work. Delegated pending tasks to your talented team members and advised your clients of your absence. In other words, you are laying the groundwork so that you can leave your place of work and leave the stress behind.

Buffer Days

Buffer Day activities include meeting with the team on marketing projects. Reviewing financial and other administrative reports. And establishing policy or procedural designs for efficient operations of the company. These types of days are for working “in” your business, or as a Focus Day you are working “on” your business. And by hyper-focusing on one day over another, the company will suffer from inefficiency and lack of communication or client work will not get performed and the company will suffer.

Balance in all things is critical to success. It’s just like life. A friend of mine thought he would improve his health, and he wanted to do it so quickly and dramatically that he was working out, you guessed it, 7 days per week. He allowed no time for muscle rest, eventually harming him so badly that he couldn’t work out anymore because of torn muscles, ligaments, and joints that were not meant to be worked 7 days a week in that focused regimine. When I asked him what his real goal was, he simply said, “I wanted to be stronger and healthier for longevity of life”. I said, “How’d that work out for you?” He quickly understood that had he set up a program that allowed him to have a rest day between his workday, he would have greater muscle growth, he had had more rest, he had had clearer thoughts and he would have just accomplished his goal in just a little more than three or four months.

One of the most critical elements to a long term successful career, physical fitness program, whatever, is consistency. By establishing systems that give you the most productivity from the least amount of energy expended. You will be much more efficient and perform for greater periods of time. The Miriam Webster Dictionary defines consistency as “harmony of conduct or practice within a profession”. Provide for the greatest number of client meetings in a given week, we schedule 8 to 10 meetings per day on Focus Days. Our team, by communicating the types of days and establishing a standard week structure, works with great efficiency and effectiveness by maintaining the harmony in the office, and each team member is extraordinarily talented to contribute their role for our overall team success.

Thank you to all of our listeners of the podcast. We have received many reviews on iTunes and appreciate your comments. Here is a review from Women and Advice, “This is a great way to get my week in gear. Jimmy is such a genuine person and his message inspires. I’m looking forward to listening to more”. If you haven’t subscribed to the show, please do so today so that you will not miss an episode of this outstanding content.

The Perfect Week Structure

Let me share my perfect week structure with you now. And if you wish to see a picture of my perfect week, click the images to the right to see it full size. Remember this is the week for our company and team. Your company may require a different structure. There is no “one size fits all”. Learn the technique and strategy but apply it to your facts, circumstances and goals.

So, let’s go. In a week, we designate 3 days, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday as Focus Days. Remember, these are the days that consist of 80% being utilized, your top 3 value or revenue-generating activities. Wednesday and Friday are Buffer Days, while Saturday and Sundays are Free Days. As you review the exhibit on our webpage, each of the days activities are structured purposely for maximum efficiency. In a future episode, we will share our approach to systems that will streamline a tremendous amount of your activities from mundane to humming like a sewing machine.

So, thinking about this structure for the week, let’s talk about what type of activities I have on those particular days. For example, and as I get again, you can see this, we gave you a copy on our website, but let’s talk about our first Focus Day, Monday, and what we do and how my day actually goes. Soon as I arrive to the office between 7:30 and 8 o’clock that morning, I’m going to be working on creative projects for our clients’ solutions. Why I do this is is I am more of a morning person than I am an evening person for creativity. I like to be fresh. After I’ve gotten up, I’ve been doing some writing, I’ve done my bible study, I have been relaxing in prayer. I’ve got my day started and I feel fresh as a daisy. That’s where I’m at my best on creativity. At 8:30, I will start client meetings and go til noon. Between each of these client meetings I use, and you’ve heard me say this before, a great app, a program called CopyTalk. I don’t really touch a keyboard for any reason. I simply open my cell phone, hit the app, and start dictating notes from my meetings.

By the time I’m usually through at noon, CopyTalk has transcribed if not the first two or three meetings, most of these meetings and they’re already waiting in an email with my assistant. I usually have lunch from 12 to 1, and then it’s right back to client meetings and projects from 1 until 4. Then I plan my next day from 4 to 4:30. See that’s the key to efficiency, don’t allow the day to run you. As Jim Rohn said, you run the day or it runs you. And then exercise at 4:30 til 6. 6:30 dinner with my family. At 8 o’clock I’m reading, and writing some more in my book, or creating blogs. Doing whatever I like. I go to bed at about 10 am, get up the next morning at 5, 5:30 and start again.

This is only my approach, and that’s one example of a Focus Day that I use on Mondays. That does not mean that is the day and the structure that you should use. One of my friends is actually a physician. He’s been a client of ours for a long time. He actually works only 2 Focus Days during the week. But let me explain what kind of physician he is. He is a surgeon. So he structures his schedule on those two days that he only works in surgery, which is his top 3 revenue generating activity, he does nothing but surgeries. And he may do surgeries for 10 to 12 hours that day depending on the procedure.

By focusing his team on strictly those two days, he then leaves himself available another 2 days of the week that he uses as Buffer Days. These buffer days allow him to organize, work on his structure and plan for the surgery that’s going to occur next week, for example. He may also be working on the types of surgeries and helping train his team to schedule those surgeries that are most replicative. In other words, he’s got the same surgery on 7 different patients that day. Well, it’s more efficient to do them all on one day if their schedule will permit and he can get them in the operating room.

You see this is all about how you set yourself up for success. It’s how you can utilize your time, most efficiently, create and develop and maintain your team to understand how important that efficiency is to the overall profitability and function of your business. So, question for you. How is your team performing? Are you providing the leadership necessary for each member to know the importance of their role for the company? Communicate the interaction of each member of the team to the overall goals of the company. This type of vision and leadership will serve you well to becoming a self managed company that espouses the highest degree of integrity and commitment to excellence.

Now I didn’t say perfection. But I said integrity and highest commitment to excellence. We have a phrase in our office. Even with all the structures, even all the concepts, the hacks we use, the efficiency we gain which is tremendous, we are human. We are going to make mistakes. I know I’ve titled this on how to build the perfect week for progress. There may not be a perfect week, but this one is perfect for us, for now. As we add new teams, and as we continue on this expansive growth that we’re in, we will no doubt have to adapt our week. You see it can’t always just stay the same. As we grow, things have to change for accountability, accommodation, training, different steps have to be added to your procedures. We are always adapting to make sure we give our clients and our team the most efficient and effective services possible. The highest degree of integrity is never compromised.

So this week, your challenge is to go to our website. www.livealifeby.design, and download the free perfect week example. Once you have the download, apply the strategy and concept to your own week. Leave a comment on our website or social media letting us know your thoughts. Until next week, do me a favor, shoulders back, chin up, and remember, even if your jaw is swollen and you talk funny, go out there and make your life a bigger, better, and bolder life to help influence others.

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