Do you lay in bed at night thinking of all the stuff you have to do the next day, wondering how it’s all going to get done?
You know it keeps you up at night, sometimes you wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning, you start thinking about it, only to fall asleep of course 5 minutes before your alarm clock goes off.
I am Ron Ramsden, I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor up here in Northern Massachusetts.
The reason I say this is, this was me, for years and years, my mind was always going, going and going, having this list in my head of all the things I had to do and of course, always forgot about something.
A big change came when I not only just wrote down but I actually scheduled almost everything I do during the day.
You might say, “no way, I am not doing that, I am not going to write down everything I have to do every day, why am I going to write down when I am going to have breakfast at the same time every day?”
Well, let me go over this, the people I have are the people who write things and schedule things in an actual calendar of what they do every single day and they get 10 times more things done than you do off a piece of paper or in the back of your head.
Here’s the reason why, we get distracted, oh a squirrel, and then all of a sudden, you are over here or maybe you stop into a job site to meet your crew leader, maybe chat with a customer for 10 minutes and it’s 9 o’clock in the morning, you are walking back out to your truck at quarter past 10 because someone else asks you a question.
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Maybe you started talking about the football game on Sunday or started talking about paint colors, you started doing other things that really wasn’t the time for.
We get side-tracked, of course, we want to please everybody, but what if we’re actually sticking to a calendar.
By scheduling out your whole day, you’ll get a hundred more things done, you’ll have a good nights sleep and you’ll feel accomplished.
You will have the mindset of, “I need to get this done because it’s scheduled for [this time] and it needs to be done,” you are not in the back of your head, worrying about it.
I used to get up at about 6 o’clock in the morning, my kids are older now so they don’t need me getting them up and ready, so 6 o’ clock, I’d wake up, I’d grab a bite, chat with my wife, have a coffee, pet the dog.
7 o’clock, I would still be at the kitchen table, checking my email, checking Facebook, playing around, maybe check my bank accounts, do stuff like that and all of a sudden I was watching a YouTube video, 2 or 3 YouTube videos.
I would catch myself doing something that’s just really wasting time, but I really didn’t realize it at that point in time.
8 o’ clock, I stopped by the job site, I check one of the crews, have a couple of crews out there, be chatting with them, get out into the truck, whip out my iPad, check some Facebook, comment on a couple posts, maybe post something of a job site, maybe not, check my emails again just in case that important email came through.
Of course, I was checking my voicemails all the time if I wasn’t checking the phone calls as they came in, then before you know it, it’s getting close to noon, so I’d stop and have lunch somewhere or come back to the office.
I’d whip out the iPad or laptop, run around maybe squeezing in a couple estimates, maybe write an estimate, or maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, depending on how important I felt that was.
I’d probably call the crews again, maybe we would swing by a job site, I’d go play with the dogs in the backyard with the ball if they were bugging me.
If I stopped at the house, I’d flip the TV on and watch some ESPN, see what’s happening with the sports, of course, I’ll be on Facebook again, check emails while I’m there
Before you know it, it’s 6 o’clock at night, my wife’s coming home, we are cooking dinner together.
We are then going on 7 o’clock, if the TV wasn’t already on, I turn the TV on, start watching some of those silly shows, maybe reality shows, maybe watching ESPN for two hours.
I would stay up until about 10 o’clock until I fall asleep on the couch, make my way up to the bed and it’s 11 or 12 o’clock at night and then that starts over the next day.
There was always something left undone; but, if you schedule everything, even if, you know, sometimes you have to change things on the fly and that’s totally understandable.
So, I actually mocked up what it is on my BNI day, my networking day, what I do, I’ve changed my entire life the last couple years, wake up time, go to bed time, the whole thing.
My day now starts at 4:15 in the morning, I’m at the gym at 4:45, I get some exercise in for about 45 minutes, then I’m back home by 6.
By 6 I’m having breakfast, something very healthy to eat, and then straight over to BNI.
From 7 to 9 o’clock I’m at BNI, but you know breakfast doesn’t take me that long and it’s a little drive time, so generally I’m there early.
At BNI I get to network with some people, I am full of energy because I’ve worked out, I feel great, I ate great also.
After BNI, from 9:30 to 10, I usually make it back to the office, so maybe I’ll even be in the truck, I may give the crew leaders an actual call, although we text now and then, we communicate a lot with texts.
I like to talk to them if they need to actually explain something, just checking in with them, things like that, and I have crews that I don’t have to be on site.
I don’t micromanage them, they are great guys, they get paid well to do their job and they all know how to do their job.
From 10 to 11 is a jam session, I have 45 minutes to an hour long jam session, some people can go up to 90 minutes and that’s great.
This is where we turn everything off, phone notifications get shut off, we are not on Facebook, and choose something specific I have to do.
Maybe it’s an estimate that I didn’t write on the spot.
I’m actually able to quickly write two-three estimates when all the other distractions are gone, always shut off, turned away.
It’s amazing how much you can get done in an hour while completely focused, it’s totally amazing.
Jam sessions might be scheduling out the next 3-5 days, we do a lot that, we are not always posting every day, we schedule those out.
Once again, we are not always on Facebook, we can’t answer all the time on Facebook, but there’s a time and a place to do that.
By 11:15, I’m usually famished, time to eat, once again, try to eat something healthy during lunch, throw on a regular radio, I don’t listen to the radio in the truck much.
Choose your podcast or an audiobook or something like that, but I love podcasts so usually during lunch if I am eating in the truck, there’s a podcast on.
From 1-1:30, that’s when I generally answer my emails, if it’s not part of my jam session; emails and voicemails, my voicemail tells you when I am going to get back to you so they can expect it.
If they really know me, they can send a text and I will answer that during the day.
Then 2-3 is brainstorming and blogs, this isn’t every single day, every single day, this calendar kind of changes a little bit, it’s laid out the day before or two days before.
2 to 3 is brainstorming and blogging, we all have these great ideas in our heads, but if they stay in our heads, what good are they?
It’s nice to get them on a piece of paper, I love to blog so this is a good time for me to start blogging, usually takes about 40 minutes to do a blog, from start to finish and post the pictures and tag what needs to be tagged.
As for brainstorming, maybe I am watching YouTube videos to learn new things and gain new ideas.
Last year we thought about going into ice blasting, then we checked out some YouTube videos, watched a lot of them, called a lot of people, talked to a lot of people, then actually tried it and realized it wasn’t for us.
From 3:30-4:00 I’m following up with customers, and there’s a promise, “hey, can I call you back at [a certain time], between 3 and 4,” set a time.
This is a mocked up calendar, just so you can see what an actual day goes like.
Some of you are saying, “I don’t want my day to be like this, I need some free time,” well, you don’t need to stack it this deep, but all I know is I don’t no longer wake up in the middle of the night worrying about things.
If you have your day scheduled, your mind knows that tomorrow I am doing this, on Wednesday I’m doing this, on Tuesday I’m doing this, also any networking events that are always scheduled in here.
I follow up with customers by 4 to 4:30, I play with my dogs, dogs like little kids, I have two big labs, they love to play ball every single day and if you don’t they will drive you crazy.
We either go out in the backyard or we go out in the park, we bring the ball, doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, those dogs still want to go out.
They get about a half hour of my time outside, because that’s enough for them.
5 o’clock is “me time,” just something I like to do, sometimes I am running early, sometimes I am running late and I need a little buffer time.
5:30, this is dinner with my wife, we both get home, cook together, most of the time I help out and clean up, so then that’s dinner with my wife.
6-6:30 is “us time,” so for the rest of the evening, if there is no networking event scheduled, it’s “us time,” we have grandkids, we have other things we like to do, that’s our time.
Occasionally something will have to be scheduled at this time.
9 o’clock is bedtime.
Oh no, you like to watch all those shows?
Well, I’ll tell you, what’s a big killer of schedules is TV.
We cut the cord on TV two years ago.
We have no TV, we don’t watch TV, occasionally I’ll watch a show on a laptop or something like that, but reality TV, reality shows, all that stuff is not going to help your business.
Remember, just think of it, they don’t care, they are selling you something when you turn on the TV, some people think it’s a downtime, but the problem is, watching electronics, watching TV actually affects how you sleep.
You get to this time, maybe it’s time to read a book, maybe it’s time to play a board game, I know it might sound weird to some of you, shut off the TV, shut off the iPad, shut off the laptop, shut off the phone and actually turn that off.
You’ll sleep better, but if you start scheduling all these different things, you are going to find your mind is much clearer.
You will get more done in a day and eventually more successful with finding more free time or more money or both.
Since I started scheduling this thing, there is no more waking up at 3:30 stressing unless we are having an earthquake and we don’t have earthquakes around here.
Anyways, think about scheduling your next couple days, see how it goes, feel how comfortable it is.
You are going to find out you are going to forget things to put on the schedule and you are going to write them in.
Once you start writing your schedule, it will get easier and easier and it’s great when you actually finish your whole day by noon time.
For example, my Friday is at 3 o’ clock, my day is all done, we don’t work weekends, at least I don’t work weekends.
Anyways, I am Ron Ramsden, and I am a DYB coach, if you’d like to get in touch with me or have any questions or comments, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to answer them, I’d love to chat with you, you can also find me on Facebook here, as many of you have.
I am a DYB coach, also a painting contractor, I help contractors work on their business so they don’t have to work in the business.
Have a great day!