Transcript: A Simple Strategy to Get More Done in Your Work Day


Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.

Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily. And now we’re bringing you into the conversation.

Megan Martin 0:20
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of talking Small Business Megan here. And today we’re going to talk about getting things done not necessarily like goal planning, and quarterly cure and all the things that cat is amazing about, but literally like, how can we turn these goals and these plans into what we need to get done on a daily basis. I know like, your little tagline in your business is dreams and dailies. And I think we can often focus a lot of our attention and efforts on laying like really great plans. But how do we like turn those plans into action steps that we can get done on a daily basis and continue to progress in our dreams, but also like what needs to get done and our business? I’d love to talk to you about like, how do you do this? How do you get things done in your business on a day to day level?

Kat Schmoyer 1:13
Yeah, this is a fun conversation. For me, at least it’s a fun. But I do think that Megan and I both like we do get asked a good bit like how do you get things done? Like how do you whether it’s staying motivated or balancing all the various things that you know we’re doing and we we both have multiple children, you know, just all the things, there’s a lot going on, like in life. So how can we stay on task and get the things done that need to get done on a daily basis, but also move the needle on those goals. So I’m super excited to talk about it a little bit. The biggest piece of advice that I have for you, if you’re struggling to feel like you’re getting things done, is to break down all of your tasks into three different areas. The first area is going to be your maintenance tasks. Maintenance are the things that have to happen on a regular basis in order for your business to run like your inbox, unfortunately, right? Like we need to respond to emails, we need to get back to potential customers and clients and things like that. Maybe another maintenance task for you is sending invoices in dubsado, because you need to make sure that you’re staying on top of making sure that those invoices are getting sent out. But make a list of what is like a reoccurring to do that you need to have on your plate pretty much every single week that you’re checking in on and making sure that this is happening. And that’s what you’re going to call a maintenance to do. The next little pillar is marketing. So in my opinion, your business runs on those two things, it runs on the maintenance, and it runs on the marketing because you need to be taking care of the business, you need to be responding to emails, sending invoices, sending out contracts to, you know, clients and things like that. But you also need to be marketing to generate new clients and customers. So marketing needs to be a priority. Marketing, pretty obvious, you know, just by the the name of what that pillar is. But think about what is your consistent marketing? are you blogging once a week? Do you send out a newsletter twice a month? Are you consistent with reels on Instagram? Like what is it that you’re doing and then that needs to happen on potentially a daily or weekly basis so that the marketing can run like a well oiled machine. So you’ve got your maintenance, and you’ve got your marketing. And those two things alone make up just the ongoing day to day tasks in your business.

Megan Martin 3:47
So then how do we get these big dreams and ideas into the picture to

Kat Schmoyer 3:52
so that’s that third pillar, and that’s why I call it the project pillar. But that one is very much like those quarterly goals that you have the big dreams that are on your plate, whatever you deemed as a priority for this specific season of your business, whether that’s working on your website, or writing a new course, launching a coaching program, whatever it might be like that would kind of fall under that project task. So if I am looking at my weekly schedule, and I have a clear take on, this is what my maintenance is, this is what my marketing is Okay, now here’s what projects are on my plate, and you will know better how to be realistic about like, is the project too big for right now based on what maintenance and marketing look like for you? Or how can you break down that project to make it feel doable every single week on a regular basis? Whenever I do schedule out my week, so right now, I don’t do theme days in my business, but I used to do what was called theme day. So I’m gonna describe that to you guys, in case you’re like new to that topic, but it’s basically just having one day a week for set tasks. So one day would be like Monday could be the maintenance day, Tuesday could be the marketing day, Wednesday could be the project day, Thursday could be the appointments day, whatever those themes need to be, you’re able to create your to dues on that day around that specific theme. And that can help you get more done. So in terms of projects, I specifically love having one day a week, where I know I’m in Project mode. And I know if I’ve got a clear list for maintenance and marketing that I can dedicate Wednesdays to be project mode, and feel like then I’m moving the needle on the goal, because I’ve actually given myself time in the week to work on that goal. And nothing else is slacking because I’ve had a clear list of what needed to get done on the maintenance and the marketing side.

Megan Martin 6:00
Let’s talk about like, how do you schedule your days? And, you know, I know you’ve talked about like, things have had to change when you as you’ve had kids, but you know, are you scheduling your days? Like, at 7am? I’m doing this at 9am. I’m doing this, like how does it work for you in terms of like a daily schedule.

Kat Schmoyer 6:20
I’m not an hour by hour person. Shocker. I know, I don’t like schedule it out hour by hour. I’m a what’s on my priority list person. So I’ll know like, here’s my three priorities for Monday. And like these have to get done. So ideally, and like a perfect scenario, that means when I start my workday, I’m just going to the priority to do like I’m getting those done, I’m not getting sucked in, you know, the inbox web or like any of these other holes in my business. Obviously, that doesn’t happen all the time. But knowing what my priority is helps me stay on task. And that way, if the day starts later than I want, like my typical workday starts around 9am, just based on the morning schedule with, you know, kids and breakfast and to school, and like all the things that you know, might be happening in the morning. It’s starting around nine, and then I take a lunch break with the family. And then I will try to end my workday no later than four o’clock if I can end earlier than four. Great. So again, I know my like time that I’m working, and I know my priority to dues and I just need to fit them into that box.

Megan Martin 7:29
How do you determine? So if life happens? How do you determine what gets taken off the plate from a daily perspective to because you don’t have the time anymore that you thought you’re gonna have.

Kat Schmoyer 7:43
So I think it depends on what the to do is, and this is going to be different for everybody in every business. So obviously, a lot of my two dues are client facing. So those things are kind of non negotiable. Like I got to make time for it, you know, so if that means that it that night, I’m working at night, like we get the kids to bed and I’m pulling back out my laptop for two hours because I need to get something done. That’s what that day looks like. There’s the reality of running a business with our family. If it’s something for my business, and sometimes it gets pushed on the backburner, because that those deadlines are much easier to have wiggle room with than to have to send an email to a client and let them know that I’m not going to make a deadline. I never want to do that. So you know, as sad as it sounds like the things for my business are the things that can get pushed to the backburner. The like first.

Megan Martin 8:34
I found for me, like typical seven, I have set up this system to where like, if I don’t do anything, I’m gonna be okay.

Kat Schmoyer 8:44
Of course you have.

Megan Martin 8:47
I really do appreciate though, like this, this, like as simple as it sounds, the system of marketing, maintenance and projects because a project to me can always be pushed back. Like, that’s why I don’t do deadlines personally, like, I know, deadlines are helpful, but also like they’re very stressful specifically to me and my season of life. And so projects for me can like always be pushed back. Even marketing for me, like often gets pushed back. But I am constantly thinking about my marketing efforts in terms of like what’s going to serve me the most in the long run. And that’s like, where I’ve been really focusing my efforts recently in a marketing perspective, like, specifically in 2022 I started a YouTube Well, I didn’t start it but I like revamped my YouTube channel because that type of content is going to serve me in the long run. And if I you know, there’s been a couple of weeks where like, I’m just like, I’m sorry, I can’t put an episode out this week, you know, but it’s fine. Like the goal is not like putting out content weekly. For me. The goal is to have content that works in the long term. And so I’ve like, tried to like think through this marketing maintenance project system in a way where it’s like, what is going to benefit me now but also I’m really focusing on what’s going to benefit me in the long run that if, if life happens, and it literally has happened for four months, like my family has been sick for four months straight and 2022 to where, like, I got nothing done.

Kat Schmoyer 10:15
Right, right. But like that is I feel like the beauty of like a maintenance marketing projects because even for me like, with, you know, pregnancy, it was there, you know, there’s doctor’s appointments and like the arm just like out and about, I have to leave the house, I’m going and doing other things. But I love that I can know like, but I got the maintenance done first, you know, like, I got these things that really needed to get done in order for the business to stay afloat, right. And like it like to feel like it’s smooth sailing, even if I know that there’s still some to dues left on my plate, like it feels like it’s smooth sailing. And truthfully, you guys like one of the things I love about owning my own business is that I can work at night if I need or want to. So if I decide like, you know what, I need to get out of the house today. And I don’t have any appointments this afternoon. So like, I’m just gonna go to target, and I’m gonna go to get a pedicure, and I’m like, literally, it’s like, I just need like a personal like five hours, just give me some time out of this house, I gotta leave my office. And if that means that I’m pulling a late night after the kids go to bed and working for a few hours, that’s okay, I’m I’m literally okay with that life decision. Because I got to do something really fun during the day that I wanted to, it’s when you’re, if you’re constantly doing, like working in terms of like you’re working all day and working all night. Like that’s when there needs to be some wiggle room in the tasks that are on those lists, like then you have too many tasks on maintenance, marketing and projects if you’re truly constantly working, but I might work at night. And that’s because I took the afternoon off. And I love that.

Megan Martin 11:47
What would you suggest to someone like me, even though I know how your process works, but like somebody who just scheduling and task like organizing does not come naturally to me. So like, if you’re if you’re talking to someone like me, what would you say? Like what are the first steps that I need to take in order to feel more in control of what I’m doing and making progress towards these quarterly goals that I’m setting?

Kat Schmoyer 12:13
I think creating your list, so you know, what’s clearly maintenance, what’s clearly marketing, and what’s a project. I feel like when you and I were working together, like that was helpful, even for both of us to then know, like, Okay, this is priority, because it can be really easy to just want to do the thing that’s fun, or like we jump to the project. But then like all of these maintenance things like they still have to get like these are the like they have to get done. So I think having a list within maybe you just know, it’s like three to five things on each. Like you don’t, I don’t I don’t want you to feel like you have to sit down and write down every single thing you do in the business. Like this isn’t like a workflow, if that makes sense for you guys listening like this is like just like check inbox, send contract, you know, just like keep it simple with like what your business needs on the maintenance side, but what are they and have that list and know that like this is a priority every week. So in your case, Megan, if you’re in a season where it’s like, I’m not feeling consistent with the business right now, like we’re working on some other things in life and just other aspects of the business, knowing that, hey, you’ve just got this short list of like, this just has to get done every week, and then Goldstar move forward. And the project doesn’t have to happen right now if Now’s not the time.

Megan Martin 13:31
Yeah, one of the things that I know you probably do for your other integration clients, but when we were working together, I loved how you like we had these like weekly calls. And you literally had a Google Doc and it was so simple, but it literally broke it down into marketing, maintenance and projects. And it was like these are the things that we’ve been talking about doing these are the tasks and then we could make a decision. Is this something we’re going to do this week? Or is this something that we’re gonna push down? You know, the list of importance and I felt like just like you said, keeping it simple. But checking in that like we I’ve kind of been doing that myself even now that you we aren’t working together as like integrator visionary, but you know, that like weekly check in of like what’s going on in each category? And then, you know, making your own decisions of okay, how much do you really want to work and making those decisions of like, what is actually like priority and like letting go of what you don’t need to focus on in that time period, if it doesn’t work out for you to focus on like, I felt like that was really eye opening to me, and like simplifying and freeing for me.

Kat Schmoyer 14:38
Yeah, I do it in my own business. I do it on Friday afternoons because I’m like a forward thinker. So it’s like helpful for me to like, feel like I’m closing out a week and then I’m already thinking about Monday through Friday of the next week. So literally, I just look at what’s the maintenance, what’s the marketing and what project are we working on? And now I’ve added in clients just because of how the bid business has changed. So I have those four categories that I’m assessing, takes me maybe 30 minutes. If that, uh, to again, just go ahead and get that quick view, like what’s happening, what’s on the plate for next week. Here’s my order of priorities, and I do everything in Trello. If you guys have been listening for a while, you know, I’m like obsessed with Trello. So I have my my week Trello board, and that’s my weekly planner. So then I can go ahead and have the things put on the certain days. So okay, maintenance, this is my like Monday, okay, marketing, this is going to be Tuesday, like I can have those lists already ready to go. And then when I’m sitting down the next week, I just feel so much more prepared for what’s in store.

Megan Martin 15:38
I feel like it’s interesting that you brought up like that you’re a forward thinker, because I’m not a forward thinker. I’m, I’m very, like contextual in nature. And I also do mine on Fridays, but it’s because like, this process is extremely draining to me. Like, you’re like I need the weekend. I do I do it on Friday, because it like derails me like I cannot work after I do this like to take three days off.

Kat Schmoyer 16:09
Oh my gosh, we could not be more apps. I guess the most the best thing I’ve ever heard

Megan Martin 16:16
is the most writing activity like and so I know that because it’s so draining, I do it on Friday mornings, and then I like don’t do anything else the rest of the day. And I realize like I can’t do this on Monday, because then I like literally cannot do anything on Monday. I just found that like super fascinating to realize, like, you know, sometimes it might be motivating for people to do this. But for me, it’s like extremely draining and to even just like, like check yourself on like when you even scheduled this concept and like how it affects you I think is like another really like interesting thought process around it. But yeah, I definitely like can’t do anything so funny. I like have to go take a nap.

Kat Schmoyer 17:03
And I’m like, uh, no, I need to end my workday. Like I like want to, like get started. Next week stuff that’s so funny. Um, so regardless of whether you’re like me, or you’re like Megan, I think having a having a weekly check in with yourself on what’s marketing maintenance projects. And then again, clients can be that question mark, depending on the nature of your business. And it just allows you to really project manage your business like that’s in the simplest way, like that’s what it is, is keeping a little bit of a 1000 foot view over all of those moving pieces, so that you know what’s top priority. You can gauge the health of the business a little bit better and your own health so that you’re not getting burnout, or you’re not feeling stressed out by not having time to tackle a project or feeling like marketing is sliding or whatever it might be. If you use something like Trello, obviously, like plugging it into Trello Asana clickup, like a program like that, you can also keep it really simple with literally like a piece of paper on your desk. That’s like maintenance marketing projects, and just have it right there. When Megan and I were working together, we had a Google Doc. And that was our like Team agenda was like through the Google Doc and literally it was marketing, maintenance and projects on that Google Doc. So it doesn’t you don’t have to get fancy with this, you guys it can be stripped down. The point is just to think about your business in those categories, so that you can see priorities and be able to manage your tasks on a daily basis so much more efficiently.

Megan Martin 18:38
Thank you Kat for sharing your wisdom on how to turn our dreams into daily plans. I know it’s been super helpful for me and I hope this was eye opening for you guys as well. If you have any questions don’t send them to me do

but seriously, if you have any questions, send Kat a message she’s she’s got. I don’t know you’re just like a wealth of knowledge when it comes to goal setting and getting things done. And yeah, don’t ask me. But anyways, we cannot wait to catch you in the next conversation. Thanks guys for listening

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Transcript: A Simple Strategy to Get More Done in Your Work Day

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Transcript: A Simple Strategy to Get More Done in Your Work Day

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