One of the things that I want to improve through practice is structuring my work. Planning every week and day, keeping a productivity journal and using a task manager for all my projects has helped. I have advanced a lot in structuring and I’m now working to take it another step further with the implementation of a long term vision.
An important part of planning is prioritization, and for me this is intimately linked to your vision for the future. If you do not know what are your most important priorities it is too easy to get carried away by the rush of getting things done and not do what’s important. Knowing what is important makes it much easier to take decisions and keeping it written down helps as a reminder if you ever are in doubt and have the temptation to not be true to yourself. I’ve had it for a while in my head but writing it has helped define it better.
Beforehand, I drafted a mission statement for a company of one that contains the substance from which I’ve evolved a more complete view that takes into accounts the personal and professional aspects of my life. Based on Peak Performance I also wrote a purpose statement which is aligned with myself and with what comes next. In reality there are years of work in different areas of my life that have lead to reaching this stage of self knowledge (and some doubts).
How The 12 Week Year has Helped
Among the many books I’m reading The 12 Week Year has been very helpful with this (and also their getting started course / newsletter). I’ve used it as the basis to write down my aspirational vision and to structure the coming three months of work (you can find my summary and review of the 12 Week Year book here).
The essence of The 12 Week Year boils down to shortening your deadlines so that you don’t slack until the last minute every year, and to get a lot more important work done faster. The focus is on moving forward towards what matters to you. It sounded a lot like my own entrepreneurship challenge and the truth is that they complement each other quite well. I’m using their model to structure the next three months of work while keeping to doing at least one project a month.
I’m going to spill out my guts next, so be gentle and take into account that what matters is the essence, the wording will probably improve as I keep on thinking about it and working on it.
Long Term Aspirational Vision
These are all the things that I want to have, to do, and to be in my life:
- Great father and husband.
- Healthy physically and mentally.
- Always be learning and practicing.
- Time and financial independence.
- Target pistol master & international competitor.
Great father and husband
My family is the most important thing in my life. I want to be a great father and husband, not a perfect one. I know that I’ve made and will keep on making mistakes, but I work on improving myself and try not to repeat them. If I ever have to make a choice, it will come first. Luckily there are very few situations where I will be confronted with such a hard choice.
This does not mean I ignore myself or other people that I care for, nor that they do not matter. I do care and they are an important part of my life, but they cannot be the main focus of it.
Healthy physically and mentally
I have to be in good shape to be able to be the father and husband I want to be, and to be able to do all the other things I want to do. Without taking care of myself I will not be able to take care of my family and the people I care for. Meditation is helping me a lot, and so are a lot of the books I’m reading (out of which come things to put into practice). Practicing target shooting is helping a lot too.
Always be learning and practicing
I grow by doing. Learning and doing are part of me and they help with all aspects of my life. I have a growth mindset. I have to keep on learning, but theory is not enough, practice is key. I guess that’s why I’ve written three manuals and my course and publishing projects are based on my experience: theory is not enough. In fact, if you stick only to theory you are going to be learning way too many things that are wrong. Practice brings reality into your knowledge and a better understanding.
I am a positive force of change in the world. I contribute. I don’t whine. I look for the positive to learn and to change things. This includes helping and is intimately linked with me sharing my knowledge through blogs, articles, conferences, books, mentoring… I help make things better. When I find a problem I try to find or create a solution.
Time and financial independence
I want to have a fulfilling professional life as an entrepreneur working under 20 hours a week. I need to be financially independent to do so and to provide for my family and myself. I want to create sources of revenue that are decoupled from my time. These means creating products and automating and outsourcing workflows that increase revenue and decrease work.
The reason for this is not to slack every day, is to have time to do other things like learning, practicing sports, and spending time with my family and with myself. I know I will have to work more than this many times, and to reach it I will probably have to put in a lot of hours, and that is not an issue. I am good at working hard, I’m learning to work smarter.
Target pistol master & international competitor
I love target shooting. For the last two years I’ve been practicing it regularly and view it as a form of mindfulness. It is complementary to my meditation and to a lot of the work I do to improve myself. In fact, I started journaling to keep track of my training sessions and to see what to improve based on the book With Winning in Mind.
What I’m learning with target shooting is helpful for all things business. I want to progress in my knowledge of it to acquire a higher mastery and to compete internationally.
My sport practice is helping in motivating me to do more sport in general and to work towards being in better physical shape. I want to compete at a high level and that means doing a lot of work and developing grit and discipline.
My 12 week goals
Based on my vision I’ve set these goals for the next 12 weeks:
- Automate and outsource 6 email drips, 2 landing pages and 1 website redesign.
- Read and summarize 10 books.
- Finish 3 entrepreneurship challenge projects.
There are other things that I’m already doing and because they are part of my routines (or almost) they don’t have to be here. An example would be me training 5 to 6 times a week.
Why are these goals important to me?
Goals one and three are important because they help me move towards time and financial independence. The second goal helps be grow to become better, plus it sparks my creativity.
What will I do to celebrate if I hit my goals?
I will buy myself a Scatt (a tool to perfect my shots).
I will take a week of the challenge and spend a day at a spa by myself reading and relaxing.
Highest priority actions
These are the things I’m going to do to keep each goal on track and their due dates.
Goal 1: Automate and outsource 6 email drips, 2 landing pages and 1 website redesign
- Find and contract web designer/dev. Due week 1.
- Select 3-4 copywriters to work with. Done.
- Order The Coworking Handbook drip & implement it. Due weeks 1 and 3.
- Order coworking handbook landing page to sell books and implement. Due weeks 1 and 3.
- Order coworking handbook landing page to sell coworking community course and implement. Due weeks 1 and 3.
- Order coworking community course drip and implement. Due weeks 1 and 3.
- Order shooting journal drip and implement. Due weeks 1 and 3.
- Order and implement welcome drip for the olympic pistol blog. Due weeks 2 and 4.
- Write my own welcome drip for ramonsuarez.com. Due week 2.
Goal 2: Read and summarize 10 books
These are books to learn and grow, not fiction. I read fiction every night when I go to bed. The books I’m summarizing will probably change based on my priorities.
The summaries will be published in the blog. Make sure to subscribe in order not to miss any.
- Read 30′ to 1h. Due daily.
- Read 1 book. Due weekly.
- Summary 12 week year. Due week 1.
- Summary Kids are worth it. Due week 2.
- Summary E-commerce evolved. Due week 3.
- Summary Peak performance. Due week 4.
- Summary Passion paradox. Due week 5.
- Summary Essentialism. Due week 6.
- Summary Built to sell. Due week 7.
- Summary Resilience: How to conquer the fear and challenges of self-employment. Due week 8.
- Summary Radical focus. Due week 9.
- Summary The compound effect. Due week 10.
Goal 3: Finish three challenge projects
I don’t know which projects to do yet, so this list will grow after the first actions:
- Ideation sprint. Due week 1.
- Choose three projects. Due week 1.
- Project 1. Due ?
- Project 2. Due ?
- Project 3. Due ?
What will I struggle with to take this actions?
- Setting up the schedule and following it and the plan.
- Deciding which projects to do.
- Securing time to read.
- Choosing people to outsource to.
What will I do to overcome this struggles?
The numbers are the same as for the struggles they are destined to overcome.
- Use productivity journal, Trello, pomodoros.
- Review goals, weekly priorities, and daily priorities every day.
- Use my business ideation framework and follow my intuition.
- Trust my gut and try.
And that’s all that I have to say today. Time to implement!
PS: If you are interested in this method, check out my summary and review of the 12 Week Year book.