Can you run your week more effectively? You can manage your time better with a default diary. The bare essence of a default diary is creating themed days for every day of the working week. Create a day for growth which is for learning and implementation as well as a business development day intended for sales. Also, you need to get a system, be organized, be clear on what needs to be done and make sure to implement in order to achieve great outcomes.
Den Lennie (1s):
G’day, guys. It’s Den here. And this is episode 268 of the, How to Scale a Video business podcast. If this is your first time here, welcome. If you’re back because you’ve been here before, welcome back. I spoke last week about taking time off and why you need to do it. And also we touched a bit on how I manage my week. And so what I did is I promised that I would run through, you know, how I learned to manage my time better with a default diary. I’m going to explain to you in this episode, you know, how you can implement that yourself. Some of the things that will be sticky potentially for you, but also how you can overcome them and the glorious benefit that you get at the end of it.
Welcome to the Video Business Accelerator podcast. Each week, we uncover the secrets to creating a wildly successful and scalable video production business with your host, Den Lennie. Discover how the accelerator program is transforming the lives of our members at www.videobusinessaccelerator.com. Enjoy this episode.
Den Lennie (1m 16s):
So this idea of a default diary may not be something you’re familiar with and I have to give credit here. This was something I learned when I worked with Charlie Valher from Valher media and he introduced me to this concept. I’ve taken it and evolved it and really spent a lot of time focusing on it and the power of it, but in its basic form. And before I start, you know, I do understand that if you are a freelancer or you’re running a small video business or a larger video business, that you may not have the flexibility to make this rigid every single day, but I’ve, but I’ve got a solution to that. If you just bear with me and I’ll tell you about that in just a few minutes time.
Den Lennie (1m 55s):
So the bare essence of a default diary is that if you’ve got Google calendar up, for example, and you are looking at the next week, what I do is I create themed days for every day of the working week. Now, typically I don’t work on a Monday morning because I work later on a Monday night cause we have a coaching call. I do a full day on a Tuesday and by a full day, I mean probably nine till four, nine till five. I do a full day and a Wednesday, but Wednesday mornings are very much allocated to my time. And I’ll tell you a bit more about in a minute. Thursday, typically is a later start later finish.
Den Lennie (2m 43s):
And then Friday, I work on Friday mornings. And typically in the afternoons, I take Friday afternoons off for just free time. You’re doing something else completely. So let me explain how, how I’ve managed to create my week. I think it’s probably the best way to describe this as explaining how my week works and then what I always ask you to do on this show and any of my coaching is think about not, oh, that won’t work for me, but think rather, how could I take that, modify, adjust it, adapt it and implement it into my business life in a way that could benefit me. I think when you embrace the idea of learning and coaching, you should always come into everything you hear, see, feel and understand as an opportunity for how could I make this work for me?
Den Lennie (3m 31s):
How could I adapt to it? How could I take it? So let’s start with Mondays. And generally speaking, Mondays are my content day and by content day, I mean content for my programs and content for my members. It might be content for the podcast. It’s any content that I create based on absorbing the conversations we’ve had across our two programs in the previous week. And so, I haven’t listed in my calendar at seven in the morning is Den content day. Now that content, they can be quite flexible.
Den Lennie (4m 14s):
For example, this week we were planning our event in Edinburgh. So I had, you know, from 9:30 till 10:50 in the event planning. Now, what I didn’t have written in there is like, things like making my inbox zero. So, I have certain habits that I automatically do all the time and I don’t always have to put them in my calendar cause I’ve done them so often now. Those are default habits. So, the very first thing I do when I get into the office is I empty my inbox. I go to inbox zero. I practice a very strict inbox, zero policy I didn’t used to, but I’ve built a habit around it. And so I empty my inbox and it takes me about 10 minutes and I literally go through and there might be 40 or 50 emails that are coming over the weekend and I will literally delete select all.
Den Lennie (5m 5s):
And I go through and highlight the ones that are important and I just delete the rest. And some of those are like, you know, for example, they might be, I love going to concerts. So I get emails from concert promoters. So it’s not that I want to unsubscribe from them, but if I don’t see something I like, I’ll just delete it. And then I have a couple of folders in my email. One is called to respond. One is to read and review and then another one is inspiration and another one is VBA and another one is personal. So, the most important ones are to respond, to read and review.
Den Lennie (5m 45s):
And so I have the simple policy where I either delete, do, defer, or delegate. So if it’s something that I need to pass to someone else, I immediately send it to someone else. So I have this policy. If I can deal with the email in under 30 seconds, I’ll deal with it. If it’s going to take longer than 30 seconds for me to read, respond and review, then I put it into the read and review category. Now the next thing is the respond. And with the respond, all I do is simply put a block in my calendar for later that day to respond to the emails that are in the respond folder.
Den Lennie (6m 31s):
So, that’s what happens first. Then I look at my weekly plan, which I hold on Evernote and we work on a kind of an annual plan and in a quarterly plan, and then a weekly implementation plan. So I know at the beginning of each quarter, what my core strategic goals are, and all I do is duplicate from last week in Evernote the plan. And then I look at what I achieved last week and I moved that into done. And then I look at what’s next on the list. And I put that into this week’s plan. And then I start to plan out the day ahead and I list those things in priority order. And then I transfer them into my calendar. So I work off the calendar.
Den Lennie (7m 11s):
So the idea here is if you think of your brain as RAM, if you’ve got too many things floating around, you don’t function correctly. The system is designed to enable you to execute based on one day, one task at a time. And so on Monday, we did the Edinburgh event planning. Then we had lunch early because we have a team meeting on a Monday. So we had lunch at like 11:30. I have lunch booked at 10 every day with my wife for an hour. I mean, I haven’t factored in here. Like we, we walk the dogs in the morning, go and get coffee, that kind of thing. But we’ll just talk about the working day for now.
Den Lennie (7m 51s):
Came back at one, did a couple of little bits and pieces around the house. And then at 1:30, we had a team meeting. At two o’clock. I had to fix our broadband. We had a dedicated business fiber line put into the house. So, we now got a dedicated line from the exchange. We got 250 down. We don’t get any impacts on internet anymore, but it hadn’t been fully configured. So I spent an hour on the phone with them and then I had to pay some bass, which is like our VAT bill. And then at four o’clock I meditate and rest because I need to recharge myself and change gears before we then walk the dogs.
Den Lennie (8m 37s):
And then I have my weekly group call at 6:30 PM. Yeah. So that’s Monday. Tuesday, I do as my community day. And that again is a coaching call first thing in the morning, I then record a podcast. I had to review some videos that had been made for us. And then I had a follow-up coaching call with one of my clients to review his big picture. We then had lunch. I then had another couple of little errands to do, and then I had another coaching call with a client. And by then I kind of was pretty beat because it’s a big day, Monday and Tuesday for me with a lot of coaching.
Den Lennie (9m 17s):
So, the review of the videos that I was going to do in the morning didn’t happen. So I just shifted that to the later in the day, got that done and wrapped up. And then Wednesday is my growth day and by growth, I mean, I go to spinal flow and which resets my nervous system and gives me a sense of centered being. And you know, when you’re in flow, you always achieve more. And then I do study. So, I either watch a live coaching call with my mentor, Sam Ovens, or I review a previous coaching call and, or I’ll be building a landing page, I’ll be implementing something I’ve learned on that call.
Den Lennie (9m 60s):
So, you know, the key to any kind of coaching is you have to make time to study, understand, and then implement. Otherwise, it’s like going to a show. You’re just observing as an observer. You’re not actually necessarily getting the benefit. You have to implement. Then lunch was at one till two, and then at a coaching call with Caleb and following up on his big picture. And then I had some free space to generally speaking follow up on things that hadn’t got done in the morning. So I have a lot of white space in my calendar and then every day at five o’clock we walked the dogs because if you’ve got dogs, you know they’re like routine. On a Thursday, I have as my business development day.
Den Lennie (10m 45s):
So business development day, so growth day is about learning, implementing maybe a new marketing strategy following up on some external supplier discussions. Thursday is business development day. That’s the day where first thing in the morning, I do a coaching call with my Uplevel clients. That’s usually 7:30 to 8:30 in the morning, and then it’s business development day. So I leave that pretty loose. It’s anything to do with developing the business from a sales perspective, from a marketing perspective, it might be following up with supporting questions from coaching clients and or some other factor, you know, we’d run events quarterly.
Den Lennie (11m 28s):
So, there are always a lot of decisions to be made and things to be explored. And you’d be surprised at how hard it is, how much work is involved in running an event in a foreign city, just, you know, connecting with 15 hotels, finding ones that will say yes to the dates that can give you what you need. And I have a team as well, but my time is still involved in negotiating with the team, chatting with the team, discussing things, and lunch is always the same. So, Thursdays are usually pretty empty. And then Fridays, I have a review or implementation day, and that’s really a kind of an extra day where I go to spinal flow in the mornings. So I’ve got that kind of reset, balanced, but again, it’s the catch-up day.
Den Lennie (12m 13s):
So, I rarely have too much in a Friday because when you run your default diary and your calendar and your plan, things always slip, you know, the plan has never executed fully in one week. So you want white space to be available so that you can let stuff drop into the white space at the end of the week. And then at lunchtime, I record our weekly wins video for our VBA. And that’s a process we go through every week where everyone records a video and uploads it to the group to share what the wins have been for the weekend. There’s, it’s a great way to express gratitude for the wins, no matter how small in often challenging weeks.
Den Lennie (12m 56s):
And that’s really how it works. Now, I did promise you that I would share with you how you can modify this. If you’ve got, let’s say, you’ve got a plan for growth. And then a shoot comes in. My best advice for this is to have some floating blocks where let’s say at the very least, you know, if you don’t run a coaching program. So you don’t need to worry about content days and community days, but you could have a growth day, which is a day for learning and implementation, and definitely a business development day, which is a sales day. Now, I would encourage you to be thinking about sales every day, like for at least an hour a day. So whether or not reaching out to people on LinkedIn, following up with old leads, touching base with existing clients, and just checking in, and you want to have some blocks of at least two hours a week for growth and two hours a week for business development.
Den Lennie (13m 50s):
The truth is, I think you need a lot more than that, but I’m also realistic that if this is something you’re new to, it’s better to do something and get into a habit of it, then try and sale, well, if you don’t do half a day, a week on business development or growth, you’re not going to be successful. The truth is that’s probably the case, or it’ll certainly take you an awful lot longer. But I was reviewing yesterday some testimonials have been recorded at our recent event. And Sammy was saying, you know, the value of the VBA is that you can figure all this stuff out for yourself, but it’ll take you five years. But if you join the VBA, you’ll figure it out and you know, five months and he made this great comment about how within the first three weeks of joining the VBA, he tripled his quotes and tripled the prices on his quotes.
Den Lennie (14m 41s):
And Sammy has been with us maybe eight months now, and it’s absolutely flat out. He’s hiring a production manager, he’s buying a new kit, he’s got more capacity now than he had before. He’s employing a new team. And you know, part of that is about getting a system, getting organized, getting clear on what needs to be done and not just that, but actually then following up and saying, well, I now need to actually implement this in a way that creates a system for execution. And that’s what the default diary is all about guys. So yeah. Have a look at how you currently run your week and ask yourself the question. Could it be done more effectively?
2 (15m 22s):
You’ve been listening to the Video Business Accelerator podcast with your host, Den Lennie. If you are a video business owner who is tired of going it alone and would benefit from mentorship, support, and weekly accountability then mouse over to www.videobusinessaccelerator.com to learn more about how the accelerator program can help you today. Don’t forget to subscribe and rate the show over on iTunes. And we’d really appreciate you taking a few minutes to leave a review.