⚡️ Today’s level up ⚡️
In this edition (part 1 of a 4-part series), you’ll understand how a small shift in planning your work days from mornings to the evening before can have a profound effect on your success and satisfaction.
→ Read this in <5 minutes right now
→ Understand the power of developing a short planning ritual
→ Book a 1 hour session with me to develop an effective end of day routine
Planning in the morning is costing you precious time
As a SaaS seller, you have a million things to do that collide with competing priorities, especially as you are under immense pressure to deliver results.
It can be stressful when you have a to-do list that never ends.
And, in a high-paced role, it’s often hard to turn off when you close the laptop for the evening. Tasks and situations run through your mind when you’re supposed to be relaxing and spending time with loved ones.
While this scenario is common for SaaS Sellers, it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s a look at a strategy I developed to help you take more control of your schedule, success, and quality of life. It starts with planning ahead.
Stay one step ahead
A key I’ve found to gaining control of my days is to take time each evening to plan for the next day.
It’s part of my personal operating system I use to effectively integrate work and life called PREP:
I’ll outline below the evening review and planning routine I implemented back in 2020 that helped me generate $14.1M in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) in 12 months. It’s the same routine I use today as a soloprenuer.
Here’s the why, how, and benefits:
Why planning is critical for Saas Sellers
Your day starts the night before. – Ryan Serhant
Planning at the end of each workday draws a line in the sand and puts you in control.
It creates the space for you to assess what you’ve completed during the day, take notes about everything that is still on your mind, and plan for the following day.
By taking this simple step, you can stop the cycle of reacting, replacing it with a proactive approach. It’s also important so you can effectively walk away from work and be present in the other parts of your life.
If you don’t take action to wrap up the day and plan for the next, it still needs to get done.
Your mind will try to do this process but on its terms.
For example, you may notice your mind running through the day’s events as your significant other is telling you about their day. Or you may be remembering an email you forgot to send when your son or daughter wants you to play a game with them.
The spillover of work into your downtime is a big problem. It can damage personal relationships and doesn’t enable your mind to relax and recover which is an important part of being productive the following day (more on that in the next edition).
How to plan effectively
Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them. –David Allen.
How do you go about effectively planning?
At the end of each workday, I recommend you dedicate about 25 – 30 minutes to reviewing your current day and planning the next one. Review what you did during the day and mark off the tasks you’ve completed. Then, add any new tasks that you need to get done and make notes for the things you need to remember.
No matter what app or resource you use, the goal is to get all the tasks and thoughts out of your head and into a trusted personal system so you don’t have to worry about remembering them.
I personally use Todoist and Sunsama as a part of my personal tech stack.
You can organize tasks by category, priority, due date, and can even assign them to other people. Then, everything syncs up with my calendar and email.
Here’s how I do it:
→ I do a quick brain dump into Todoist to get clear on everything
→ I then label my tasks by:
- Priority level
- Project (i.e. each of my accounts were set up as a project), and
- Tag (using DEADOOPO)
I’ll use Sunsama to pull in my tasks from Todoist and meetings from Google calendar and create a minute-by-minute map for my day.
Where there are gaps on my calendar, I will insert blocks like “Deep Work” or “Focus To Dos” so that no unnecessary meetings get put on my calendar.
With this done, your brain won’t need to keep reminding you about to-dos at random moments because they are documented.
As a result, once your computer is closed, you can give all of your focus, attention, and mental power to your loved ones and life outside of work.
Then, when you open your computer to work the next day, you will be recharged and ready to hit the ground running as you’ll know exactly what you need to do and when you need to do it (more on this in future editions).
Use planning to take the reins of your work and life
The best knowledge workers view their time like the best investors view their capital, as a resource to wield for maximum returns. -Cal Newport
Sure, planning is not novel or rocket science but the truth is, most of the secrets to success aren’t. They are small, intentional actions you do daily that add up over time. Many people don’t know how to do them or don’t do them consistently.
You may think you can manage it all in your head and that you know what you need to do each day. But acknowledging how our brains function, and working to optimize them accordingly, can make a huge difference.
While you may be able to keep it all in your head, doing so comes at a cost. It takes up space and reduces creativity. While you may know what you need to do, it is very easy to get pulled into the whims of other people and their agendas.
By committing time to plan ahead each day, you are taking the reins of your work and personal life. You decide what will be a top priority for you and what will be handled later. You unload at the end of the day so you can truly enjoy your downtime. And you show up each morning knowing exactly what you need to do right off the bat.
- Planning is the first key part of the PREP framework
- Planning the morning of is wasting time (and time is money)
- Instead, plan tomorrow as the last thing you do today to get ahead
- Make it a ritual and use the right personal tech stack to make it a game
- Book time with me in August if you need help designing your own routine
Stay tuned next week for a dive into part 2 of my PREP framework, Rest!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Get the exact system I used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (1,700+ students)
2. Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (300+ members)
3. Book a 1:1 coaching session to design your end of day routine here. (Limited spots available)