A Healthy Ride to Wealth


Expect The Unexpected And Take Control Of Your Business

Hey! This week I’m giving a try at my schedule that I’ve built last week. That is, the one I showed to you in my last post!

As I’m writing these words, I’m on Tuesday evening almost 19h45, right on time to begin the task I have allocated for this evening’s time block.

This block was reserved for my blog, my new blog post to be released on Saturday. This week is going to be the most productive since many moons!

So far, I’ve answered already 2 questions in Quora using lunch time at noon, and scored 2 TikToks, one on Sunday and the other yesterday evening! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคพ I also answered all the comments on my last 2 posts and engaged in TikTok by commenting and liking.

This is great, really!

But it doesn’t mean everything went as expected.

On Sunday I was filming my TikTok. For the occasion I went in a place outside near the pool where I know I will found the calm I need to work this thing.

So I started to film when suddenly, my neighbor climbed on his lawn tractor, started the engine, and got ready for a nice ride around his property.

I found the sound of the engine together with the grass mower rotating full speed too loud and very unpleasant as a background noise in my video.

Enough for me to make a pause, hence restarting only half an hour later after my neighbor be satisfied enough by the clean look of his grass.

I have lost near 30 minutes of my precious block time that day because of a totally unexpected issue. Since I didn’t have enough time to complete the tasks, I transferred some of the work from this task to the beginning of the next time block, hence, overriding partially my blog activity about answering comments to my latest post.

However no damage here, I was able to complete all the comments and realized all the tasks allocated in the time block.


ARRGGH!

Now as I’m writing these words, I’m on Saturday PM and my blog is far from being finished.๐Ÿ˜ค

I started this post on Tuesday. Everything was aligned to make this week, a potentially good productive week.

But from then on, nothing went as expected.

  • Monday and Tuesday were nice. Those were good productive days like I told you above.
  • On Wednesday, I arrived home an hour later than I used too. After the meal and the dishes, I was alread late to attack my next time block with my business tasks. I quickly went by my laptop and started with the making of my new TikTok post. However this is where things started to go wrong. My wife arrived at home with a problem on her car that required immediate attention. This took the rest of my time block.
  • On Thursday, I did some required overtime at work and again I arrived late at home. Later in the evening, it was the LNH Stanley Cup finals, I didn’t wanted to miss this match. Yeah, I know this is pure distraction…OK, I can assume this one. It’s totally my fault. I just had time to do some research for my blog, wrote down some ideas and that was it.
  • Friday, in fact yesterday, my daughter graduated from high school. I went out in the evening to assist the cocktail and special ceremony that was offered for the occasion to the students and their parents. I didn’t work on my business that day anymore.

So here I am, on Saturday PM, after I went this morning to the horse riding lessons with my youngest daughter.

Now I’m desperately rushing through these lines in order to complete my post. I have to complete this task in the afternoon because tonight, I need to accompany my other daughter to the Annual Athlete’s Meritas Evening, a gala offered to reward gymnastic athletes who have stood out particularly well during the year in their discipline.

Lessons learned, my schedule doesn’t work anymore. What did I do wrong?

Looks like I scheduled for burnout, not efficiency.๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซ

Time to remaster a little.

Armed with my free time typical schedule and my business task priorities, let’s see how we could better handle my business activities by adding the following observations, tips and advice. The goal is to remain productive even under the pressure of unexpected circumstances.

Definitions

For me, it starts by knowing exactly what I’m talking about that is, by having a clear understanding of the different schedule components I juggle with. I don’t want to lost myself in trying to develop over interpretations of the terms I’m using. If it’s clear in my mind, their applications or role at finding a solution to my problem will be clear too.

I clarify the following important terms with these definitions:

  • A Time Block is a continuous and limited portion of time during a day that can be allocated to a particular activity.
  • Free Time is the way I named the time blocks I have in a typical week where no mandatory tasks where dedicated to. That is, free time is time I can take for doing anything. Free time is not business time.
  • Business Time is free time. Business time is simply time I took out of a free time block to work on my business tasks.
  • An Unexpected Event is an event that wasn’t allocated any time block in a week. That is, it is unpredictable. It can happen where and when you least expect it, hence disturbing your planned activity and taking your resources.
  • A Schedule is a tool showing the repartitions of the different time blocks for each days in a week.
  • A Typical Week is the average week schedule showing the free time blocks as I did last week in my previous post.

Expect the unexpected

The exercise I did in my last post was a good one. Indeed, I succeeded in defining a typical week and knowing what are the time blocks in this typical week I could take as free time. This constitute the backbone or a template which I can reuse each week to plan my activities.

hrSunMonTueWedThuFriSat
8
9
10F
11F
12/F/F/F/F/F
13F
14F/
15
16
17
18
19/F/F/F/F/F/F
20FFFFFF
21
My Schedule Template showing my typical free time blocks
“/” marks the half hour
Note Saturday is now my “Lazy Day”

Also I made the exercise of allocating a priority level to my business tasks for this typical week. I wanted to know what are the tasks I need to rush out before any others and how to manage them appropriately on the schedule.

That said, I can see several mistakes I made the way I did.

  • I should have let more space for spare time, at least a complete day per week where I do what I want (or what I need to do) including doing nothing for my business.

This day serves as buffer to gather and clear out several events or tasks outside of my business. Also it could serve simply to relax and to take as spare time. Note also that it can be moved to adapt for circumstances. So, if one week it’s better to have the lazy day on Friday to accommodate my business, I can do it.

  • I should have modified the typical schedule to take into account the known events of the week and planned in consequences.

My typical schedule shows approximately where are my free time blocks so it could be used as a template. But this template needs to be updated with the most recent information, not used directly as is. I want to use this template in a way to make sure I could fit and do all the hours I planned for my business. The final weekly schedule is something that must be and stay dynamic.

  • A task should not monopolize the entirety of a free time block when scheduled.

Simply put, I should have let some margin to allow for the unexpected, even if this means revising down my business time.

My mentor Dean Holland says that by only working a minimum of one hour per day should be sufficient to make progress. Overall, one hour per day, let say, for 5 days, equals 5 hours per week. That is 20 hours per month where I should work on my business.

OK it’s a bare minimum and progress is slowed down but at least, this add time for plenty of unexpected.

Of course I’m not satisfied by only five hours a week. I want to make faster progress.

So I will take my rounded 17.5 hours of free time and divide this number by 2. Rounded up, this means 9 hours that I can dedicate to my business.

With 9 hours minimum per week of business time, I divided my stress level by 2 and my guilty feeling of not having done the work by 1.67 (it’s a “by feeling” number ๐Ÿ˜„) and I freed up time allowing for unexpected events.

Elaborate a weekly plan

Planning… again. This is so important and yet so much neglected.

By planning, I mean planning activities that I know are going to happen whatever the weather.

This week, I forgot to plan the gala event of my daughter. I should have had this on my schedule before even starting the week! If I had done this for this week, I could have revised my priorities accordingly and maybe I would have completed my blog in time.

It is also defining the priorities for the week, todo lists, take back notes, etc.

Dean is giving coaching lessons? There is a special Internet Profit event? I should note them on the schedule.

Having a plan B ? Why not. When a fire declares, it’s always useful to have an exit door in close proximity.

Here is how I should have planned this week and how I will plan the next:

  1. Take my typical schedule template and add the special events and activities that will impede on my free time;
  2. List the business tasks that have a deadline and attribute to them higher priority levels;
  3. Evaluate my goals for the week;
  4. Try to solve the conflicts and find workarounds;
  5. Schedule enough time to ensure the tasks that needs to be completed during the week be completed during the week.
  6. Allocate time on Sunday morning to plan for the week.

I’m wondering if a software like “Trello” could help me here? ๐Ÿค”I’ll let you know if I give it a try.

Take the opportunity

Let’s say I’m working at a business task inside one of the free time blocks. I see no unpredictable event on the horizon and have the opportunity to completely fill this actual free time block with business time, what I do?

I should take this opportunity. No one can predict what tomorrow will be made of even if it was planned.

If I have the opportunity to work on my business and make the job done than I should take it. As simple as it is.

Manage the priorities

At the beginning of each week I should dress a list of my priorities for the week during the planning and revise them at the beginning of each day hence, adapting the schedule to the current situation and completion of the due tasks.

The exercise I did of attributing a priority level number to a task has to be repeated at the beginning of each week with the making of the weekly plan. Completed tasks go out of the schedule, new tasks can appear, lower priority tasks can level up and vice-versa.

For example tomorrow morning I was supposed to do blog hopping but it looks actually I will have to take that time block to finalize my blog post instead and postpone blog hopping at another free time. My blog post as a higher priority level than blog hopping, as settled by my weekly plan.

Divide a task in sub-tasks

One thing I noticed is that I could have divided my longer tasks into sub-tasks to better redistribute them over my free time. For example, “Making a TikTok video” could be divided in 4 smaller tasks:

  1. Write the scenario;
  2. Film the sequences;
  3. Edit the video;
  4. Post.

Having multiple smaller tasks is easier to distribute over different free time blocks and also help figuring out the overall task completion time while managing what remains to be done.


OK guys it is Sunday and I’m still writing this post as you can see. Time to conclude this one and start my planning for the week.

This week, I have no special event or activities except a dinner at the restaurant for father’s day tonight. My free time blocks are mainly not affected.

My goals are to produce 2 TikToks videos for traffic and publish my blog post in time for Saturday. The rest will depends on my “opportunities”.

I schedule not more than 9 hours. 4 hours for the blog post and 2.5 each TikTok.

Let’s see how it goes. I’ll keep you informed next week.

Until then, could you count the number of time the word “time” appear in this post? Just curious.

Martin

Comments

7 Responses to “Expect The Unexpected And Take Control Of Your Business”

  1. Meredith Moore Avatar

    Hi Martin,

    Your detailed reflection on the week shows a great understanding of what worked and what didnโ€™t. It’s clear you put a lot of effort into planning, and your adjustments to include more buffer time for unexpected events and flexible scheduling are wise.

    Breaking larger tasks into smaller sub-tasks and considering tools like Trello can definitely help improve your workflow. Keep refining your approach, and you’ll find a balance that enhances both productivity and personal time.

    Good luck with your new plan!

    Meredith

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Thank You Meredith. This is a lot of work indeed but that need to be done in my case. I try to balanced everything to be more efficient and I found it quite difficult to accomplish. But I’ll get there. Yes I’ll give a try to Trello.

      Martin

  2. Ken McGarvey Avatar

    I sure love your title Expecting the Unexpected. If I had a dime for everytime this has happened to me! Keep up the good work your finding your way through this thing we call life.

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Can we really expect what is unexpected? At least we can plan for the expected before it becomes unexpected. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜

      Thank you Ken!
      Martin

  3. Robert Klein Avatar

    My trusty web page search tool (Ctrl + F) tells me there are 62 places where the word “time” appears. I’m out of breath just reading about your week. I often hear that it is a good strategy to manage time by blocking off time in a calendar.

    That’s a good 6 step list you use for planning. Trello might be a good tool to help you block off time and it’s also good for helping you delegate work to others.

    Your post gets a share on my Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn. And your post will get a mention in my broadcast email today. Thanks! Merci! I hope you block off time for the Oilers and Panthers. Go Oilers Go!

    1. Martin Lefebvre Avatar

      Hey Robert Thank you! what a game it was tonight! So exciting! Oilers survive another match and go back to Edmonton. We had a bunch of good, intense, and spectacular plays again. Next game is already booked!๐Ÿ˜
      This said, thanks for sharing the post! I really appreciate. oh and thanks for counting. Hope I didn’t make you lose your “time”๐Ÿ˜„

  4. Andy Jacobs Avatar

    You can never account for unexpected interruptions. I get them all the “time”. Oops there’s another one – that makes 71 by my count. Good luck tweaking your schedule. All the best.

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