I know we all feel this year-end rush. There’s just so much pressure that the next year is right on our doorstep knocking and you’re only halfway to accomplishing your Goal List for the current year. Honestly, I feel like I have to work more than 12 hours a day just to make it sure that I’ll be ending this year with a genuine fulfilling smile. Well, we gotta do what we gotta do. So, here are the goals that I want to accomplish within the last 90 days of 2014 and how I plan to do it. I hope this would inspire you to work on yours too.
We can all agree that “failing to plan is planning to fail”. However, I made it sure that I don’t “over-plan” everything. Honestly, the only time that I spent contemplating my “2014 Last 90 days Action Plan” was while writing this blog post.
First step that I’ve done this year is to determine my priorities. In the last 90 days of 2014, I would still like to focus on the same priorities. These are the following:
Entrepreneurship and Product Development – I’m launching at least two free products and 1 paid product before the end of the year. I’m also focusing on acquiring and investing in tools that would benefit me and my business over time.
Blogging – I am focusing on finding my voice and specific audience that would benefit from my content. I’ve also done a couple of site improvement like using Genesis Framework and site redesign. I’m also planning to relaunch the main website of AoaFY.
Freelance Career (Branding, Client Retention, Service Improvement, Voice, and Service Packaging) – For the past few months, I’ve focused on client retention, improving the identity of my brand, upgrading the services, and improving my pricing and service package offering.
Professional Growth (Skill Acquisition and Skill Improvement) – This is a fun part for me since I’m all about learning new skills and refining the old ones. In fact, it’s been consuming most of my time for the past two months. I believe this is one of the best investments that I’ve ever done in my career.
Basically, these aspects of my life have been dominating my schedule this year. Honestly, I don’t see much of my friends. I only talk to them virtually through Facebook. I also feel a little bit distant to any type of social activities. Sometimes, I also don’t have enough time for my girlfriend. My family has been resenting my lack of presence and involvement in their lives. I couldn’t blame them at all. This is a test of faith. The best people who would be sticking with me throughout my journey will reap all my hard work and benefit from all of the investments that I’ve made. So God bless them all.
The Time Allocation
My success relies pretty much on a routine that I’ve been cultivating for a while this year. Since the time that I’ve become fully aware of the factors that can increase my productivity and efficiency, I become more encouraged to keep a steady routine compared to a fire-fire-until-you-die strategy. I’ve become more conscientious of simple yet significant habits that affect my entire productivity in a day. I’ve also become more aware of allocating my time to my priorities and goals in a daily basis by “chunking” big goals to small doable task in a weekly level to a daily doable task. This routine nourishes the priorities that I’ve set for myself. By budgeting and allocating my daily 24 hours to these priorities, I am assured that I’m not overlooking my projects that would contribute to the success of my priorities. So here’s the routine that I’ve been telling you all:
|Allocated Hours in a Day||Activity/Priority/Project|
|1 Hour||Reading blog post and other industry publications|
|1 Hour||Certification Courses|
|1 Hour||Tune Up Session (Exercise, Meditation, and Mind Setting)|
|5 Hours||Freelance Work|
|2 Hours||Product Development|
|3.30||House chores, meals, Errands, naps, etc.|
|Total: 24 Hours||Awesome day!|
Why these numbers?
These numbers reflect the importance of an activity to me. As you can see, I allocate 6.5-7 hours of my day to sleep. I learned that sleep has a tremendous effect in my productivity and daily efficiency. I notice that it can break or make my day. I remember when I was still working as corporate journalist and doing freelance writing on the side, sleep was something that I’d been so deprived of – so deprived that I became so irritable, impatient, and inefficient at work. Though I was billing impossible hours of work both to my corporate job and freelance work, my body was feeling like hell and my temper was intolerable. After quitting my corporate job, I promised myself that I won’t do that to myself anymore.
There is no perfect length of sleep according to SleepFoundation.org. You have to study yourself and understand your own body clock. In my case, I can survive a day even with just four hours of sleep. However, I cannot expect myself to function flawlessly in a week with only four hours of daily sleep. This is why I decided to stick to 6.5 hours of daily regular sleep. According to sleep article from Wall Street Journal, people who sleep between 6.5 to 7 hours live longer than those who sleep less or more. To perfectly understand my sleeping pattern and to have a better life tracking data, I’m also planning to buy a FitBit Wireless Activity Tracker ($90).
Every day, I’m dedicating two hours to learning. As a digital marketer, being always-in-the-know is one of the most important habits to keep if I want to be in the business until I reach 30 years old. I spend an hour of reading industry publications and blog posts related to my niche. Aside from this reading habit, I’m also taking courses which would bolster my reputation as a digital marketer. For this month, I’m taking Hootesuite Social Media Certification and Inbound Certification Course from Hubspot.
Tune Up is a set of activities that will prepare me for a day. It includes a 30-min workout session, 8-10-min meditation, and 20-min mental conditioning (nothing fancy, just a rundown of the things that needs to be done in a day plus some NLP stuff:). After a lot of testing and experimentation, I’m pretty much convinced that a day with this ritual boost not only my productivity but also strengthen my sense of direction. The feeling of drain as an entrepreneur is one common experience to anyone who tries to work more than 60 hours a week. Affirming that you’re in the right track by doing this ritual will help you realize that all your efforts are not futile. You will gain confidence and see your progress in a wider perspective. You will also be reminded that you’re running a marathon and not a sprint. So far, aside from having sleep, this is one of my secret weapons.
[Tweet “. . . you’re running a marathon and not a sprint.”]
My freelance work takes five hours of my daily life. I only have three clients with minimal needs and responsibilities. One only needs my consulting service. I opted for a five-hour freelance work since I’d like to start working more for myself and less for my clients. This is why I spend two hours each day developing my own products. I hope to lunch it before the end of October. Product development is total PITA. It takes money, time, stress tolerance, skills, and a concrete business model. Will tell you more next time! ;)
Blogging takes four hours of my daily schedule. I’m working on five domains and five other sub-domains. This means a lot of work. Once my product takes off in the market, I might hire someone who can help me in maintaining the blog. Aside from outsourcing some of my blogging tasks, house chores are some of the things that I would like to delegate to someone. I’m thinking of paying someone to do my laundry. I don’t have time for these kind of chores and they take at least one and a half hours of my free time which I could have spent to my family.
I feel fulfillment every time that I spend and allocate my time wisely according to this guide. It builds quick wins in my daily life. I’m also assured that I don’t neglect my priorities because I’ve allocated time for them in my daily routine.
The Routine – Seeing Time Allocation in Action
I decided to plot a daily schedule according to this daily time allocations. This would help me build a daily system or routine and lessen the drama of choosing what task or activity to do after another. I also tailored-fit this schedule to time blocks which I feel much more comfortable doing a task or an activity. So what it’s like to see my time allocation in action? Here it goes:
|Ideal Time Allocation||Activity/Task/Priority||Schedule|
|6.5-7 Hours||Sleep||11:30 PM – 6:00 AM|
|1 hour||Tune Up Session (Exercise, Meditation, Mind Setting, Shower)||6:00 AM – 7:00 AM|
|1 Hour||Certification Course||7:00 AM – 8:00 AM|
|3 Hours||Freelance Work||8:00 AM – 11:00 AM|
|1.5 Hours||Long Break, Errands, House Chores (with Nap after meal)||11:00 AM -12:30 PM|
|2 Hours||Freelance Work||12:30 PM – 2:30 PM|
|3 Hours||Blogging||2:30 PM – 5:30 PM|
|1 Hour||Long Break (Snack, Errands, or Nap)||5:30 PM – 6:30 PM|
|2 Hours||Product Development||6:30 PM – 8:30 PM|
|.5 Hour||Quick Dinner Break||8:30 PM – 9:00 PM|
|1 Hour||Blogging||9:00 PM – 10:00 PM|
|1 Hour||Reading blog post and other industry publications||10:00 PM – 11:00 PM|
|.5 Hour||Short Break (Prepare to Sleep)||11:00 – 11:30 AM|
Aside from sticking to this schedule, I am also experimenting with other techniques on taking breaks. Of course, this schedule is flexible. If I have to change something, I would be willing to “kill” this schedule. Kill your darling they say! Hehe
I have a few major goals in mind. Some are overwhelming but not impossible. So here comes the list:
Improve Adventures of a Freelance Yuppy – I’ve been doing a lot of stuff on the main website. I’m just two pages away to officially relaunch it. I’m not a web designer and codes are my weakness as a digital marketer. Heck! There’s always a way around it J (winks)
I’ve built a forum platform for all Freelance Yuppies out there to converse and converge on. I haven’t officially launched it as I still have some tweaking to do. You can only access to this forum by approval. :P I call it The Commune. Check it out.
Launch two professional blogs – I’m launching two blogs this year related to digital marketing and Inbound marketing methodology : )
Affiliate Marketing Experiment – I would like to experiment in affiliate marketing to test and apply my search engine optimization skills, copywriting skills, and general inbound marketing skills. I have a few niches in mind but I would still like to do extensive analysis to see if it’s profitable.
Entrepreneurship and Product Development
Product Development – I’ve been working on this, saving fund for it, and enduring the journey for quite a while. My world is a digital world and not knowing how to code is like walking without the other leg. As what I’ve said, there’s always a way around it!
[Tweet “My world is a digital world and not knowing how to code is like walking without the other leg. “]
As mentioned, I have three major products to launch. Two are of course for FREE and the other one is freemium/paid product/service. Of course I’ll let you know about it :D Soon!
Freelance Career and Professional Growth
I’m taking two courses now and hoping to take a few more before the end of this year. I’ve been so soaked with so much information to consume, apply, and assimilate to my current digital marketing practice and system. Unfortunately, there’s no way around this process. It’s not negotiable. Learn and apply it or lose the competition. For this month, I’m taking Hootesuite Social Media Certification and Inbound Marketing Academy from Hubspot. Go get it! A minor investment J
Conclusion: Why Do I blog About this?
I know it’s completely not your business. I’d thought the same reasoning before while reading similar blog posts with similar context written by startup founders, content marketers, writers, coders, industry leaders and etc. Was it all just their personal day-to-day life that I was reading? Was I getting value from reading how they do their meditation and other almost petty subjects? Absolutely! I can’t point it out to you but definitely, there’s something that you will realize as you read personal blogs of people who are from your industry. Recently, I’ve been digging Belle Cooper, Kevan Lee, and Eric Siu. There are tons of value that I learn from their contents. Check it out.
I’m glad you’ve reached the conclusion section J It’s a long post. I would be happy if you can share your own plans for the remaining 90 days of the year. The comment box is big enough to accommodate all your thoughts ;) You can also reach me through my social media accounts.