Reactive to Proactive Branding
Am I Working My Plan Backwards?
When you look at your year, month, and week ahead, how do you plan what are the most important tasks to focus on? With endless sensory input and the pull of technology notifications, it’s easy to be reactive. How can we get you from reactive to proactive? Have you read Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Effective People?® Need a refresher? Watch the video.
Do. Delegate. Discard.
As we frequently work with start-ups and emerging brands, making the most of your time is essential. Our recent favorite tactic for efficiency and effectiveness is coined: Do. Delegate. Delete. Similar to moving the big rocks, in our experience brand marketing clients have a challenging time focusing on the foundation rather than the shiny objects. To assist in solving this, we recommend:
Strategize. On a non-work day (Friday afternoon wrap-up is ideal), spend an hour building out your next work week. Separate the ‘thinking’ from the ‘doing’ so as to give clarity to impact results. You’ll find that over the weekend your brain will help you to resort to the pre-planning and come Monday you’ll be on fire for a productive week. Take your scattered post-its, to-do list, overflowing email in-box, and items that keep you awake at night and chart your week.
- Do: 7 items maximum to focus on in a day. These are the BIG rocks that will make a difference in your revenue and bandwidth in terms of helping clients and/or customers. Do these in the first half of the day when you focus on clear. We recommend 90-minute sprints, with 15 minutes of rest/stretch/non-phone time between to ease the nervous system + lunch of course!
- Delegate: Assess the items that didn’t make the top seven. These are the PEBBLES. Can someone else on the team help you? Are you using your skillset and time most effectively? Hand these off.
- Delete: If we spend all our time on email, we will never move the big rocks. It’s ok to set boundaries, prioritize initiatives, and decline invitations. This is the SAND. While it may feel good to cross items off your list, it will not impact the business as swiftly.
How Do I Get Here? Chunks.
It’s ok to start with a messy first draft. Choose one hour and let it flow unfiltered! You can come back later and be the editor too. There are a plethora of specific resources for building plans (thanks Google!) We’ll keep it simple here. Just start!
- Start with a 3-year Strategic Plan. Have a brainstorming session! What are ALL the cool ideas and initiatives you have in mind? List them out and assign a year as to when realistically you can accomplish them. Considerations: Team bandwidth, funding, in-house skillset, energy levels, ROI based on efforts. Categorize ideas into a maximum of three topics annually (hit four and we lose focus & grit.)
- Next, create a 1-year Working Plan. Take your Year 1 from the 3-year Strategic Plan and bullet point it out to include: Roles – Who will do what ongoingly; Goals – What needs to be accomplished? Calendar: What can we commit to getting completed each month? We refer to the 1-year plan also as our High Hard Goals.
- Now, look at this month. Print out a calendar and handwrite a focus for each week. What would make you grin at week’s end from accomplishment glory?
- This week! Now we’re back to the rock/do touchpoint. Print out a weekly calendar and list 7 items max per day to accomplish. This is where you flush out the sand – moving from reactive to proactive. Allow for catchup and wind-down time at the end of each day – 30 minutes to look at tomorrow’s list. Does it still serve you?
Branding. One eye sees. The other eye feels.
This is tough! Indeed it can be challenging to move from being reactive to proactive. We recommend priming the pump first thing. Start your day by skimming the current month of your 1-year plan. Can you FEEL the success of when you will have completed the tasks for this month? (Close your eyes and envision the deliverable, the closed project, the pride.) Then look at your to-do list for today. Turning off distractions is a muscle to be built. Baby steps.
If you’re at a place where you’ve got the plan and need guidance, let us be your agency of record. You’ll have our undivided attention for 1/2 to 1 day a week to consult and guide you through the maze of branding.