Wondering how I prepare for my week?
I’m proud to say that in just a few short years after co-founding Cardone Ventures, we’ve scaled this operation into a $75 million dollar business. We’re well on our way to achieving our goal of creating a billion dollar organization. It’s exciting, but it isn’t happening by accident.
If you know me, you know that I don’t like leaving things to chance. To me, intentionality is one of my primary drivers, so preparing myself for the week ahead is one way that I’m able to make informed decisions, stay motivated, and keep myself and my team focused on the activities that will help us achieve our goals.
I have honed my weekly preparation to three key components. Here’s what they are, and how I approach them.
Weekly preparation strategy #1: Inbox zero!
Some of you are probably looking at the three thousand unopened emails on your phone and thinking, “Inbox zero? Is she serious???” And the answer is, yes, I’m very serious about this one. Let me tell you why.
It’s absolutely vital to me that I walk into the office on Monday morning having zeroed out my inbox before I arrive, because I am a leader in this organization. People rely on me and my communication skills in order to be successful in their own roles.
If I don’t devote some of my time on Saturdays and Sundays in answering their critical questions and setting priorities, then they can’t be as effective as they should be in their day to day tasks.
Does it make sense to put that responsibility back on them to follow-up with me to get the answers they need? In my view, that’s wasted time and effort that could be better spent on revenue-generating tasks.
I never want to be the communication block in our organization, and that’s why achieving inbox zero has become so important to me.
If this still sounds daunting to you, let me tell you that I’m not just doing it on my own. About a year and a half ago, I started using an inbox management system called Superhuman. It’s gamified the whole process of email for me, and truly changed my approach to email communication.
But inbox zero isn’t all that I do to prepare for my week. I still have two more critical strategies.
Weekly preparation strategy #2: I do a full review of my entire week
I do not want to be surprised by what’s happening in my week. I want to be aware, I want to be prepared, and I want to be intentional with my time.
This is why I do a full review of my calendar so that I know exactly what opportunities lie ahead. What calls do I have? What in-person meetings am I attending? What on-sites will I be participating in?
Knowing the what, where, when, how, and why for my entire week gives me so much clarity about how I’m spending my time, and it’s made a huge impact on how I approach my work.
I used to have a terrible approach to time management and productivity, which was fine when I was an employee, but I’m in a leadership role. We have nearly 200 employees. We’re forecasting a quarter of a billion dollars over the next year. Flying by the seat of my pants just isn’t going to cut it.
Here’s perhaps the most important detail: Prioritize your week by what you need to accomplish, not by what others might need from you. Focus on output. You’ll feel so much better about how you tackled your week.
Weekly preparation strategy #3: Set your top 3 priorities
Like I said earlier, you need to focus on your output.
The inflow — your inbox, other people wanting to put time on your calendar, etc. — those things can be difficult to manage, and when you do successfully manage them, it can feel great. But did you accomplish what you wanted to by tackling those things over others? Probably not.
That’s why I prepare for my week by identifying my top 3 priorities for the week.
Once I’ve done that, I can map my calendar around those things so that I ensure I’ve given myself time to focus on those priorities and actually accomplish them.
There are always gonna be distractions. New emails will arrive. New calendar invites will come. If you’re just focused on these things, your priorities will never get accomplished and your goals can never be achieved.
My top 3 priorities are non-negotiable. I make time for them every day. And I believe that if you prioritize your time and prepare for your week in a similar fashion, then you’re going to start achieving your goals, too!
Want to learn more about how to make the most of your days? Then join me and the Cardone Ventures team at our next upcoming event! One small investment can transform your entire life! Book now before space runs out!