Game plan

According to life coach and author Shannah Kennedy, the backbone of success is time management and the key to time management is adequate planning. 

Shannah kennedy has made it her life’s mission to help others succeed. she works hard to help her clients improve their personal and professional strategies, and provides the support needed for them to achieve their goals.

after 10 years in a highly stressful corporate environment, Kennedy suffered from chronic fatigue that forced her to re-evaluate. she rebuilt her life from the ground up with the help of a life coach. kennedy is still in touch with her coach, who she credits with helping her to coach others.

She recently presented a WIMBN webinar on how to simplify and structure your life in order to succeed. The basis of it all, she says, is planning.

“Success doesn’t just happen,” she says.

Time management

According to Kennedy, time is money and is key to health. Effective time management could make or break a business.

“Managing your time gives you freedom, choice and results,” she explains. “It reduces stress and it gives you back control.”

For most credit advisers, the attraction of the industry is its flexibility. Credit advisers, for the most part, are lucky to enjoy the ability to work for themselves, design their own hours and spend more time with family.

The downside to this: no one is there to tell you to stop, to go home at 5pm, to say ‘no’ when you are well over a full-time workload.

“With this in mind, if you mismanage your time, it can have dire consequences,” Kennedy says. “Stress is higher, you’ll miss deadlines and you won’t look professional.”

In today’s world, with the ability to connect 24 hours a day, the need to manage time and balance workloads is even more imperative, and one of the most important aspects of managing your time is putting in place processes that encourage you to resist the urge to automatically say ‘yes’.

“Set boundaries so that you can learn to say ‘no’ when you need to say ‘no’,” Kennedy suggests.

Lists, lists, lists

Mortgage broking can be a highly stressful environment. To combat the stress that is normally associated with being your own boss, Kennedy says it’s important to write lists.

Monthly, weekly, daily and hourly lists are needed at different times. For example, each month Kennedy encourages her clients to write a project list.

“Take a minute to think about what is critical for the month,” Kennedy advises. “Then each monday, create a weekly to-do list. and each morning, write up your list of priorities for the day. remember, each list is ultimately gearing you for the overall monthly project.”

One thing kennedy is adamant about is ticking off each item as it’s completed.

“Pat yourself on the back, get a coffee, eat a chocolate – do something to treat yourself,” she says. “Then, at the end of each day, you can see exactly how much you’ve achieved.”

By physically writing tasks down you are giving yourself instructions and making yourself accountable for them. Kennedy says it’s also best to write them in order of priority, and to only go on to the next task once the one above it is ticked off.

Aside from these lists, which should be written rather than typed, Kennedy says to create a private recipe to make your own continual success. “This is your non-negotiable list to keep you balanced and performing optimally. The recipe is made up of tasks and structures that keep you ‘up’,” she says.

Goal setting

To manage your time, you need to set goals. While part of this is writing those monthly, weekly and daily lists, it’s also important to have overarching goals that have been set for the long term.

The wording of a goal can do wonders for its success rate. For Kennedy, there are several important steps to follow when setting your goals.

“Make them specific and ensure they are simple, clear and focused. never overcomplicate things because you’re bound to confuse yourself,” she says. “Make your goal significant – something that will be worth achieving – and ensure that you’re strategic when you set it. The best goals accomplish many great outcomes, all at one time. Design your goals to strategically impact as many areas of your life as possible.”

Kennedy insists that a goal is not worth setting unless success can be quantified, so try to make your goals measurable. They should also be rational and tangible.

“Your goals should be out of reach, but not out of sight,” she says. “And make sure any goals you wish to achieve are written down and clearly visible.”

Final words

Time management is the essence of success, and planning is the foundation of time management. Kennedy says to book everything in and make yourself accountable to goals and tasks.

“Sit down with a coffee and your diary, and book in all the ‘must-dos’: the meetings, the business events, the deadlines and any commitments you have for growing and streamlining your business,” Kennedy advises.

“And make sure you do the same for your personal life. Book in all the fun time. The time with your family, date nights, fun activities and seeing friends. if it’s in the diary, you have to do it.”

Download Game plan

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