Hey everyone, I’m Jon and am the creator of the CNCPTS Notebook, the all-in-one notebook and weekly planner designed specifically for business! From day one, our mission has been (and continues to be) to empower people to pursue more in life. Whether you’re starting a business, pursuing a side hustle or following a passion, we believe everyone should be passionate about what they do.
The purpose of the CNCPTS Notebook is just that. There are a number of notebooks and weekly planners out in the market but nothing seemed to cater to those of us working on our own hustle. Some were great for journaling and note-taking, while others functioned solely as planners with only a tiny space reserved for ideas. There were even planners that tracked how much water you drank every day! While I agree drinking water is necessary, I didn’t need a notebook for that. I needed something that could help me get organized and focus on what’s important — my business and ideas.
I decided to create this. I went back to the basics, stripped out all the excess noise and created a minimal layout that’s designed to get you to focus on your business. I then added in the functionality entrepreneurs could actually use to get even more organized: multiple bookmark ribbons, perforated pages, business card holder and more.
If you’re interested in learning more about the CNCPTS Notebook, check out our site here.
Constantly playing “catch up” with your business and projects
To-do list after to-do list to “get organized”
Feeling overwhelmed with an idea because there’s “too much to do”
Ideas that linger around but never really get anywhere
You’re likely struggling with poor planning and prioritization. Improper planning can have a huge drag on your productivity and how you operate.
Here’s how to solve this frustrating issue so you can get moving on your business ideas. The key is planning right. Getting organized doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn how 10 minutes of proper planning can help you prioritize your goals and increase overall business productivity.
Importance of proper planning
Working on your business or hustle takes discipline and consistency. So how do you maintain laser focus 100% of the time? Well, you don’t – that’s not physically possible. What we can do, though, is maximize our working hours to ensure they are as productive and efficient as possible.
Just as you wouldn’t expect a coach to enter the playoffs without a game plan, your business should be no different. A proper game plan will be your roadmap to a successful week. So how do you properly plan your week so you have the highest chance of productivity and success?
Start with the right tool
There are seemingly endless ways to “write” today, from apps to post-its. Find what works for you. We like to keep it simple with traditional paper and pen through a dedicated weekly planner or notebook. It’s easily accessible, doesn’t require WIFI or battery, organized and distraction-free.
Try this simple test: Count how many notifications, texts, group chats and vibrations you get on your phone within ten minutes. I’m willing to bet we all got a few. We receive a constant flow of digital notifications on a daily basis, all competing for our brain’s limited attention span – with each buzz or ring pulling us away from the task at hand. Stepping away from the distractions for a few minutes can significantly help improve your focus.
Not to mention, there’s a real opportunity cost when trying to juggle these alerts. Multitasking or toggling between tasks will actually slow you down and decrease productivity. Just like a computer takes time to start, our brain takes time to “warm-up” to a new project or task. Shifting back and forth will leave you less efficient and feeling more stressed.
We recommend placing your phone on do not disturb and spend 10 minutes Sunday night to plan your week. Take it one step further and spend five minutes each night to reflect upon what worked and reassessing what needs to be done tomorrow.
Another reason why we recommend using pen and paper is the fact writing things down forces you to take the time to sit down and succinctly summarize your tasks in a few key words. This forces you to actively think through what needs to be accomplished, how to accomplish them and what are the next steps.
We recommend setting one short term goal for the week (keep it realistic) and breaking this down into smaller, actionable steps. Get as precise as possible. The more precise you are, the more likely you’ll accomplish it. For example, if your week’s goal is to “Build a landing page”, the smaller, more precise, actionable steps could be:
“Finalize main body and headline copy”
“Establish color and font scheme”
“Outsource custom graphics”; etc.
Take it one step further by keeping this short-term goal in a place that’s easily accessible to help remind yourself what the single most important goal is for the week. This allows you to consciously and subconsciously work towards accomplishing it.
Keep it simple. Keep it flexible
We all like to get things done, our way. On our own terms. But how often does a day go exactly as planned? Almost never. Things come up, meetings are delayed, schedules are thrown off. That’s life and we have to adapt.
Be flexible and roll with it.
We need to plan our weeks in a way that’s consistent with the irregularities of life. Find a system that provides you with enough structure to keep you organized, yet flexible enough to adapt with what life throws at you.
Life doesn’t work like this. We’ve got better things to do.
We recommend using a task-based system as opposed to planning things down to the very minute. Ask yourself, “What needs to be done during the day and evening?” This gives you enough flexibility to move things around as your schedule inevitably evolves.
Planning doesn’t stop after just one night. It’s not a set it and forget it type of activity. Take the time to reassess your priorities and to-do’s as the week progresses. We recommend spending 5 minutes each night or every other night to reassess your plan for the week. Are you on track to accomplish your goals for the week? What’s working for you and what needs to change?
The whole point of proper planning and increasing your productivity is to have a system in place that keeps you accountable, consistent and on track.
“How do you prioritize the seemingly endless and equally important number of tasks, new ideas and errands”
This step is crucial. It’s what will separate the successful apart. We all have the same 24 hours so we have to work smart in order to maximize our productivity. You can work the same number of hours and arguably as hard as Elon Musk but produce less than 1/10th of the results. It comes down to prioritization and how you spend your time.
Don’t fall into the trap of focusing on low yielding tasks that simply don’t matter to your business. Our brains are wired with the desire to finish tasks. We get a boost of confidence and serotonin whenever we can cross something off our to do list – even if it’s just “picking up the dry cleaners”. But not all tasks are created equal. Nor do all tasks have the ability to push your business forward.
We doubt Elon’s ever worried about ironing his shirts or shopping for groceries. While he has the luxury of a personal assistant, our point isn’t for you to go out and hire an assistant or ignore all errands; it’s for you to place less emphasis and energy worrying about low yielding tasks.
We recommend outsourcing or delegating low-yielding tasks where possible. For what’s left, create a separate list of “Chores & Errands” and place them near the bottom of your priorities. Work through the low yielding tasks when you need a break from your business. Your chores will always be there.
Now that we’ve addressed your chores and errands, there’s likely a number of business tasks or ideas still competing for your limited time. Here’s a simple and pragmatic approach to help you determine which ideas to focus on.
Rate each question from a scale of 1 – 5 (with 5 being the highest score) and see which ideas generate the highest total.
- What is the profit (or result) potential?
- How feasible is it under your current ability and resources?
- How passionate are you about it?
- Is it marketable or relevant in today’s environment?
In order to improve your business productivity and efficiency, we recommend focusing on tasks with the highest score and a short lead time. Sprinkle larger projects with a long lead time throughout your week and month.
Executing projects with a shorter lead time can help get your ideas to market faster. One of the fundamental principles of the Lean Startup is to get your product (or idea) out – even if it’s a smaller scaled or unperfect version. The sooner you can get your ideas out, the sooner you can validate, receive feedback and improve your offering.
It’s easy to be productive and work on your business when you’re motivated. The challenge is being productive when you’re not feeling it. When you’re tired, unmotivated and discouraged. Here are a few ways to help stay consistent, accountable and most importantly, productive.
- Find a trusted friend or mentor and set up regular check in’s.
- Get active in forums and other social media channels. This develops a form of “social pressure” as others will rely on you for input and a response.
- Remind yourself of your why. The reason behind your early mornings and late nights. Are you doing this for yourself and the thought of a better future? Maybe it’s family & friends. Or the fact you can’t stand your current employer? Whatever it is, write it down, keep it close and refer to it when you need a quick boost of motivation.
- Count your wins. Mark a big “X” for each day you were able to push your ideas forward. It’s no different than tracking the number of times you went to the gym for the month. Keep your progress streak alive
There will be weeks where you’re firing on all cylinders, highly productive and crushing it. Other weeks won’t be as great. And that’s ok. What’s important is you push forward consistently. Slow progress is always better than no progress.
Download our free weekly template to start planning the right way and improving your business productivity in under 4 weeks.
- Your business deserves a proper plan. Increase your productivity and focus by taking 10 minutes to map out your goals for the week.
- We recommend the use of a traditional weekly planner because its distraction-free, easily accessible and forces you to summarize your tasks in few key words.
- Keep it simple, keep it flexible. Your weekly plan should be able to adapt to life’s unexpected curveballs. Use a task-based system as opposed to an hourly structure.
- Not all tasks will generate the same results. Focus your energy on high-yielding tasks that can move your business forward. Outsource low-yielding tasks like chores and errands, where possible.
- Break down your goals into actionable steps. The more precise you are, the more likely you’re able to accomplish your goals.
- Stay consistent, get accountable and keep moving.
- Download our free weekly template to start planning the right way and improving your business productivity in under 4 weeks.
I’m Jon and the founder of the CNCPTS Notebook. I started this company a year ago with the goal of helping others get organized and pursue their passion. As an entrepreneur, I know our days are chaotic at best. We’re constantly on the go, juggling multiple priorities, often feeling lost and never with enough time. Ultimately, this is what led me wanting to create a product that could help people (myself included) get organized so we can focus on what’s important – our business.