Stay focused in business with a themed work week and Trello

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As someone who runs two businesses, has a family and a busy life in general it's is important to stay focused.

This blog post is about how I use themed days to help me run two companies and stay sane.

Imitate the best

Even though, I am not a Jack Dorsey, I felt we had a similar problem. Jack themes his days so he can work full-time at both companies, Twitter and Square A guide to Jack Dorsey's 80-hour workweek I tried a similar approach for my two companies jtribe and RaisedPixels and it works for me.

The fallacy of urgency

It is too easy to fall into a reactive mode. Clients and team members can put a unexpected high demand on a leader. Decisions need to be made quickly. Most of the time pressure is created based on a false sense of urgency.

It is very tempting to jump onto anything that is urgent. Too often, I looked back at a week and wondered what I have actually achieved. Time seems to fly but not for a good reason.

So, here is how I deal with an increasing amount of interruptions, stay focused and put any unexpected event in perspective.

Stay focused with themed days

I try to have a theme for each day of the week:

  • Monday: Delivery - Clients, Project Status, Resource Planning
  • Tuesday: Business Development - Marketing, Pipeline
  • Wednesday: Sales - Call potential clients, Write Proposal
  • Thursday: Engineering - Code reviews, New tech and improvements
  • Friday: Culture & People - Reviews, jtribe team lunch, jtribe retro
  • Saturday: Finance - Invoices, Forecast, Cash Balance
  • Sunday: Strategy - Reflection, Read books, Watch TED and other videos

It does not work all the time but it helps to stay focused and resist the temptation of urgency.

Stay focused with themed cards in Trello

Trello is my tool of choice for running my business and life. I have tried so many different tools but the one that works for me is trello. It works for me because I can use it the way I want it.

I use the themed days as labels in trello:

Delivery, Business Development, Sales, Engineering, Culture, Finance, Strategy

Themed Cards in Trello With any card I create I need to think only briefly about what theme it belongs to and add the appropriate label. I don't feel happy if I see cards in my board that have no label

The most important label is the "Me" label

The Me Label

One of the most important assets in your business is you. This is why I felt adding a "Me" label supports my goal for self-improvement, staying fit and educated. The "Me" label is used for anything that makes me grow. I also use to add some rewards for myself.

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