Do you ever have some weeks that go really well, and then some weeks that just are a total disaster? I've found that the key to really winning the week is having an exceptional plan. And in today's video, I'm going to share with you how I learned to plan my week, some of the books that I've read, some of the people that I've worked with on this, why I start with paper first? And if you stay to the end, I'll actually give you a link to download my weekly planning template that I print out every week. I've enhanced this over the last 14 years, and I believe it's a key to my success, and I want to share it with you so you can have an exceptional week.
Hey, everyone, Jack Jostes here and welcome to The Landscaper's Guide. Now, this show is all about helping lawn and landscape companies grow your business, lead your teams, and ultimately enjoy a better life. And I believe the key to that is winning the weeks. Now I'll share that growing up, I was diagnosed with ADD and I struggled in school, I struggled learning to read and write and stay on task. And I was medicated. They gave me drugs, and the way they gave me the drugs was on the intercom, they'd say, "John Jostes to the office for your medication. John Jostes to the office for your medication" which was super embarrassing. It was humiliating because then people would say, "Well, what kind of medication are you taking? And why do you need to go take medication?" And it was because I guess I had ADD but I never liked taking that medicine. I always felt like it made me feel weird.
Vision Traction Organizer
And I can't remember exactly how it was. I think I was in my early teens that I was like, I'm done, I'm done taking this. And the way that I overcame ADD was partly through planning, weekly planning. I was really lucky to work with a woman named Mrs. Toast when I was about six, who gave me a weekly planning template and I actually started using that. And over the years I used it and it fell off. And then around the time that I was like, "Mom, dad, I'm done taking medicine." They were like, "Cool. You need to figure out a way to really cope with this." And I started planning my weeks, probably in middle school. And then I lost track of it in high school and college. And it came back to me as an adult.
One of the people that I worked with was Hugh Little, who was the sales coach at the Longmont Dairy Farm, where I was a milkman. And he helped us plan our weeks and learn how to plan your day and prioritize and scale, score things as an A1. What's your A1 priority? And writing that down. And he really helped me get back into the habit of writing it down every day. So that's one of the things that I do in my notebook is I write down whatever appointments I have in a checklist to get done of the tasks. Then I read the book, Traction. And the book, Traction, was great because Gino Wickman talks about visionaries, he talks about entrepreneurs having visionary traits and how you might come up with 10 ideas to get to the 1 that actually makes sense, that's going to generate the results, but you need to come up with the other 9.
And that kind of is what I think ADD felt like, or maybe still feels like for me is I sometimes have so many ideas that I can't really ... I get distracted by them, I distract other people with them, and it's a good thing, ultimately, because I come up with the good ones that we work on, but it can be frustrating. And so Traction helped me with what they call their Vision Traction Organizer. And this is a way of creating your 10 year dream, your 3 year picture and your 1 year goals. And then you break that down into quarterly rocks. And then from there, you create your weekly to-dos. So that whole system, that book really helped me learn how to focus and kind of reign in the gift of being a visionary and mitigate some of the challenges that come with it, of all the distracting ideas and things.
Print Out A Monthly Calendar
So that's part of it. And I also worked with Wayne Herring, who showed me the value of printing out a monthly calendar. This is something that I do with my wife. We print out the whole month and just having a paper calendar, there's just something about it, looking at what you have. Another book that I read that was super impactful was the No BS Guide Time Management for Entrepreneurs by Dan Kennedy. So that's some of how I learned this and then I've ended up with paper. And the reason why I like paper and specifically using a pencil, which I like sharpening with a pocket knife is one, I enjoy doing that for some reason, I enjoy it. And I've found that handwriting out my week. I have this template that I'll show you in a second. Handwriting the appointments that I have, the to-dos.
Thinking Outside The Box
Another thing that I took from Brendon Burchard's book was partly of thinking out, how do I need to dress for this meeting? How do I need to feel in this meeting? That was a question that when I started planning my weekend, thinking about how do I need to show up and feel in this meeting? Am I public speaking? Am I making this podcast? Am I having a one on one with a employee? How do I need to feel in that meeting? And how do I prepare for that? How can I prepare myself? How can I prepare the other people? And what do I need to do to prepare? All of those questions and feelings are coming out of my mind when I'm really sitting down. And I like to do it on the weekend, leading up, getting it done. I'll outline some of it on Friday, making sure that I've got all those things dialed in, but then I'll really spend a solid 30 to 60 minutes on either Saturday or Sunday to write it down.
Why Do I Start With Paper First
Pencil and paper is also great because there's nothing like crossing off a major to do from your list. It's cool putting strike through in a Google Doc or checking off an Asana task. And when you're on a team, you have to use those tools to communicate with other people, but I've just found it gratifying to cross off something that I wrote down that I was going to do.
I also found that writing it down on paper, I can just kind of look at it at large and think about this is my week. Here it is. And I can write down the first name of the people, and writing down the name of the people that I'm going to be meeting with makes me more likely to remember them and actually build a solid relationship with them.
Weekly Planning Template
So the third thing I want to share with you is the actual template itself. And I created this in Apple Keynote. I've evolved it over the years. I update it. I remove things. In the top, I like to write down the date. What is the date? What week am I looking at? I write down my key accountabilities, which is also from Traction, is what are the accountabilities that I own at Ramblin Jackson? What are my annual goals? What are The Four Obsessions of a Key Executive? I have that written down. That's a book from Patrick Lencioni. If you haven't read it, they're really good. I believe they're key for any CEO, build and maintain a cohesive leadership team, create organizational clarity, over-communicate organizational clarity, reinforce organizational clarity through human systems. Creating that organizational clarity and leadership and over-communicating it and involving the other people, the project managers, our operations manager, our executive assistant, other people, creating that clarity reduces the chaos in an organization and helps people keep focused.
And then I have our core values. And I think about those and how are those going to apply to the week? Or how did I miss the mark? One of the things looking at the past week is I don't kill it every week. Where was I off? How could I be better? I also have my rocks then. And the quarterly rocks are the 90 day projects that we create each quarter to push us towards our annual goal to again, reach the 3 year picture and the 10 year dream. So this is kind of this filtering system in this weekly planning.
Then I come into to-dos and the to-dos are, what are the things that must get done this week to push us to get the rocks done? And sometimes I come up with ideas and I need to ask myself, does this idea need to be implemented now? Is it going to help us achieve our rock? Then good, I'm going to make it a to-do. Or is this idea a distraction? I'm going to put that on my someday maybe list, or my issues list. And maybe I can ask somebody else to do that idea, or maybe it needs to wait. Maybe it's a really big idea that needs to wait to the next quarter.
I also have an ask for help list. So going through this, ones I think about, and I like to outline this two weeks in advance and then really hone it in the week before. That allows me to ask other people for help, either other team members, my assistant, maybe my wife, I have personal stuff in here too. Maybe I need to get an oil change, or I don't know, whatever it is. I put that on there. And how can I ask other people for help? And how can I ask them for help earlier in the week, instead of at the last minute?
Plan Out Your Meals
I also plan out meals, so which nights am I cooking dinner? And what am I cooking? Do I need to defrost meat? Do I need to order something? And I have my personal goals for fitness in here, and sleep and reading, and I track those things. And by doing this, I'm able to plan out my workouts of like, all right, here's my work stuff. Here's my workouts. Here's my personal appointments. Hey, it's Father's Day. I've got to get something from my dad, whatever it is.
So this really works for me. And I found that using this time rather to plan allows me to just show up and execute. I try and think of how can I be like a little sous chef? So that way, when it's time for me to show up at work, I have links to the Google Docs that I need to write. I have planned out what's going to happen. I have an outline of what I'm going to do. And that allows me to just ... I have a workout in the morning, eat something, caffeinated, and then just execute work. And it removes the small decisions that I need to make. So I can stay focused on the big ones.
And like Mike Tyson says, "Everybody has a plan till they get punched in the face" or whatever he said, I think punched in the mouth, or like that guy who he punched on the airplane. I don't know if that was in his plan. But hey, having a plan allows you to shift things. So maybe somebody cancels a meeting last minute. Yeah, it's frustrating. Or maybe something comes up. I'm able to adapt and stay focused on my to-dos. What's the next thing that I need to get done?
So that's my plan. I'm going to put a link to this as a PDF down below in the show notes. So I hope you dig it, check it out. Let me know what works for you for planning your week. Doing this on paper while having so ... The part that I have open, I'll have open Gmail, I'll have open my Google Calendar. We use the G Suite here at Ramblin Jackson. I have Asana and HubSpot, whatever various Google Docs open that I'm using to communicate with my team. But I found that this digital paper combo leads to just the best weeks. And when I don't spend the time doing it, I get stressed out more. I'm not as productive, things like that.
So hopefully this was helpful. If you liked it, if you liked this episode, go ahead, leave a like, leave a rating. If you listened to this on Apple or Spotify, review the show, give us some ratings and make sure you subscribe at landscapersguide.com/podcast. And when you do, I'll automatically email you our top three podcasts where we talk a bit more about things specific to landscaping. But I think this is just generally good info. It's good info this time of year, it's stressful, it's spring and summer. Stay organized, stay focused. My name's Jack Jostes, and I look forward to talking to you next week on The Landscaper's Guide.