Productivity: Know Your Core 4 with Jessica Stansberry
“I learned several years ago that I can really only do 2 or 3 or max 4 really good tasks done in a day.” — Jessica Stansberry
Your to-do list is never-ending and you never feel like you have enough time in the day. Ever feel like this?
Especially in a time where our schedules have been flipped upside and inside out, it’s tough to know what “enough” is. This week’s guest, Jessica Stansberry, has a fantastic way of teaching productivity through a method she calls “Core 4” and how enough can be enough and it’s not all business.
“For the most part, you need to focus on only four things every single day and give yourself grace because on a normal day, four is a lot. But especially now that we have kids home and we have weird schedules, sometimes all we can get done is four things.” — Jessica Stansberry
Busy versus Productive
We hear it all the time…”I’m so busy”. The next time you catch yourself saying this, ask yourself if you also feel productive. Because if you’re working your tail off to grow your yoga business and you’re working on tasks that are productive, then you’re working towards achieving your goals. But if you find that you feel like you were “busy” all day but can’t really put your finger on what you did or how it’s moving your business forward, it’s time to do some reflecting on this.
“I’ve always done some version of this once I realized I can’t 112 things done from my to-do list every day. We put way too many things on our to-do list.” — Jessica Stansberry
What is Jessica’s “Core 4”
The “Core 4” is the 4 things that you need to get done on any given day. It’s specific to each individual day and can be business or personal or a mix of both. The point of this is to identify just four things that you want to get done that day and be okay with not completely a massive amount of tasks each day. You want to know what you need to get done.
“The Core 4 is the four things that I need to get done that day, business or not.” — Jessica Stansberry
How to decide what’s on your “Core 4” each day
You can decide what works best for you. Maybe you look ahead at the entire week on Sunday and identify the few things that you want to get done each day. Or maybe you do this at the end of each day for the following day. The key is that you want to start doing this and find what works for you and keep tabs on your core values as a person too.
“What are your core values? What do you need to get done to keep yourself sane and take care of yourself and your family. Those have to come first.” — Jessica Stansberry
It’s important when you’re growing a yoga business that you don’t burn out or compromise your values along the way so knowing these is really important to the process. Next up is knowing your goal for your business. What are you actively working towards in your business right now?
“Do you want to increase your private clients so you can take away some group classes? Do you want to create and host a new workshop that your students have been asking for? These are perfect as goals to focus on as you’re identifying what you want to focus your time on.” — Amanda McKinney
Once you know your core values and your goals, it’s time to get clear on what it takes to make it happen and that’s where goal division comes in.
If you’re working towards a big goal that will clearly take more than a day to accomplish, then you will need to do some reverse-engineering to work this out.
For example, if you’re working towards a yearly revenue goal or you want to create and host a workshop or you want to create a course. All of these will take many small tasks to make it actually happen but it’s important to start with the big goal.
“You look forward to your goal, and then you start dividing it up into what needs to happen in shorter chunks of time.”- Jessica Stansberry
By doing this, you’re able to break down all the small steps to get there so you can celebrate along the way but you will actually reach your goals when you do this.
How to know what’s important and what can fall off the list
If you find yourself asking ‘what is important?’ here’s an exercise you can take to help figure this out:
- Write down everything you do for your business on a piece of paper
- Ask a friend to challenge you on everything
- Do your best to tie your actions to numbers — how much time are you spending taking that action and is that action tied to revenue in any way.
**To be clear, there will be things in business that you have to do that doesn’t directly tie to revenue. But what you want to find out is if you are spending 4 hours scrolling IG or FB, that’s not helping you make money in business but scheduling your posts and engaging with others does so how can you cut that time down and make it more efficient.
Track your time (and your revenue) to know your numbers
Jessica and I talked about systems we use to track our time and I swear by using Toggl. This system is free to use and it has helped me gain so much insight when it comes to what I’m doing throughout the day. You can categorize tasks and projects so you can actually tie specific tasks to revenue.
“So I got back into the rhythm of things, planning my weeks on Sunday, waking up early and knowing my Core 4. Because if I don’t do them, I’m down a rabbit hole.” — Jessica Stansberry
Map out your day and share your Core 4
The great part about Jessica’s Core 4 concept is that those 4 things can happen anytime during that particular day.
“The good thing about the Core 4 is that you can get it done whenever it works for you. You don’t have a specific time, it’s whatever works for you.” — Jessica Stansberry
While I’m a naturally organized person, Jessica shared that this is not part of her personality or natural work style. She doesn’t like to have constrictions on her schedule and needs freedom with how she worked. But after stalling out in making progress in her business she realized that by not staying focused, she wasn’t making progress and something had to change. So she figured it out!
“Our personalities are awesome things about us but they also show us where our weak spots are and we can take advantage of that and say ‘ok, I’m going to flip that and make it something that I’m really good at because if I don’t, the success is not going to happen.” — Jessica Stansberry
That’s how her Core 4 concept came to be and it’s changed her business and how much she can get done in a day. It was great to hear how she talked about how this wasn’t natural for her but when she put the line in the sand and said “I need to do this in order to succeed”, it worked!
“I’m not an organized person. There were times in my business that I said ‘it’s just not my personality’ but that stopped me from making progress. It’s taken a lot of time for me to get here.” — Jessica Stansberry
So take it from Jessica and use this Core 4 concept to map out your day. Figure out what your 4 things are that you can get done in the day and map it out based on what works for you. Then it’s all about getting it done!
Your next step
Map out your Core 4 and share it with me and Jessica on IG stories. Use her template — you can grab it on her Instagram account in a highlight: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17882777257524907/
Until next time give yourself permission to just get 4 things done per day and grace along the way.
For more stories like this, listen to the Marketing Yoga with Confidence Podcast.
About Amanda McKinney (Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers)
Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach with a passion for empowering yoga teachers to earn more money doing what they love. She does this through her podcast: Marketing Yoga With Confidence and Online Offerings. All of which focuses on building confidence and community with an extra dose of encouragement every step of the way.