Becoming an entrepreneur has been an interesting journey, especially when it comes to productivity! Full disclaimer: I have a degree in organising stuff (well technically it’s events management but that’s basically the same thing) which means I should know a thing or two about planning.
However, when I was just getting started, I over-planned. I wasted hours on all these goals and visions and schedules that I never stuck to. Then I’d get frustrated at my lack of progress, scrap them and start new plans! It was so painful for my husband to watch me make all these plans with none of them ever coming to fruition because I was too busy making them perfect!!
In haste, I flipped to the opposite extreme. I threw all the plans out the window and refused to plan anything, living in the moment and floating from whim to whim. It was fun but I still didn’t really get much done.
CAN YOU RELATE?
I’m now somewhere between the two. I have long-term vision for my business and I know what my priorities are for the next month or so. I know what I need to focus on to move my business forward and am making the time to make sure those things get done!
Here are the best tools and tips that I’ve learnt along the way. I hope they help you to be more productive.
1) HAVE A GOAL BUT BE FLEXIBLE ON HOW YOU ACHIEVE IT
Goals are important, they give you direction and allow you to look at the big picture. However, it can be easy to overengineer how you’re going to achieve and if you’re too rigid with your plans, they become boring and a chore. You feel like there’s no room for creativity and to be honest there’s no room for universal magic to happen – yes, that’s a thing!
2) ASANA – THE ULTIMATE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PARTNER
I love this tool! Not only is Asana a fricking amazing for project management but it also gives you rainbows & unicorns when you complete a task! ? Seriously though, it’s a powerful tool that I use to put all of my business, marketing and client projects into. You can view projects as boards (perfect for visual people) or lists and can set everyday tasks to re-occurring without having to add them to your list each time. It’s also fantastic if you have a team as you can assign tasks and view the progress. AND I forgot to mention… It’s free!
3) GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
It’s a common misconception that chaining yourself to a desk for 18 hours a day is the best way to get more done. It’s not, instead it’s a sure-fire way to burnout. Let yourself relax. Step away from your computer for up to 15 mins every 1-2 hours, even better get outside and breathe some fresh air. Finally, don’t waste every evening and weekend, instead, let yourself enjoy some downtime with friends and family. Time away from your business will allow you to think more strategically when you are working, get rid of the crap you don’t need to do and enjoy your business more!
4) SCHEDULE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
We use a lot of different social media tools to support our clients (Hootsuite, Buffer, Later, Tailwind & Planoly). They’re all great in their own ways (as I’m sure are many of the ones I haven’t mentioned) but none of them could we live without. If you’re not scheduling your social media in advance, you’re wasting a lot of time and you lovely, deserve to have that time back! NOTE: we schedule directly to Facebook as it seems to help with reach.
5) FOCUS USING LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL
My coach shared this one with me. Whether this is proven by science to work I have no idea (here are a couple of articles that say it is: Natural Living Ideas and My Domaine) but it certainly seems to help me! I have an essential oils diffuser which emits beautiful scented steam every 15 mins. I don’t use lemon every day (you can use different scented oils for different purposes) but I do when I’m tired and need a boost and have found it helps me focus.
6) DO NOT FEAR SPREADSHEETS
I’m sure there are more fancy pants ways of doing this, but I love a spreadsheet. I use them to plan out my blog and social posts before uploading them to Asana and view my goals for the month. I also use them to keep a reference guide of topics I want to talk about, hashtags I might use, groups I want to keep up with and of course, social stats. It’s just a simple way to stay on top of things.
7) WOMEN CANNOT MULTITASK
And nor can men. It’s a big fat lie. So, please my lovely, stop trying. Focus on one task at a time. If you’re doing a big meaty task like writing a blog or recording a video turn your phone off or on silent and flipped over so you can’t see your notification light and close the social media tabs on your computer. You will get a lot more done if you don’t keep looking at notifications on your phone and you’re work will yield much better results!
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NEXT?
As you go through these, think of the best one or two that you could use right away. Put it into action because it’s all well and good knowing you should be more productive but it’s another thing entirely actually doing it!