10 Tips to be Ultra Productive
If there's ONE thing that drives me over the top bonkers, it's when I 'm disorganized and feel like I'm wasting time!
Yes, wasted time makes me sad.
Very, VERY sad.
And as an online business owner who would ALSO like to maintain a life OUTSIDE of work, I'm always looking to discover how I can maximize my results with as little time and effort as possible!
And not only that …
But as someone who ran my own businesses full-time as a one woman show for nearly 10 years, figuring out how to be as productive as possible wasn’t just important if I wanted to grow, it was a literal necessity.
Yep … for 10 years I had NO team, just me.
Well, AND my cat Mr. Purrie, but he's not very helpful.
(But don't tell him that!) 😂
I’ve learned a LOT when it comes to figuring out how the heck to get it all done, and as someone who also naturally geeks out on all things planning and productivity, I’ve made this a TOP priority over the years!
So today I wanna share 10 tips that you can implement STAT to help you not only be more productive, but to help you more effectively grow your business.
Sound good? Good!!! Let’s do this …
Before we dive in, don’t forget to grab your free cheat sheet.
I recently created this handy cheat sheet because in 2018 I managed to more than TRIPLE my annual revenue while cutting my work hours in HALF, and I wanted to share the specific strategies that had the BIGGEST impact on making that happen. 😊
(Actually, I cut my work hours by MORE than half!)
This free cheat sheet won’t just help you to be more productive, but it’ll also help you to get better results in your business too. 😊
NOW let’s dive into the 10 tips to help you be more productive!
1. CREATE A MORNING ROUTINE AND MAKE IT NON-NEGOTIABLE.
I gotta say: I have a morning routine and when I don’t do it, I definitely feel very “off!” 😂
Having a morning routine that makes you feel good both mentally AND physically is SUPER important for getting things started off on the right foot and setting the tone for the rest of your day!
Because when you start your morning on the RIGHT foot and you're feel'in reeeeeal GOOD, then you're going to be able to more easily FOCUS and be more efficient.
And being FOCUSED my friend, is where being more productive starts! 😊
(Because let’s face it ... it’s kinda hard to focus and be productive when you're feeling like a frazzled hot mess, right? Right!)
I do the above mentioned routine almost every single morning and it makes me feel a-MAZING and it also allows me to consistently put out my BEST work.
Because when you FEEL really freak’in good, you can perform at your best! 😊
Yeah it's true, SOME days I might not get in my full morning routine (like if I have a plane to catch at the butt crack of dawn or if I’m just really not feeling into it on the occasional occasion), but I almost always stick to my morning routine every single day.
Or at least SOME variation of it.
2. USE A PLANNER.
Oh man, I'd be SO lost without my Blog + Life Planner!
I'm now in the 11th year of running my own business full-time (DANG has it really been that long?!) and I've learned that using a planner to schedule out tasks ahead of time, prioritize, write down all of my to-do's etc. is absolutely essential for getting things done.
(And also for maintaining my sanity!)
Have I mentioned that using a planner is absolutely essential yet? 😛
As they say …. “if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”
(I’m not actually sure who “they” is, but whoever originally said that quote hit the nail on the head!)
(Yep, that's one of the planners I designed specifically for online business owners!
The key to using a planner successfully (even if you don't consider yourself a "planner person") is to figure out whether you prefer digital or tangible planners. Find what works for YOU!
I love to use Trello (which is a digital project management system) as my central business hub to keep everything automated and organized in addition to using my own tangible planner, and that combo works GREAT for me.
(By the way, Trello has FREE plans available!)
3. BLOCK OUT YOUR TIME.
Breaking down my work days into chunks of time really helps me to get a lot done and to focus on the task at hand!!
For example, a typical workday for me might look like this:
8:00am - 9:00am "Me" time (aka doing the morning routine I already talked about!)
9am - 12pm Main creative project (I only work on ONE main project per week)
12pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 2:30pm Continue work on main project
2:30pm - 4:30pm Miscellaneous business tasks & make to-do list for next day
4:30pm - 5:30pm Running
I get super focused during these particular time chunks and only work on the designated thing that I'm supposed to work on during that time.
Absolutely NO multi-tasking!!!
Did you know that there's an actual thing called "context switching?" Basically, you lose something like 40% of your time every time that you switch tasks because your brain has to spend time getting re-focused EVERY time you switch!
Seriously, look it up because it’s a thing.
So don't do it!!!!
Yes, I'm bossy.
4. GET YOUR SWEAT ON!
I probably don't even need to say this, but it's scientifically PROVEN that working-out boosts your mood, brain and your ability to focus.
And the more focused you are, the more productive you are.
AND bonus points because it also relieves stress and is a wonderful break from the daily grind! (Because sitting in the same position all day = BAD for your body.)
AND it boosts confidence.
In fact, there's a million reasons why you should incorporate at least 20 minutes of exercise into your daily routine and boosting your productivity is one of them.
There are a million reasons why it's good so just DO IT!!!!
Find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy.
Or I'll send my kitty Mr. Purrie to come after you. 😛
I love incorporating a short-ish walk outside in nature in the middle of almost every afternoon. Not only does this give my body a break, but I usually come up with my BEST business ideas while I’m outside moving my body! (AND I return to work feeling refreshed and ready to focus!)
(Have you noticed how important being “FOCUSED” is for your productivity yet?)
5. HAVE A CLEAN, ORGANIZED WORKSPACE.
Trying to get work done in a disorganized, cluttered space stresses me out like woah.
Having a clean, simplified workspace REALLY helps you focus!
(And I've already mentioned how FOCUS leads to productivity. Right? Right!)
Aaaaand you know what's one step better than having a workspace that is just clean and organized?
Having a workspace that also inspires you!!!!
(Psssst, I've got an entire board on Pinterest dedicated to creative work spaces if you need some inspiration!)
Here's a peek at my own colorful workspace:
I’ve got a workspace that is clean, organized and looks REAL dang good, and it consistently motivates me to get MORE done and inspires me to focus!
6. SET THE RIGHT GOALS FOR YOUR BUSINESS (AND PLAN OUT YOUR YEAR ACCORDINGLY!)
This is a BIGGIE.
Because you can work your creative booty off all day, but that doesn’t mean you actually did anything to move the needle in your business.
Get my drift?
Being “busy” doesn’t equal being productive if you’re focused on the wrong things!
This might sound obvious but … you’ve gotta have 100% CRYSTAL CLARITY on what you want for yourself and your business if you ever want to get there.
(But yet 90% of online business owners lack clarity around their business vision and goals and then wonder why they have such a hard time focusing or prioritizing their work tasks!)
If you reeeeeally want to be more productive in a way that’ll actually GROW your business, then you’ve gotta get clarity around the specific vision and goals that you have for your business and then plan out your year accordingly.
This will ensure that the tasks you’re doing on a daily basis are actually moving you towards where you want to go! 😊
(Just be sure to have your favorite beverage in hand when you watch!)
(Yes I always laugh at my coffee mug, why do you ask?)
7. SET UP E-MAIL RULES TO KEEP YOUR SANITY.
Seriously. Do it.
Consistently checking your email throughout the day is one of the BIGGEST ways to derail your focus and productivity!
Guess how often I check my email?
1-2 times a week. That's it.
(Yes, you read that right!) 😛
Unless I am expecting a time-sensitive email, then I literally just check it once or twice a week for a max of 30 minutes each time. I log in, respond to as many emails as quickly as I can for 30 minutes, and then log out and be done with it.
I don't keep my e-mail tab open on my computer and I don't get notifications on my phone or desktop. BEST BUSINESS DECISION EVER!!!!
Well, one of them anyway.
Plus, when you’re constantly checking your email (and responding to emails right away!) then not only are you putting OTHER PEOPLE’S agenda ahead of your own, but you’re literally training people to expect immediate responses from you.
Unless their house is burning down and it’s a true emergency, they don’t need an immediate response.
You gotta have boundaries! 😊
So schedule time to check your email and then turn off ALL notifications for it.
8. OVERESTIMATE YOUR TIME.
I can be a bit of a perfectionist.
Some times, I can be a little slow in my work because I want to get it done perfectly, dag nabbit!
(Although I’ve honestly gotten WAY better about this because I don’t want to use my perfectionism as an excuse to not get things done. My new motto is “70% perfect is perfect!”)
Being a perfectionist is usually a huge time waster, which is why I recently did an entire podcast episode on how to cure your perfectionism!
But there’s that, plus unexpected things happen.
So that's why you should put a little extra cushion into your schedule to allow for these types of things.
For example, if you're scheduling yourself to drive some where that's 15 minutes away, give yourself 25 minutes. Traffic happens. Getting lost happens. Getting tickets happen.
(That last one totally happened to me last week, ugh!!! Ehem.)
If you’re not giving yourself enough time to ACTUALLY get things done, then you’re always going to feel behind and frazzled which is NO good for being productive.
So. Add in a little extra padding, baby!
(Yes that’s my kitty Mr. Purrie, incase you were wondering!)
9. STOP MULTI-TASKING.
Seriously, stop it.
I know I already mentioned it above, but it's worth repeating!
I used to think, if I work on FIVE different things at the same time then that means I'll FINISH five things all at once and get a crap ton done! But guess what?
My focus was so scattered that it took me forever to finish anything, and I usually wouldn't even be happy with it when I was done because it never truly had my full attention for very long in the first place.
Limiting myself to just focusing on ONE main project per week has been such a time and sanity saver! And guess what? I GET WAAAAY MORE DONE NOW. From start to finish.
Try not multi-tasking for just one week.
Or even a DAY!!!!
I triple dog dare you.
10. CREATE AN ORGANIZED CENTRAL HUB FOR RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A WELL-OILED MACHINE.
You know what makes my life SO much easier and better?
(BESIDES coffee and cats, naturally.)
Having an organized, central hub for running my business like a well-oiled machine!
People always ask me, “how the heck do you get everything done? How do you organize your time and prioritize all the things?! Especially as a solo biz boss!”
Wanna know how?
I have effective systems in place for eeeeeeverything: creating my work schedule, prioritizing my tasks, doing customer research, tracking my goals, automating repetitive tasks, running my team, recovering failed payments, organizing ideas + inspiration and so much more.
Being super organized and having systems allows me to stay focused, save tons of time and helps me to get the best business results possible!
Plus remember, I ran my own businesses full-time for almost 10 years as a one-woman-show, so figuring out how to get everything done as effectively and efficiently as possible was a NECESSITY. 😂
And whether you’re a solo show or have a small but mighty team, having a central hub for running, organizing and automating your business is KEY to being more productive!
For my central hub I love and use Trello (which I mentioned already- they have a free plan available so definitely give it a try!)
I literally give you the exact copy / paste templates that I use to run my own business so that within just a few short hours, you’ll have your very own organized business hub that’ll let you SUPER charge your productivity. WOO!
This is, without a doubt, my most requested course EVER.
And if you’re currently struggling to get it all done or you’re a solo show, then this will legit be a game changer for you. 🎉
I’m so excited to show you exactly how I stay organized , efficient and focused AF so that YOU can run your own business like a well-oiled machine! 👊🏻
Don’t make running your business harder than it needs to be. 😉
So … are you feeling more productive yet?!?
Say yes. Say it out load to the computer screen!
Hopefully you find some of these tips helpful! I know that doing these things have really helped me over the last several years.
What about you, got any tips that have helped YOU get more stuff done? Please share in the comments!
Cheers to getting lots of shiz done!