How to be your most productive when you feel you have one too many tasks.
Being an entrepreneur ain’t easy. Being a solopreneur is even harder.
You know, things will not get done unless you do them.
I know the drift. What I offer is a service – which means, I am the only one that can serve my clients at this point.
But serving the clients, creating your products is not the only part of your business.
You also need to do your bookkeeping, maintain your website, go through your emails, network, and all the other admin stuff in your business.
And then, you have your personal life – your cats, your dogs, your partner, your kids, your family. And you need to decompress. I know #ALLTHETHINGS
Being in business for 1 year, and having reaching all the goals I set for the first year, I needed to reconnect on my WHY. WHY did I start my business in the first place? I wanted to make an impact, donate to causes I believe in and have ownership of my time.
I did learn a few tricks along the way that helps me work smarter, and not harder. It helps me claim my time back, serve my clients the best I can while still having time to spend with my husband, cats, and friends.
I get asked so often “How do you stay productive?” and that got me thinking of what works for me. What did I try that worked?
- Set up your week: Every Sunday, I go over my calendar, my tasks, my goals. I set up what I will do each day of that week, set up priorities, what is just a “nice to” and my overall goals for each day. I have 3 “must-do” a day, everything else should be “nice to”.
- Batch your days: When I group similar tasks together, it’s easier to concentrate and stay “in the zone”. I take calls on Thursday, Tuesdays are the days I focus on client communication. The 10th and the 25th are the days I do my own bookkeeping (and pay myself).
- Set your work hours: Hey, I’m the first one to work outside work hours (as I’m writing this it’s 9:15 pm). But, set your work hours. If you’re like me and work from home (dining room to be precise), have your working hours. Wash your face, put on some real clothes and go to your “office”. Know that if it’s 5 o’clock, you can disconnect. Try not bringing work to the couch or the bed. And, please, make sure you take at least one day off a week – no emails, no social media, nada. Just enjoy your loved ones and do what fulfills you.
- Track your time: You know that task you think it takes you 5 hours? It’s only 5 minutes. By tracking our time, we can understand our productivity flows, and really understand how much time it takes you to complete your tasks. (If you’re service-based like me, helps with pricing as well). And it’ll help with item #6
- Pomodoro all the way: Not the Italian sauce. The Pomodoro Technique breaks down 25 minutes of focused work followed by a 5 minutes break, after a few short breaks, you can a longer break (15-30 minutes). It helps me work without distractions and be the most productive I can be.
- Outsource: You tracked your time, and it takes you 2 hours to create graphics for your blog post? Outsource it. You hate doing your bookkeeping, outsource it (wink wink). This way, you can really focus on what matters the most to you and your business.
- Simplify: I love a good bling. But I try to keep things simple. Don’t overthink, don’t overcomplicate. Have one good workflow. That’s all you need. You do not need to reinvent the wheel.
- Ask for help: Show your strength by asking for help. Ask your partner to cook dinner. If you’re stuck, ask for help. This goes hand-to-hand with Outsourcing – you don’t need to do it all by yourself.
- Give yourself some grace: You’ll have great days and not so great days. And it’s ah-okay. This only means you’re human. If you need a break, take one. Go for a walk, meditate, paint, cuddle with your cats. Know that tomorrow will be a better day.
- Do what works for you: We’re all very different people. So, you can read all the tips, but they might not be for you. It’s OK. Just try new things until you find what works. For me: I CAN’T work with music on – I get distracted and start to sing along. But I’m the most productive if I have the TV on, specifically Harry Potter or crime shows. Don’t ask me why. It just works for me (my husband, on another hand, cannot work if we have the TV on)
My favorite apps:
- Toggle: Great time tracking tool, has integrations with a lot of other apps and has a very robust free version.
- Focus To-Do: For my Pomodoro lovers. I started using it recently and I really like it. I can set my weekly tasks there and just track using the Pomodoro Technique – making sure I have my small breaks.
- Dubsado: Proposals ✔️Contracts ✔️ Invoices ✔️ Client Portal ✔️ Automated Workflows ✔️ Since implementing Dubsado, I do not spend time sending recurring invoices, payment reminders – the system does it for me.
- QuickBooks Online: As a good ol’ Bookkeeper, having an automated system for your books is a MUST. QBO has great integrations, you can memorize transactions. It’s the full package. And I have a real-time and accurate view of my business finances.
- Hello Fresh: I know… not really business-related, but a girl gotta eat. I eat healthy and tasty food without the hassle of grocery shopping. The best part? The recipes are easy to follow and, most of them can be ready in 30 minutes.
Here’s a list with all my resources [please note that some of our resources are an affiliate link, this means we get a kitten size feedback if you complete a purrchase through the link]. This is all that I use and helps me be more productive.
Things that I have outsourced for my
Like the tips, want to learn more about a specific app? Comment below.