Sounds strange right?
Being lazy isn’t going to make me more productive…
But think about it, if you find the quickest most efficient way to do every task in your business; that will mean you will get more done in less time.
Sounds too good to be true I know.
This morning I was on a deadline to get to the garage. I had to leave the house at 10am. Usually, I would do my main 3 tasks by 11am but I know had an hour to do them.
Do you think I managed it?
You bet your ass I did!
By being 100% focused on the task hand and not taking my time I got everything done that I needed to.
Does that mean usually I am lazy? No. However usually if you allocate yourself 2 hours to do something you will take 2 hours, if you allocate 1 it will take 1 and I just proved it!
Create Your Best Process
For every task I do, I know the outcome and the exact steps needed to complete it. When I am forced to do this quicker I ensure that I do not do anything that is unnecessary or will hold me back.
Small things like having everything I need to complete said task to hand, my checklist to ensure I don’t miss anything when doing it quickly. If it’s good enough for doctors and pilots its good enough for me. You see checklists reduce mistakes check out the book The Checklist and how it is used to save people’s lives. I use it to save time but it’s the same principle.
Get Super Specific
More often than not we put off a task as we are dreading it and do not know exactly what is needed. Another factor can be that it is a big task and it overwhelms you.
The best way to overcome this is to get super specific and break it down. This makes your life easier and means you get some small wins in.
Imagine you have to set up a whole website and you literally have no idea where to start. By breaking down the tasks into smaller manageable tasks you will be able to get started pretty much straight away.
Start with the outcome and reverse engineer the process. When your website is completed and you are 100% happy, what steps would have been made to get you there?
- Choose what provide you are going to use WordPress, Wix etc
- Buy the domain name
- Add the theme
- Get Logo created
- Set up the hosting
- Add relevant pages
- Add relevant plug-ins
- Create a bank of images of other websites that your client likes
- Have professional images taken
- Have a copywriter create your sales page
- Have your About Page done
- List your Services
- Have a FAQ page
- Create your Lead Generator
- Lead Generator Set Up
- Pick your email marketing provider (Aweber, Active Campaign etc)
- Website linked to Autoresponder
- Upload 5 blogs
You get the idea!!
The great thing about doing this is you only have to do it one and you can rinse and repeat in the future.
Feeling overworked and burnt out but still want to serve your clients. Outsource what you can and you will be able to get even more done in less time. People often do not like to outsource work that they have been asked to do. I don’t see a problem with it AS LONG as the person you outsource too follows your systems and procedures.
It’s as if you did the work then, it is also your responsibility to ensure each task is completed to your standards. It will be a learning curve to start with but give feedback to your outsourcer so that they can learn from it.
Sometimes it might mean that the work is actually done better. I am not great at video editing, I can do it buts it’s a total ball ache for me. One of my clients is a Facebook Live machine and has loads of great content to share, so I have outsourced this process to someone that can do it quicker and better than I can.
Win win! The clients get’s their work done to a great standard and I can concentrate on what I am good at.
Workout your Work!
Have you heard of HIIT which stands for High-Intensity Interval Training to get the best out of a workout in the quickest possible time? It means you do focused bursts of exercise to a high intensity but not for too long.
I have used this approach with work for some time. It means that I do a lot more focused work and have regular breaks. When I force myself to work to a timer I remain disciplined to keep to the task at hand and I know there is a break just around the corner. I work flat out for 25 minutes and take a 4 minute break which I used to make a coffee, put the washing on or even just sit in silence.
Working all day till the late hours doesn’t make you any more productive in fact you probably get less done. When our brains are tired and we have been working on something for a long period of time we tend to make mistakes or get side tracked.
Give it a go and let me know what you think!
Stop Multitasking Forever
It used to be a big positive to be able to multitask and spin many plates without getting stressed. I used to put it on my CV as a massive pro but it really is so bad.
When we multitask and switch between tasks SFA gets done. Have you ever tried to catch two rabbits at once? You’re much better off getting one and then the other right?
When you switch between tasks it takes about 20 minutes to get back into your rhythm. Imagine you have 3-4 tasks on the go at once!
By doing many tasks at the same time you are busy all day and don’t achieve anything. So concentrate on completing one brain powered task at a time. That way you will actually achieve something and you will get it done quicker than if you were trying to complete 3 things at once.
There are certain multitasks you can do which are productive. They have to be different types of tasks, so you group passive tasks with lower brain powered tasks.
Here are some examples:
- Housework and listening to audible
- Cooking and talking to clients
- Driving and listening to audible or talking to clients
- Going for a walk and catching up with clients or audible
- Completing your Duolingo while on the loo!
These are great ways to get more done and not compromise on productivity.
Take a FULL Day Off
Now I have not always followed this as I was always tempted to just log on quickly…
However, I found that taking one full day off per week works wonders. I chose Saturday, it’s perfect as I can spend the day with my daughter and enjoy the fruits of my hard work all week.
By taking the day off I also feel refreshed and it also makes me excited to get back to work on Sunday. Now Sunday is my planning day and I take a half day so I can get organised for the following week. I plan meals, batch cook, iron school uniform etc which actually makes me more productive the following week. It is said for every minute you spend planning you save 10 minutes in implementation!
So by spending just 10 minutes planning my week, I save 100 minutes in execution!
How about those apples?!
I have highlighted a few how being lazy or shall we say more effective can boost your productivity.
Do you agree?
Do you use any of these techniques already or would you like to start one of them?
Perhaps you have a productivity hack that you would like to share with us?
Comment below I would love to hear your thoughts.
Blogging is a crucial part of your business and the biggest obstacle is usually lack of planning which can lead to ostrich syndrome (aka procrastination).
So if you want to become a regular blogger with minimal stress this 5 step system will make is super simple.
1. Content Ideas
Having lots of ideas to choose from is essential and the first step in our 5 step blogging system.
To get you started, put your timer on your phone and write down as many subjects that your clients ask you about or would be interested in. Keep going until the time goes off. Do it now!
How did you get on? 5, 10, 15 maybe even 20 titles? If you post a blog per week that is at least a few months worth!
Think of FAQs use messages/emails people have asked you can check Facebook groups where your ideal clients are asking questions.
If you are struggling to come up with content creation you can find out more here >>
You need to decide how often you will be blogging. You can then schedule the content in so you know ahead of time what you will be writing about in advance.
There are several ways you can schedule your content. You can use a diary, a piece of paper, a tool like Trello, a spreadsheet or even your Google calendar.
However, you decide to schedule your content you have to be consistent! This is the only way that systems work, you have to implement them otherwise you won’t be able to rely on it.
This makes blogging a piece of cake. If you do your due diligence to research each subject your brain will be jam packed with content for you to share.
You can do this the week before you blog over a few days or you can do the day before you are due to write if you prefer. It depends on the content and whether you need to go more in detail and how good your memory is!
Remember the subjects you are writing about will be within your expertise you are just looking to get a few key points together and give your blog some structure.
I tend to write down the key points which tend to be the subtitles, any relevant statistics or quotes (with reference) and graphic ideas so I can easily get cracking when it’s time to write.
4. Write It
The final step is the hardest one but we have made it as easy as possible by having all of the relevant information to hand.
You will have already researched the blogs content so now you just need to get cracking.
Write your introduction so that the reader knows what you are talking about and what the blog will achieve. Then you break it down making it easily readable, that’s why the key points are so important.
People tend to scan read so by having subtitles people can get the gist of your content and using images that are relevant will help you to engage your audience.
Discuss each the key points in turn and then conclude with a roundup of the blog so that they know the key takeaway points.
5. Perfect It
I suggest doing this at least the day after you wrote the content. If you try to edit it too soon after writing it you will read what you want to rather than what is actually there.
It makes your job easier to edit as you haven’t just written it and you will more likely catch grammatical errors and typos.
A few tips would be to read the blog aloud as you will notice how it will be read by the viewer. Changing the font size also helps engage your brain more so that you don’t scan read it. You can use a tool called Grammarly to help catch any errors.
Add in images and refer to other relevant blogs which your reader may find useful. Once you have perfected the blog and are confident that the blog is finished hit publish and share it to your network.
Key Takeaway Points
Having a content bank full of ideas means you will never have writer’s block and will always have some inspiration.
By scheduling the blogs in you will plan your week accordingly to ensure you have enough time to research, write and edit it.
By researching your topic it will be fresh in your mind and you will be able to find supporting content for your opinions and ideas.
Writing it is probably the hardest part but by following this 5 step system you will find it much easier.
Perfecting the blog at a different time to writing it and planning your time effectively will ensure that your readers get a high-quality blog rather something rushed and thrown together at the last minute.
Why not watch my quick video below which covers my Blogging System
I thought I would share with you my morning routine. As my life is a series of systems put together to make my day run as smoothly as possible.
1. Drink a pint of water
I have been doing this for about 5 years now. Every night I take up a bottle or pint of water to bed with me. When I wake up the first thing I do is down the water.
When you wake up, this is when you are most dehydrated, not to mention your morning breath.
By drinking a pint of water before reaching for the coffee, I am giving my body chance to rehydrate.
2. I get UP!
This might seem obvious, but how many of you actually get out of bed straight away? Or do you peruse Facebook and check your emails first? You see if you check your phone, I can guarantee you will find
something to distract you.
I see the same women dropping their kids off to school late most mornings looking stressed and tired. However, I have also seen that they were logged on Facebook
early in the morning and they had probably lost track of time.
There is no judgement here, it is up to them and I use to do it all the time. Then I would get myself in a right tizz and take it out on Jess that we were running
late! I know!
By adopting that simple rule of getting up and getting ready before checking my phone has made my life so much easier and more productive in the morning.
3. I know what I am wearing
Every night before bed I get my clothes ready for the next day. I lay them out so even if I do get up late, I know exactly what I need to shove on and get out the door.
I do the same for my daughter, her uniform hangs on the door in the order she is to put it on. This helps her understand her routine, she will know if the next day is a school day
or the weekend.
She knows what she needs to get ready in, and more often than not does it before even coming to wake me! (which is very nice!)
4. I have ‘themed’ mornings
My most productive times are between 9-11 and 2-4 so I use them accordingly. I eat at 12 and usually have a sneaky nap afterwards.
Each day of my week is themed so I know exactly what I will be doing in the first ‘deep work’ block.
Monday – Social Media
Tuesday – Training
Wednesday – Writing
Thursday – Thinking, Proofing etc.
Friday – Finance
How easy does that make things for me?
Yes I do other stuff. I have my daily tasks which I do every day. These are usually done as shallow work in my 30-minute stint before lunch.
This involves checking emails, posting to Instagram, interacting with real people and reply back to comments.
5. I have a 2-minute rule
If something will take me less than 2 minutes to complete, I do it straight away.
I don’t put it off, I just do it.
By the time you have thought of an excuse as to why you can’t do it, you could have done it!
This isn’t just work related, it works around the house too.
Jobs which take less than 2 minutes:
- Emptying the dishwasher
- Putting on a load of washing
- Running the Hoover round
- Cleaning the mirror (our shoe case is mirrored – drives me nuts!)
- Putting the bin out
You see they take 2 minutes on their own, however if you leave them all, they will soon amount up and make it a bigger more daunting task.
What is your morning routine?
So you’ve decided you want to be a business owner?
Or perhaps you’re already a business owner and you want to reclaim your sanity?
First of all, I want to wish you all the luck in the world, it sure is a rollercoaster ride. It is more than worth it to have the laptop lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of.
I wanted to offer you my top tips to ensure you keep your sanity intact and have the best possible chance for success.
Have a routine
This is your best friend! Running your own business can be hard and motivating yourself can be difficult. By creating a routine you will have the habits in place to get on with the work you need to without thinking about it.
I love having themed days, so for each day of the week, I have a set deep work task to do. By having these themed days you know exactly what you’re doing each day.
Having a set time to start and finish works well too. I don’t even look at my emails until I have got my daughter to school, that way I am completely present in getting her ready to school and she had my full attention. Also have you ever tried to write an email when your child is asking you a million questions in one minute?! It’s a recipe for disaster!
Using checklists makes your life so much easier. I have them for my daily tasks (shallow work), weekly tasks and even my shopping list! By having a list to go to for a resource you’ll feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
They don’t have to be super comprehensive just simple and concise.
I have things like post to Instagram, check my emails, interact on social media and things like that. At first, you will use the checklist daily and before you know it, it’ll become second nature.
You can use it to reference to if you are training staff in the future so that they know what to expect to be done on a daily basis.
I have created systems in my business for every task that happens and if I couldn’t work someone else could follow my processes and procedures to get it done.
Yes, this might seem a bit of a strange suggestion for someone wanting to build an online business. However, there is no point having the freedom of a laptop lifestyle if you are always stuck on your laptop!
Make sure you get some time away from the online world every day. Whether it be to hangout with friends, go for a walk or head to the gym it will do the world of good to have some free time.
Use tools to help
There are several tools you can use to ensure your business runs on autopilot as much as possible. I wanted to suggest that you use Calendly to book in client calls and consultations so that you can run your schedule with minimal fuss.
I am also a raving fan of Buffer, it takes care of my social media for me!
If you want to learn my top ten tools to run a business you can find them here >>
Optimise your Check-ins
This probably was one of my biggest time savers. I used to constantly be online to answer messages and emails as soon as they came in. Whilst you may feel productive you’re actually not, it’s the complete opposite in fact.
You are being a slave to your notifications, so turn them off on your phone and laptop so that you only check-in when YOU actually want to. If you are super brave take the social media apps off your phone (except Instagram obviously) you then won’t be on your phone all the time.
I have 3 times per day where I check and deal with emails at a time that suits me. I also do the same with social media, I make time to go online with purpose so I don’t spend hours aimlessly flicking through my newsfeed.
I get in and out as quickly as possible. I make sure my auto responder advises people of this so they know if it is urgent to call me.
Use Techniques to Aid Productivity
I mainly use 2 techniques which keep me super focused and productive. They are called ‘time blocking’ and ‘pomodoro so for everything I do I schedule in time blocks of 30-90 minute intervals to do a set task but use the Pomodoro timer to do focused work for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break or 90 minutes work and a 20-minute break.
By using these techniques I can work quickly and efficiently and know that I can have a short break coming soon.
You can use an app on your phone or a simple kitchen timer, just remember to turn your phone to aeroplane mode so you don’t get disturbed.
If you want to achieve anything it must be scheduled in. This isn’t just for your work, it covers fun time, me time, mother and daughter time and even date night!
By ditching your to-do list and opting for scheduling your tasks in, you will know whether you have time to do them or not realistically.
Think of things like appointments, you wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment or cancel on your boss so be as disciplined with your scheduling.
Simplify Your Life
If you can make your life easier why wouldn’t you?
There are several ways you can do to create time in your day, freeing you up to do more of what you love not to mention earn more money.
Have you heard about working in your genius? It’s a bit like that and only you can decide how you can do it.
For me I like to have a clean house but don’t want to waste time cleaning, I have a cleaner that is £10 an hour, if I make double that per hour it’s a perfect option.
If you HATE blogging but know that is a necessary evil for your business, it’s the ideal task to outsource right? If you love video then do that and get it transcribed and made into a blog for you! It’s your words you just don’t have to write them!
By outsourcing these activities which are not your genius you can spend time doing more of what you’re good at and make more money in the process.
Keeping Your Sanity
As you can see there is a theme throughout the blog about being a successful entrepreneur and it means good planning.
All of the tips I have given you are to do with managing yourself to get the best out of your time.
To create freedom in your life this requires careful planning, consistency and discipline. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone, I love it and it suits me to the ground.
Whereas some people like to clock in and clock out, have someone else set their goals and follow someone else’s rules. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this at all, it’s finding what is best for you and your life.
If you would like some help to systemise your business so that you can make the best out of your time email me at email@example.com if you would like to try our course on social media systemisation we have some spots available in the new year.
We all love a productivity hack right?
If you could get more done in less time wouldn’t you want to?
I have been running my online business nearly 2 years now and 2016 has been a big learning curve. I am sharing with you my very best productivity hacks so you get the most out of your time and you feel awesome every day.
So if you to supercharge your productivity and be a little smug about how much you achieve in one day, read on and then implement:
1. Turn off Social Media notifications on your phone and only use it on your PC – this means deleting the app off your phone!
2. Check emails at certain times throughout the day and have an autoresponder which advises that you check it at Xam and Xpm
3. Use a timer so that you can work in set intervals. I use Clear Focus there is also one called Pomodoro. Find which working pattern works for you 90 minutes work/20 minutes break works well for me
4. Work with your energy levels. If you are most productive in the morning, this is when you should do your most demanding work
5. Plan the next day the night before you go to bed or at the end of your work day
6. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do right now, if it takes less that 2 minutes just do it!
7. Turn your PC off when you have finished work – it’s all too easy to just quickly jump back on!
8. Tidy your workspace at the end of each day, a clean desk is a happy desk!
9. Have a set routine and keep to it as much as possible – routine is the key to productivity!
10. Get up one hour earlier that usual! You will get so much more done with no distractions
11. Try to limit wasteful Skype/phone calls by providing an agenda beforehand – this is awesome as most things can be covered in an email…
12. Outsource what you cannot do or what you find difficult to do – time saver of the century!
13. Don’t multi-task, complete 1 full task at a time. Going between tasks means things will get missed and you won’t be productive!
14. Use your breaks wisely – put the washing on, prepare food, go for a walk. Sad I know but the housework won’t do itself
15. Go for a walk when your productivity starts to dwindle usually after lunch – beat the afternoon slump with some fresh air
16. Have a cut-off point for your day and stick to it – there is no point having your own business if it runs you into the ground
17. Don’t spread yourself too thin, if doing one task is going to set back another tell your boss/client and ask them to make the decision which is a priority to them
18. Change your scenery, work on a train, in a ‘Coffice’ or even in an indoor play centre for kids! (only do this is you have kids mind!)
19. De-clutter your emails, use Unrollme.com and stop signing up to everyone’s emails! They don’t hold the key to all your questions!
20. Stop looking for shortcuts or the next big thing. Do the work and get on with your daily tasks and you will get there eventually
21. Plan all your meals and snacks in advance, I even set an alarm for when it’s time to eat!
22. Carry a notebook with you everywhere, you never know when creativity will strike
23. Spend 10 minutes exercising your brain with a crossword puzzle – frustrating but it does take your mind off work
24. Prioritise your workload according to what HAS to be done, what NEEDS to be done and can WAIT FOREVER! Ditch the stuff that can wait and schedule in the rest
25. You’ve heard about batch cooking right? Well try it with your work, create social media posts in batches, do client invoices, filing etc. all in batches its a life saver
26. Create a list of small tasks so that you can check off small easy tasks and have a feel good moment from small wins
27. Don’t leave things until the last minute, set yourself a fake deadline before the actual deadline – you still have to stick to it mind
28. Have a daily dump! I mean a brain dump, that way you will have a clear mind for going to bed, it is amazing what a difference this makes
29. Have a daily task/goal and make yourself accountable. Tell others what you are going to achieve and ask what they are doing that day
30. Meditate of 10 minutes a day, if you’re really busy do it for longer! You can just sit quietly breathing in and out, it doesn’t have to be weird
31. Break large projects and tasks into smaller manageable tasks, reverse engineering works a treat here
32. RECON – for everything you need to do. Do your research in advance. If it’s good enough for the military it’s good enough for me
33. Educate yourself. You’ve heard knowledge is power right? Wrong, implementation is where the power is. Learn and then DO!
34. Reward yourself. There is no point in working like a dog if you aren’t going to throw yourself a bone every now and again! I treated myself to an Apple iWatch recently – I love it!
35. Don’t waste time or energy on people that bring you down – if someone brings you down or causes you pain – cut them out of your life.
36. Have fun! Plan it into your routine and do it! If it doesn’t get planned in we often overlook it. Ice skating, rock climbing or just having a campfire and a glass of wine
37. Keep messages and emails short and sweet. Just because you can type fast doesn’t mean anyone’s got time for war and peace
38. Cut your hours. Research shows that working 60 hours instead of 50 doesn’t make you any more productive!
39. Have one full day OFF per week. Get outside and live. We don’t live to work, we work to live. Sunday is my day off, I love a good Netflix binge 😉
40. Don’t be the YES person. It is ok to say no, push back if you need to. You can’t be everything for everyone
41. Ask for help if you need it, you cannot do everything all the time
42. Stop being a perfectionist, do what you can with what you have – this was a hard one for me.
43. Automate repetitive tasks as much as possible use IFTTT.COM
44. Don’t guess. Use data to guide your decision-making
45. Plan in your down time. Have a ‘me’ hour /evening or day! I choose to exercise and read as my ‘me’ time.
Now I know that is a long list of productivity hacks but we are all different and some will be more useful to you than others.
I wouldn’t try and implement too many at once, I have had 18 months to perfect these and make them part of my routine.
Pick 2-3 tops and incorporate them into your daily routine and before you know it will become second nature.
Which productivity hacks will implement first?
Everyone asks me how do you get so much done.
I used to answer, I’m Wonder Woman!
We all know that’s not true, although it’s more exciting than the truth.
As there are a few simple rules I follow in order to get sh*t done and I stick to it.
I will share these simple rules, so that you can do it too.
Clean Your Desk
Seems too simple right?
However, it really works and you’ll thank me for it.
So no matter what time it is, clean your desk and get things in order.
By cleaning your desk you will be more organised and will feel more in control.
Make this part of your routine, clean your desk at the end of each day.
Having a set cut off time each day will help, give it a go for a week and see how much more productive you are.
I have been using this technique for several years and it is literally life changing.
You can download a timer to your smart phone but I use a traditional egg timer.
All you have to do is have a set work vs. Rest rate. I used 25 to 5, and then every fourth turn I take an extended break.
The great thing about having the short work time is that it keeps you focused and allows you to do small tasks in between to have a break. So I will write for 25 minutes and then put a wash on, then I will proofread and edit in the next stint followed by making a coffee.
I alternate between doing something for me and then something mundane, which is usually housework!
Not sure where to start with your big project? Start at the end and work backward from there.
By working out where you want to end up, it is much easier to reverse engineer the project step by step than to muddle through it.
By highlighting milestones that you will need to complete you can accurately plan projects with a timeline and step by step process for you and your team to follow.
Ever been completely focused on a task and then ping it’s gone.
An email pops up on your screen and you can’t help but take a look in your email.
Using a programme called Inbox Pause it’s a chrome extension (inboxpause.com) will put you in control and mean you will check your emails when it suits you.
In order to cover yourself for any urgent request which come via email you can set an auto responder which says something like:
‘Thanks for your email. I’ve paused my inbox so I won’t see your email for a while.
If this urgent please contact me on my mobile number 07985194801 for real emergencies and time-sensitive matters only.’
Set Calendar Appointments
This is by far my best technique for getting sh*t done.
By time blocking each week will mean you know exactly what you will be doing each week.
I also block off time for exercise, calling family, spending time with my daughter and date night.
If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.
Scrap to do lists, they are endless and unfulfillable.
By blocking off time you can see your capacity in a snapshot.
Say No More
This was the hardest technique for me to adapt.
As someone with an uncontrollable urge to help people it’s tough but it really helps with productivity.
By saying no more, you will be focused on exactly what you need to be, rather on what others want you to be on.
Think of saying no as you ‘preset’ switch, and in order for you to say yes it has to be a big deal!
Being selfish isn’t a bad thing, I don’t mean that you let people down. I mean you are just very selective with your time and you be less available to people.
So if someone wants to book a call, perhaps ask them to know exactly what the call is about. Perhaps it can be answered with a FAQ sheet or just a quick email reply.
Take Home Points
You might not find all of these techniques useful but I would say you need to give it chance to work.
So pick one to start with, perhaps the one you find easiest and follow it.
I would start with one technique at once, then you create it as a habit.
Which technique will you start with?