If you're anything like me, you struggle SO HARD trying to fit in everything you want to do or even have to do into every 24 hours. For me, this insatiable drive has hurt relationships, caused careless mistakes, left projects and emails unanswered and piled on mountains of anxiety. But being in the thick of all this myself, I am in a unique situation to offer you the solutions that I'm implementing.
1. Let other people do the work.
Hiring assistance is an integral part of your business, even if you haven't done it yet. "But I'm not making enough money!!" you say. Then how much money do you have to make to hire assistance? Could you cut back anywhere in your life? Could you try it for three months and put it on a credit card to see if you can scale to that level soon?
Every time I pay for help, I still cringe a little bit knowing it's work that I could be doing, work that I don't have to pay for. But you know what? My assistants are saving me a TON of time that I could be spending on something else.
Just because you could be doing something, it doesn't mean it's a good use of your time. If you absolutely cannot concede that hiring part-time contractors is worth it, check out tip #3 about templates. It's like hiring an assistant for a one-time only basis- so worth it, and so great.
Click the photo below to download a complete list of the tasks I've outsourced or plan to outsource.
2. Create a schedule.
Not just a daily schedule. A monthly and even yearly schedule. Recently, I'm adding a few calendars to my main Google Calendar. They are:
• Content Creation (for myself and others so I never miss a deadline and can stop feeling so behind on blog posts)
• Client Matters (so I know what's going on and when- don't worry clients, I also have a fancy docketing system that lets me know when deadlines with proper authorities are)
• Birthdays, Special Days and Anniversaries (so I can say 'hey' to my clients/friends on these special occasions)
• Client Consultations (because they were dominating my main calendar)
• Marketing (so I can know what I'm promoting and when, and what's coming up so I can finally stop overextending myself)
• Social Media (so if there's a certain thing that needs to be posted on a certain day, I'll know)
• Lunches (because building and maintaining friendships is very important to me, but let's be real, I can let these get out of control)
3. Buy templates.
You go to the store to buy food for dinner. You don't grow all your own vegetables and raise all your own meat. Why would you do the same thing in your business? Let the tomato farmers grow your tomatoes, let the chicken farmers harvest your eggs, let the truck drivers deliver your food to the store, let the stock boys put it out on display. Trying to do everything yourself is akin to growing, raising, harvesting, curing, canning, marketing, selling, shipping and stocking everything yourself. Exhausting, and not possible.
Contracts, websites, marketing materials, photos for instagram, you name it- someone has already done the hard work for you (and probably done it better than you could have if that's not your area of expertise). Save a lot of time and headache for the well-spent investment in a template (or five) for your business. So let the graphic designers design for you, the lawyers write contracts for you, the assistants assist you and the photographers photograph you.
4. Get organized.
I know you already do this- when you have a big deadline or client project, you clean up the house. Now it's time to get your own business stuff organized. The trick here is to actually do it and not just spend an hour in Target "getting the stuff you need to get organized." It's a fine line between the two.
Make a list of what you think would work, grab it, and go. And don't forget- this applies to electronic folders and documents too. Until recently, this was my organizing system:
• On April 1st, create a folder titled "March 2016"
• Select everything on your desktop and all the current downloads, and add them to this folder.
• Upload this to Dropbox and pour yourself a glass of wine.
While this worked...okay... it's not what I would recommend. For a long time, I resisted creating an intricate organizing system despite the fact that everywhere I've turned, every successful entrepreneur either has a great organizing system (like Amy Porterfield) or someone who organizes their stuff for them.
Figure out what works for you, and I'll give you a hint- in this digital age, it won't be a paper filing system.
5. Hit Inbox Zero.
Okay, okay, before you punch me in the face, know that I am not there yet either. I'm getting close though!! And, if you don't know what 'Inbox Zero' means, check out this post.
Hitting Inbox Zero will enable me to respond more quickly to emails and clients, as well as never miss something again (a problem that's plagued me up until this point).
Bonus tip: One of my business mentors, Bonnie, suggested I try 'snacking' on my emails throughout the day rather than saying "okay, I will do email for ONE WHOLE HOUR today," and it's been amazing!!