Do you get overwhelmed by all the “stuff” you need to do in your business… and trying to fit it into your daily schedule is frustrating?
If you’re like me, you’re trying to answer emails in between tasks at your 9-5, watch webinars on your lunch break and squeeze in client work any time you can…
It wasn’t too long ago that I was creating Facebook Ad graphics for a client at 2 am – only to wake up again the next morning and trudge back into the office – at a job I hated…
So how do you do it? How do you fit in everything you need to do in order to grow your business while still maintaining some semblance of sanity in the process?
- Automate as much as you can.
- Work in chunks of time (document how long certain tasks take you so you can know what you can take care of in 15 minutes or 1 hour)
- Be realistic with yourself & clients on how much you can do
Automate as much as you can:
Schedule social media posts: Facebook likes it when you use their native tools. Although there is software that schedules for you like Buffer, Hootsuite or Co-Schedule, it’s been proven that you get better reach (or results) by using Facebook’s own scheduling options. For Twitter, Buffer is a great resource. Tailwind is highly recommended for Pinterest. IG is great for sharing on multiple accounts! Inside of IG, you have the option to share on your Facebook page & your Twitter at the same time.
Client communication: Contact request form that leads to calendar that automatically books them into a time that works for both of you.
Recurring payments: Paypal has an option to set up recurring payments. Great for clients that you have on a monthly retainer.
Automatic backups: I personally use WordPress and Updraft Plus (free version) to automatically backup my website daily. For my computer, I use Carbonite. That way, if something goes wrong, I can be back up and running in less than a day!
Work in chunks of time:
When I was still in my corporate role, I found this to be the most challenging. When I got home from work, I wanted to do ALL THE THINGS for my business. This strategy just doesn’t work. Once I implemented theme days in my business, I gained a lot of traction and FAST.
There is ONE thing that should happen every day in your business – building relationships. This may look different for you than it does for me, but for me, my clients are mostly on Facebook. Each and every day, I take the time to communicate with someone on Facebook. Whether it’s checking in on an old client or reaching out to make new connections, this is time spent wisely that will pay off for years to come.
You may find that you can fit this in while still at your day job – while on the way to or from the office, while on your lunch break… any time that you would normally play a game on your phone or laugh at a YouTube video, spend that time connecting with people who can help your business grow. Typically, these people will fall into two categories: People who will hire you & people you can learn from. You’ll really hit the jackpot when you find the people who are both!
For theme days, this is what works for me:
- Monday – Client calls & planning / scheduling my week
- Tuesday – Client work
- Wednesday – Client work & learning (webinars, etc)
- Thursday – Client work & client calls
- Friday – Finance & learning (webinars, etc)
Daily tasks – client communication, check & answer email, social media networking.
One thing you can do that will help you manage your time better is to track how long each task will take you. We all have the tendency to either think something is going to be way easier than it actually is – or think it’s going to take much longer than it actually does.
By jotting down how long things take you, you’ll be better equipped to know exactly what you can fit into your schedule – even if you only have 15 minutes that day.
- Check email
- Respond to notifications on Social Media
- Outline a blog post or email
- Check Facebook ad stats
- Write a thank you note
- Review your website
- Tweak your offers
Typical tasks you can take care of in 1 hour:
- Write a blog post or email
- Client work
- Outline your next webinar
- Schedule your social media posts
- Create an opt-in or worksheet
- Record a video
- Outline an email sequence
- Create an intake form & connect your calendar
- Outline a sales page
- Design an opt-in page
- Create a Facebook ad
Typical tasks you can take care of in 2 hours:
- Record your webinar
- Write an email sequence
- Write a sales page
- Client work
By knowing exactly what you are capable of in any given amount of time, you are creating freedom in your business. What would it be like to know that even if you only have 15 minutes today and an hour tomorrow to work on your business, you are taking steps every single day to move your business forward and reach your goals.
Nearly every single successful entrepreneur I know started their business as a “side hustle”, including myself. It takes discipline and grit to keep moving forward – even if it’s only 15 minutes at a time. You’ll look back and realize that all of those 15 minute stretches – those one hour pockets of time and those Saturday afternoons start to add up!
The worst thing you can do is fall into the trap that so many coaches are trying to sell you on – that you can create the business of your dreams in 15 minutes a day… That’s an unrealistic dream.
The reality is that anyone you see who is successful in their business has had to go the extra mile – fitting their new business in between their regular work, family time, vacations and more. This isn’t for everyone. Entrepreneurship isn’t for lazy people who want a quick buck. Without the drive and discipline to stick with it and do what you can when you can, you’ll be sure to fail. By having a plan and sticking to it, you’re already miles ahead of everyone else who is just getting started.
I always like to keep this quote in mind when I’m sitting down to work on (or in) my business:
“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferris
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a good portion of your career being “busy” but not necessarily productive. What’s the difference? They both look the same, right? Being busy is just that. You’re “busy”… But being productive means you actually have something to show for your time spent.
“Busy” is organizing your inbox for the third time this week. Productive is sending 3 emails to people you would like to connect with.
“Busy” is scrolling through your Facebook feed, hoping to magically find a client. Productive is actively searching in Facebook groups for people who are looking for help right now.
“Busy” is reading 10 blog posts hoping to find inspiration for your own blog post. Productive is creating an outline for your next blog post.
“Busy” is watching a webinar by someone in your same niche (and comparing yourself to them). Productive is watching a webinar by a coach or mentor who can help you get to the next step in your own business.
Busy is a trap. Don’t fall for it. Whatever you do, try your best to spend the time you’re working on or in your business on being productive.