The 5 Pillars of Powerhouse Productivity
Once you become an online business owner, you quickly realize that there is too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all! You're just BUSY all the time! But, before we begin 1nto today's blog topic, we need to recognize that busy and productive are two completely different things. Busy, often does not lead to an end goal. If you've worked all day and then get to the end of the day and can't answer the question "How did this aid in my personal or professional growth and mission?" then you were probably busy...not productive. Productive has an end goal in sight and clear tasks laid out that support that goal.
So now that we have a clear understanding of the difference, let's see how we can work on increasing our productivity.
*this post may contain affiliate links...for more info, please see my full disclosure*
1. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking is NOT your friend. I get it, when you're multitasking, it makes you feel like a rock star. You're cooking, while Pinning, while conducting a client call...you're FANTASTIC! Umm...not so much! There have been so many research studies that prove that productive multitasking is a myth. I happen to be fond of the article from Health.com entitled 12 Reasons To Stop Multitasking NOW! As Guy Winch, PhD explains it,
"When it comes to attention and productivity, our brains have a finite amount,” he says. It’s like a pie chart, and whatever we’re working on is going to take up the majority of that pie. There’s not a lot left over for other things, with the exception of automatic behaviors like walking or chewing gum.” Moving back and forth between several tasks actually wastes productivity, he says, because your attention is expended on the act of switching gears—plus, you never get fully “in the zone” for either activity."
Yeah...not too appetizing of a pie after all is it? Simply take the time to focus on ONE THING at a time and you'll find that the quality of your work improves and the time it takes to complete that work decreases!
2. Batch Baby Batch!
Batching is completing several of the same types of tasks during the same time block and it's a fantastic habit for both your business and personal life. Each week, my husband and I create a meal plan for the following week then, on Friday nights, we head out to go food shopping. We then spend Sundays prepping out meals for the week. An average Sunday meal prep usually includes chicken in the crockpot, quinoa on the stovetop, blueberry protein muffins in the oven, filling up our reusable Keurig cups with coffee, and protein powder in snack size Ziploc baggies. Getting all of this done and out of the way BEFORE our morning/day/week gets busy makes for such an easier schedule.
The same goes for tasks for my Virtual Assistant clients. If I'm working on pinning for a client then I'll sit down and work on pinning for all of my clients. It takes much less bandwidth to shift my attention from one client Pinterest account to another than it would to shift my attention from one type of project to another.
Basically, once you're in the zone, stay in the zone!
3. Pomodoro O' How I Love You!
I should probably explain what the heck I'm talking about right??? Ok, so, there's this timer method that I've been using for years now but recently found out that it's got a fancy name: The Pomodoro Method. Here's the gist of it...you set a timer for 25 minutes and work on ONE THING for the allotted amount of time. I use this a lot for when I'm cleaning my house, I'll set the timer for 25 minutes and then work on cleaning my kitchen. If I find things in the kitchen that belong in other areas of the house then I'll pile them up and disburse them at the END of the 25 minutes but, while that timer is going, I am singularly focused on the kitchen! You would not believe how much you can get done when you're working on only one thing and trying to beat the clock!
After the timer goes off, take a short (5 min.) break then reset the timer for another 25 minutes and get to work! This is so beyond effective, I can't even tell you!
4. Automate, Automate...and...did I mention...Automate??!!
The more you can put on autopilot, the more time you create for working on the things that matter most! Let's take my client onboarding process as an example. When I have a new client, I have to send them a contract, invoice, questionnaire, and welcome packet. Before I had a great process, there was a lot of time spent typing info and emailing out forms. But now, I use an online Client Management Platform called, Dubsado. With Dubsado, I've created templates for my contracts, emails, packages etc.
Now, when I get a new client, all I do is create the invoice and load up the contract. The info for the contract auto fills from what I've entered in the invoice. And, once I email out the contract, it triggers a workflow that will automatically send the next thing and the one after that until the process is completed.
It's totally hands off and gives me back my time so that I can be servicing clients better.
So make sure you're checking out your processes and seeing where your time leaks are and what improvements might be made through automation. Oh! and one of the things I LOVE to do for my clients is help them improve their systems so, if you need help, let's chat!
5. Outsource Outside of Your Zone of Genius
Ok, level with me, you're not a genius at everything right? (stop lying!) Well neither am I! And neither are my clients! Which is why I've been talking to them a lot lately about working inside their zone of genius and outsourcing the things that are outside of that zone.
For example, I now have a team which includes an intern & 2 subcontractors. Within that team, one person is awesome at graphics, one person is fantastic at spreadsheets, and one person is a rockstar at tech projects. Now I CAN do all of that and still need to know how to. However, I'm great at project management. I love looking at the big picture, finding all of the parts to get it done and creating a plan. THAT'S my zone of genius! And so, when a client has a project I figure out the needs and assign tasks to my team based off of what I know they excel at!
And I'll tell you this, those projects then get done in less time and with excellent quality!
Live within your zone of genius and know when you need help! (shameless plug...*raises hand*...I can totally help!)
Well that's it for today friends! Comment below and let me know what productivity blocks you're currently facing. We can trouble shoot together!