If you're a wellness professional who is working on building your business, you probably feel less than productive some days. I've been there too, believe me! You graduated from your health coach training program, and BAM – you're a business owner. As a health coach, you don't have a boss telling you what to do and when it should be done. It can be liberating and intimidating at the same time.
The conversation about productivity came up in my Facebook group recently, so I decided to reach out to a few of my friends and colleagues to have them share their #1 tip that helps them get more accomplished each day.
Read each post and see which one (or two) you can implement to help boost your productivity.
Take action on one or more of the tips today, and let me know how it goes.
Have a favorite productivity tip you'd like to share? Feel free to share it in the comments.
Ask the question, “Is this the most important thing I can be working on right now to grow my business?”
The number one thing that helps me be more productive is prioritizing what needs to be done, making a plan and then delegating tasks as needed.
It’s too easy to feel busy but not productive, so when I figure out the most important things I can work on right now to reach my goals, I know where to focus my time and energy. Prioritizing is key, so you can focus on what will move your business forward. One important question I ask myself from time to time is, “Is this the most important thing I can be working on right now to grow my business?”
Once you know your priorities for the week, month or quarter, you can then make a plan and decide what you can delegate. For example, one of my upcoming goals is to do a webinar, so that’s one of my priorities. Once I have the webinar outlined, I will outsource the creation of the slide deck because I know people who can do it much better and quicker than I can.
My planning system of choice is Trello, so I have everything in one place for all of my projects.
Assign a Limited Amount of Time to Tasks
This one is easy for me. The one strategy that helps me be more productive in my business is assigning a limited amount of time to tasks.
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. So if I give myself a day to complete a task – it will take a day to complete. But if I only give myself two hours – I will find a way to get it done in that shorter amount of time. I’ve started working in short bursts of an hour or two and I find I can get so much done in that short amount of time when I focus.
Don’t give yourself a day to complete a task when it can be done in an hour.
Do a Complete Brain Dump
My favorite strategy is one that I keep for “in case of emergency” situations, when I feel overwhelmed with too much to do, and unsure where to focus. Despite my other planning, this happens every few months, so here's how I deal with it. Get a clean sheet of paper and do a complete brain dump of ALL the to-dos, projects, everything in your brain that you want to do (for work and personal life.) I do this as a mind-map making categories like ‘marketing', ‘admin', ‘website', ‘home' etc. But you can also do it as a list. Then, step away for at least 10 minutes – the most effective is to get outside into sunshine and nature. Clear your brain. Then come back in and review the list, picking out the tasks that are going to ‘move the needle' the most in your business/life. Just focus on those first.
I find this extremely helpful to get all of the ‘clutter' out of my brain, so I can get perspective and focus on my most important work.
One Task at a Time
I think I’ve finally perfected a process that works for me so I am super productive each week. Every Sunday I do a brain dump of everything that needs to get done. I add that to any outstanding items from my task list from the previous week. Once the list is complete I prioritize and choose the tasks that I’ll be working on in the upcoming week (usually 3-5 total).
Once the task list is finalized I assign specific days that I’ll work on those items. Depending on other commitments I have, I’ll clear blocks of time on my calendar each day to work on those items.
The key to this process is to dismiss any of the remaining items on the list out of my mind so I can fully concentrate on the prioritized items.
Lastly, I only work on ONE task at a time. I never try to multitask. It’s much more efficient and things always get done more quickly.
Use an Online Calendar
One strategy that helps me to be more productive in my business is using an online calendar system.
I love using ScheduleOnce (now under OnceHub) to allow clients to book Power Hour paid consultations or Connection Calls with my peers. I work in blocks of time (that's another great strategy!) and have standing times on my calendar when clients and peers can book time with me and it links to my Google calendar.
Whenever I update an event on my Google calendar, it automatically makes the same adjustment on my ScheduleOnce calendar. It's so freeing – both in time and mental energy – because I don't have to go back and forth to schedule calls.
Wake Up Early
Waking up early has, by far, made the biggest difference in my own productivity. Being a morning person isn’t something that comes naturally to me, but getting an early start has really improved my productivity.
As a mom and an entrepreneur, there isn’t much uninterrupted time, except for before everyone wakes up or after everyone goes to sleep. But to be honest, although I favored working at night for a long time, I feel clearer and more efficient when I start my work before everyone wakes up. I find I can do more in less time and it keeps me focused and much calmer throughout the day.
Knowing that I’ve got at least 2 hours of uninterrupted time to start my day right and get some work done has been the best change I’ve made to my workdays (weekends included). Checking stuff off my list early helps me feel balanced so that I can be a better mom and boss as a result.
The Triple A's
It happens to the best of us… and it doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new business owner or a seasoned professional. Your to-do list has piled up, and you all of a sudden have 5,209,204 things that you wanted to get done YESTERDAY.
You don’t know where to start. Some of the things on your list are GIANT projects that seem daunting. And then there are other things you don’t even know how to do.
Cue the stress and anxiety!
Besides the fact that you’re not alone and we ALL feel like this sometimes, one of my FAVORITE productivity tips is to remember the Triple A’s.
You can’t get it all done… right now. In fact, you’ll lose your mind if you try. But you can get ONE thing done right now.
So, here’s my tip: Take your 5 pages of to-do lists, and find the ONE thing that will make the biggest difference. This is the one thing, that if you ONLY got this one thing done today, you’d feel happy about your progress.
Then, do this thing FIRST.
Even if (especially if) you don’t know where to start. Take that one step forward. That one step will lead to another. And you know what?
Action. Alleviates. Anxiety.
If it’s a big project, set realistic expectations. Break it up into bite-sized pieces, and check one off your list each day. Then, the rest of the day is gravy!
So, in a nutshell, take your giant to-do list. Find your ONE most important thing. Forget about everything else on your list. And do that one thing first.
Systems & Schedules
I live and work by my systems and schedules! These are the only answer to running my online business, in general, but certainly in terms of being truly productive – and not just busy 😉
And not just for the day-to-day stuff either, but for getting through the big tasks and projects as well. For example, I use an editorial calendar to organize and schedule out all of my content several weeks ahead of time, including my blog posts. I also use a scheduling app for all of my social media posts – again, usually several weeks ahead of time. I used to do it all manually, day in and day out, and it was the biggest time suck! Not to mention terribly inefficient and pretty much doubled my workload because I couldn’t stay organized.
As for systems – I simply can’t live without Trello and Google Docs for literally everything to organize and keep track of my business. So, there you have – implementing systems + schedules = surefire strategy!
I hope you found these tips helpful.
I love how each expert shared something different that helps them get more accomplished. We each need to find what works for us, so we can make it a habit we can easily incorporate and live with long term. Wow, that sounds a lot like advice we would give to our health coaching clients too.
Here's to more productive and stress-free days!
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