Abagail here. If you twenty somethings are anything like me, you are constantly on the self-improvement train. You immerse yourself in self-help articles, download every new app claiming to improve productivity, and you find yourself swirling with ideas and never really knowing what the heck you accomplished.
Not only am I on a mission for self improvement (dude, even good can always get better), but I want to help you accomplish more in life in business. Consider it our personal agenda to have you crushing goals and taking names.
Now, I definitely don’t have it all figured out. But after the year we had (building a multiple six-figure company, growing our team from 2 to 11, and still managing to shut down my computer everyday at 5:00 p.m.), we think we may have mastered a few things.
Implement Healthy Habits
As much as I wanted to hold onto my paper notes, iPhone FULL of apps I didn’t use, and a consistently messy desk, I knew I needed to simplify. I said goodbye to SHIT. Yes, I said it: SHIT. I cleared the clutter both literally and figuratively. How can you get rid of what is bogging you down?
Donate clothes you don’t wear anymore - Pro tip: hang your clothes on the rod backwards, and once you wear them hang them normally. Go back in 3 months and see what you still haven’t worn once - immediately head to donate (unless it is completely out of season).
Eliminate items on your desk that don’t serve a purpose or inspire you to do more or be better.
Turn off all the damn notifications - you don’t need to know when someone emails, tweets, instagrams, facebooks, pinterests, etc. You just don’t, so turn ‘em off, all of them - on both your computer and phone.
Organize your computer - everything should have a place and if it doesn’t it, delete it. Your desktop should be cleared off at the end of every day. You will be shocked how much junk you are letting pile up.
Walk through your home (don’t be a crazy person) and start thinking about what you actually need to survive. You’d be shocked about what you are “storing” or letting “sit pretty” on a shelf that doesn’t serve a purpose. No, I am not knocking knick-knacks, I just prefer simplifying.
Ok, stop your judging. Yes I still own things I don’t need. It isn’t practical for me to live in a shoebox and have a swiss army knife with a built-in toothbrush. I still have plenty of things I don’t need, but I dedicated a couple days to eliminating as much as I could handle. And have plans to do it again in a couple of months.
Set Daily Affirmations
It sounds silly, but by writing these things down, miraculous things have happened. We’re talking record sales months, family members surviving stage-4 cancer, and watching Emylee get the call about adopting. For some people affirmations feel like lying, but for me, telling the universe what I want just seems to make it that much more likely to come true. Need ideas on what you could affirm? Here are a few of our favorites:
We’ll make $8k from this launch
We’re not going to have any tech difficulties on today’s workshop
We’re going to be productive and create valuable content today
We’re going to get 5 “yeses” from the email to influencers we send out today
Keep in mind these aren’t goals - these are just statements of truth. They may seem a little unorthodox, perhaps even a bit woo-woo, but just try it.
Write what you want on a piece of paper or in your Trello calendar and reference it often. Occasionally review your affirmations and see what has come to fruition.
Make Gratitude a Priority
Recently, Emylee and I both started writing a Daily Gratitude Statement. It simply lives like a card in Trello, much like our Affirmations, and we write about what we are thankful for. It may be a big win in business or it may be something small. But having this little slice of graciousness allows us to reflect on how far we’ve come.
I decided to take this a step further and go out of my way for others. Not because they particularly needed thanks, but just a happy word of encouragement. Every Monday before I can officially close out my day I write two letters to friends, family, or #TCCTribe members. Sometimes it’s “Happy Birthday”. Sometimes it’s “thanks so much”. Sometimes it’s simply “thinking of you”.
I don’t expect anything in return, but I figure it’s the smallest thing I could do and it only takes me a couple of minutes a week.
No, not a literal mirror. A figurative one. Do you like the woman you are becoming? Do you like the path your life is on? Is your business headed where you want to be headed?
If you don’t know yourself, like gut check, know, then how are you ever going to get to where you want to be? I encourage you to really spend some time thinking through what your personal mission is. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want to leave behind? What legacy would you want to live on after you?
Sometimes this can feel yucky. Sometimes we don’t like what we see. Babe, I have so been there. There are times in my life where I hated my work, my body, my lover, my life. So much so that I even wrestled with depression and considered suicide.
No, my life isn’t a walk in the park. But I am way more self aware than I used to be. When things start conflicting with my personal values in other parts of my life I know I need to reassess and see if I am still on the right path.
So now that we have done the physical decluttering (throwing away all the shit), metal decluttering (spending some time knowing what we really want), we finally have space for some biz chat. As much as I would love to chat business all the time, I realize you don’t just walk into a room and leave everything else on the other side of the door. We carry baggage with us EVERYWHERE and hopefully by implementing some healthy habits you feel a bit lighter now and have some room to give your business.
Emylee and I could literally chat systems all day long. They are our jam. They are our zone of genius.
In order to reach optimum productivity mode you need a central system in your business, a command center so to speak. For us, Trello has been the magical solution. First of all, the system is FREE and the program that we created to teach you how to use it is only $29 bucks. Winner winner, chicken dinner (and save me some dark meat).
Trim the Fat
Once you have a system in place it is super easy to start to see what is and isn’t working. Not to mention what you keep avoiding (because you loathe it) and what is just not your cup of tea (because you know someone else is better at it).
Trello allowed us to see the fat. The blubbery stuff that was either slowing us down, wasting our time, or costing us unnecessary money. And because we had a system, all of a sudden we could see “ok, well this isn’t adding any value so it can go” or “we definitely still need this, but let’s find someone to take over that chunk”.
In a matter of months our team went from just us, to 11 people. I know that can seem excessive, but we put people in place who we know are the bomb diggity at their one piece of the puzzle. They help us with everything from blog post formatting (ain’t nobody got time for that) and Facebook group moderating (keeping 6,000+ women - and a few dudes - in line is not a task for two people).
Identify what simply is bogging you down and what you potentially need to delegate. Then set some dang dates for when you are going to make that all happen. Ready? Go.
Know What You’re Working Towards
How do you know you’ve reached your destination without a destination in mind? You have to know what you are working towards. You have to set goals. You have to set dates. You have to hold yourself accountable.
I could go into lengthy detail about why it’s important, but instead I am asking you to trust me. Why? Because I’m awesome, and I know what the heck I am doing! Do you?
Have Monthly Check-ins
Team or not, once a month you need to have a meeting with yo’ self! Put it on the calendar. Reflect on what has and hasn’t worked. See where you can improve. Check your analytics and go over the numbers. Were you a hot mess and yet somehow profitable? Or were you distracted and let things slip?
Without a monthly meeting days slip into weeks and weeks slip into months. Before you know it a whole season has gone by and you were so busy doing the work you didn’t take the steps to improve what was already in place.
Automate Everything You Can
I was absolutely baffled with how I went through life before I started automating EVERYTHING. I was so busy, I didn’t even have time to realize just how busy I was. I was doing everything 5x slower than it needed to be done.
Because there wasn’t a system. There was no workflows. I didn’t have a checklist. And I sure as hell didn’t know what Zapier or IFTTT could do for my life.
I’m not asking you to change everything (yet), but what I am doing is asking you ever so kindly to consider what you could automate. Take, for instance, blogging. It has the same steps every time (your process may be different, but here was how I used to do it):
7:00 p.m. - shit, I haven’t written a blog post
8:00 p.m. - why am I still on Facebook, I need to write a blog post
9:00 p.m. - husband shouts from bedroom, “you coming to lay down honey?”
10:00 p.m. - outline and part of draft written
11:00 p.m. - need a snack
Midnight - ok, let’s format this thing
12:05 a.m. - WHY DID I NOT TAKE A PICTURE FOR THIS?!
12:15 a.m. - scour the internet for free images I could use for the blog image
1:30 a.m. - finally have it formatted
1:35 a.m. - schedule it to post at 5 a.m.
3:00 a.m. - still can’t sleep because I got myself so worked up about writing that dang blog post, and
Rinse and repeat
If this seems all too familiar, I promise there is a better way. You can:
Create a content calendar and know what you are writing weeks (or months in advance).
Have a system from outline to published that doesn’t make you want to pull your hair out.
Actually spend time with family and breathe knowing everything you planned is actually taken care of.
This may feel like a pipe dream. But I promise if you take steps to systematize it all, it can all get done!
A well laid plan is only just a plan until you mark that off as DONE! I am sure you have good intentions, we all do. But we get distracted. Life pulls our attention. Barking dogs wanting to eat dinner pull us away. We totally get it. Life happens, but you still need a plan. And you need a plan to fall back on should something happen.
We want you to know there is a better way. We want you to know you do not have to operate in a constant state of stressed out. Organized and productive is possible. Are you ready to have the best year ever?!
Babe, you can do this. And sometimes we know you just need a little extra nudge to get you there. We’re here to help you. Yes, you.
We created a totally free brand spankin’ new audio training and you can have it right now.
Inside you’re gonna figure out how to have your most productive year yet.
We’re sharing 3 no BS strategies that will give you the structure and the confidence to accomplish more than you ever have before in your business.
Because this is what you need to learn first. You can take all the topic specific courses your little heart desires, but they’re just going to sit there until you learn how to be productive.
Because you can learn it, babe.
So if you’re ready to say buh-bye to lackluster productivity and hello to freaking rockstar status then you need to get your hands on this free audio training right this second.