Organization & Productivity, Trello, Time Mangement

What To Do When Time Blocking Doesn't Work for You

Emylee here. We get asked about time blocking by other creatives quite often. Do we use it in our business? How do we set it up? The truth is: we hate time blocking. It never worked for our brains, and we kind of thought part of us was broken. We thought it was time blocking or bust, and that if we didn’t time block we must be scattered and fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants type of workers. Well, we don’t really fall into that category either, so what does that mean?

Emylee here. We get asked about time blocking by other creatives quite often. Do we use it in our business? How do we set it up? The truth is: we hate time blocking. It never worked for our brains, and we kind of thought part of us was broken. We thought it was time blocking or bust, and that if we didn’t time block we must be scattered and fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants type of workers. Well, we don’t really fall into that category either, so what does that mean?  |  Think Creative Collective

When we created the boards and workflow that we show you inside Trello for Business we like to think of them as a unique marriage of time blocking + organic productivity. Because if you’re anything like us it’s hard for you to commit to specific task days. For example, if we set Monday as writing days and Monday comes and we’re not in writing mode it ain’t happening.

We very much look at the big picture, lay it out in easy to get done chunks, and check off as we go. It doesn’t mean there’s still not structure to our days and weeks, it just looks different. So when some more questions about time blocking came up in our group the other day we found ourselves explaining it like “well, we don’t time block, but we do organize our tasks”. So how is it different? How, if time blocking is something that just doesn’t work for you, can you still be productive?

First, give yourself some grace, you’re not broken. Just because you can’t work in time blocking chunks doesn’t make you unproductive. It doesn’t mean you can’t get just as much done in an organized way. You just need to reframe your thinking. 

It's definitely helped me assign due dates to aaaaaall my ideas and tasks to actually get shit done. And, breathe :-) My life was cluttered in lists and ideas that kept floating around in my head, they are now getting the pretty little card and deadline they deserve. And I get to exercise, have my nails done, and smell the roses while getting more done. 
- Marie

Secondly, the way that we show you how to use Trello inside our program Trello for Business is truly a new way to look at getting your to-do list done. It’s not time blocking, and it’s not scattered either. Let us break it down for you.

  1. Brainstorm all the ideas

  2. Map out the big picture

  3. Pull out projects that can happen next

  4. Get to the nitty gritty

  5. Set dates

  6. Go week by week, day by day

Here’s the thing. A creative’s brain never stops. A small business owner’s brain never stops. So we think that something as rigid as time blocking has to be the answer to our problems. But that rigidity is sometimes, well, too rigid. It doesn’t allow for creative freedom and whitespace. It doesn’t leave room for your mood or your life.

By starting with the brainstorm you’re able to get all those hairbrained ideas out of your head and into the physical space (hello, good juju). Just by getting those out into the world you’ll be able to sleep better tonight, we guarantee it (#NotADoctor).

Once you see all those wild ideas, you can now begin to ask yourself which ones can happen now. Which ones seem the most fun, the most rewarding (financially and soulfully) and which ones are in my wheelhouse to get done now? Moving things out of the “would be nice” list to the “okay, let’s make this happen” list really reigns in your focus.

So once we’ve pulled out the projects that can happen now we like to go into launch mode. You might need to reframe your head around the word “launch” at this point. You can “launch” your blog even if you already have a website. You can “launch” a course or a coffee mug. You can “launch” a Facebook group or a social media marketing strategy.

So let’s go into launch mode for 2-3 things. No more. Do not stockpile your launch pad with all your dreamy to-dos. Let’s tackle just a few at a time.

Okay so say we’ve got three things in launch mode. Maybe you’re going to launch:

  • A blog (on your pre existing website)

  • A better (or actual) Instagram strategy

  • An line of coffee mugs

Each of these would live as their own launch with their own tasks. You want to now break down all the nitty gritty details and steps it’s going to take to make these things happen. Some example steps for launching a blog might look like this:

  • Decide if you can add a blog onto your current website

  • Design what the blog page looks like

  • Decide on how often new content is coming out

  • Poll audience or ask questions to figure out a blog niche

  • Decide if you’re going to offer content upgrades to posts

  • Research how to add content upgrades to posts

  • Brainstorm ideas on what to write

  • Outline or write X blog posts (depending on how often you’re putting new content out)

  • Decide what your blog graphic should look like

  • Design blog graphic

  • Format blog post

  • Create social media workflow for posting new content

There are details we’re missing for sure, but this gives you a good idea as to how detailed you should be getting in this step. Now, here’s the most important part of the entire process.

Assign dates to each and every task. 

This right here is the make it or break it factor. This is the difference between “I’m thinking about it” and “I’m doing it”.

Inside Trello for Business we walk you through exactly how we do this in our own business for tasks like blogging or product launching. We’ve got the workflows built right in for you so you don’t even need to think about those aspects . Then it’s as simple as looking at your calendar and moving the current week’s pieces to, well, your current week.

So come any day during that week, you’re only looking at the tasks that need to be tackled that week. Your big picture plan is on an entirely other board so your little biz brain won’t get distracted.

Can you see how this is semi-time blocking, but not? It’s like task blocking. With freedom. Because now that you’re just looking at your 5-day (or whatever-day) workweek, you can move around tasks as your mood or life sees fit.

Realistically you’d have other tasks in your week, like client work, other content creation, and steps of your other launches (like the Instagram strategy and coffee mug collection). But at one glance you see if Tuesday would be a great day for brainstorming blog ideas of if you can can swap it with a task from Thursday instead. You aren’t harming the flow because you have all week to get it done. Just don’t not do things, silly.

With this method you’ll be checking off things like hotcakes, because you are giving yourself the space to breathe. You’re working on multiple launch tasks so you don’t get bored. You’re tackling the bigger picture steps that make a launch successful into tiny doable chunks.

To find out more about what Trello for Business has to offer, be sure to head over here.


Already in love with Trello (we get it, we are too)? We’ve got some shortcuts you might not know about. Want them for free? Okay!

22 Time Saving Keyboard Shortcuts

We’ve put together our top 22 keyboard shortcuts for Trello and Mac users. What the what?! And we’ve conveniently put it in a PDF so you can print it out and reference it anytime you want. Genius, I know. You can thank us later.


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Entrepreneur, Time Mangement

How to Take Time Off without Running Your Business into the Ground

As creatives, we have a hard time taking time off. We compare our work days to those of the people we see online and think we should be working when everyone else is. But the truth is, we need rest and time off in order to create space for more creativity. We need to allow ourselves rest so we can better serve our clients and customers. In fact, this time off will give your mind a break from the stress and will allow you to grow your own creativity.

As creatives, we have a hard time taking time off. We compare our work days to those of the people we see online and think we should be working when everyone else is. But the truth is, we need rest and time off in order to create space for more creativity. We need to allow ourselves rest so we can better serve our clients and customers. In fact, this time off will give your mind a break from the stress and will allow you to grow your own creativity.  |  Think Creative Collective

Today, we are going to talk about why taking time off is important for you and your business. In addition, we will discuss how rest can help boost creativity, when to take time off, how to make time for time off, and how to mentally prepare so you won't feel guilty during your time off!

All of these skills will, in fact, make you a better business owner!

Let’s talk about what is NOT true about taking rest and time off. Do you believe these myths about taking time off?

  • Taking time off is a sign of weakness.
  • Taking time off will cause your business to fail.
  • Taking time off is for everyone else, but not for you.
  • Taking time off is a 20-minute lunch break.
  • Taking time off still includes checking email.
  • Taking time off will happen once I make that sale, I book that client, etc...

None of those things are true, friends.

We spend so much time making excuses for why we can’t take time off. We think of all the reasons we don’t deserve it. We care so much about our businesses that we run ourselves into the ground. We get burnt out. But we convince ourselves that we just have to keep working hard. Not so, friend. Here’s the thing: I give you permission to take time off. To let go. To not check your email for 48 hours (gasp!).

Taking time off and giving yourself rest is good for your business.

It allows you to be alert. It gives you space to do things that you love so that when you come back to your desk, you want to be there. It helps you get perspective and see things clearly. When you give yourself space and time away from your business, you actually become a better business owner. And when you are rested, feeling alive, and creatively inspired, you serve your clients better! You produce better content and you can be more productive. If you don’t believe me, read this. I promise it’s the truth.

Is one of your goals to increase productivity, or grow your business, or become more business savvy? Great. Now take some time off.

Taking time off will boost your creativity.

When you allow yourself to change your surroundings and take time to look at something with a different perspective or from a different vantage point, your creativity will blossom. You cannot just sit at your desk and force yourself to come up with a super creative idea. Has that ever worked for you? If so, you’re superhuman. For the rest of us, it doesn’t work. We need to go for a walk, or see a movie, or talk to a friend, or read a book. We often need to experience the creativity of others in order to find some sense of inspiration. We need space. We need time off.

So, when is the best time to take time off?

I suggest taking time off on a regular and needs-based basis. Here’s what I mean by this: have daily, weekly, and monthly “time-off”. For me, this means daily afternoon walks, weekly date nights with my husband (with no phone), and trying to leave town about once a month. Now, I will admit, I don’t always do the best job of leaving work at home when we leave town for a weekend. But hey, nobody’s perfect, right?

In addition to creating a lifestyle that allows for time off, I also create a mindset that welcomes time off. There are those days, or weeks, or months that are just tough. We get hit with thing after thing. We feel depleted, but we keep adding to the to-do list. This is when I suggest you take some time off! It could just be an hour to go to the gym, or a two-hour date night. Whatever it may be, when things get tough and overwhelming, give yourself a break. This is the opposite of what people will tell you, right? People say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”, right? Wrong. Let that little body of yours have some time off. It’s worth it, I promise. You’ll come back even tougher.

It is also important to make sure you’re mentally prepared for time off.

If you take time off, but you feel guilty the entire time, then are you really taking time off? Nope. Let’s talk about how you can prepare for time away from your business. I’ll make it easy! Here’s a checklist for how to mentally prepare for taking time off:

  • Schedule it in, so you expect it.
  • Write down what you’re excited to do during your time off.
  • SAY OUT LOUD that you’re entitled to take time off.
  • Set an automatic email responder.
  • Tell your audience that you’re gone! This will keep you accountable AND they won’t expect as much from you.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Write a list of what you will do during your time off.
  • Be. At. Peace, yo.

Above all, you need to remember that you are worth taking care of. And rest is vital for your success as an individual and as a business owner. You will work smarter if you allow yourself the space to rest. So, tell me: how will you make time for taking time off this year? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to cheer you on in your restful endeavors. Take it easy, babe.  



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Entrepreneur, Time Mangement

9 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Digital Nomad

Guest post by Sarah Laurence, Sarah Evelyn Edits

A few days ago while sitting on a train, I listened in on (I know I’m not the only one, am I right?) a group of girls talking about their career plans. One of them, bless her optimistic heart, was becoming a graphic designer so she could travel to Thailand, and “I’d only need to find about four hours a day to work – it should be easy enough”. 

It’s the dream, isn’t it? You’ve seen the Shutterstock images. In our imaginations, solopreneurship is synonymous with a white-sand beach and turquoise waves lapping gently at your feet. You (the best and most fabulous version of yourself, of course) sit in a deckchair with your laptop, and a fabulous, umbrella-attired cocktail at your fingertips…

“Oh, honey,” I thought, feeling jaded and cynical and… old. I wish I had felt happier for her, and generally I would have (and do now!), but I was exhausted. While listening to her, I was using our 30-minute train ride to frantically reply to emails and get some work done before rushing on to the next thing. 

A few days ago, while sitting on a train, I listened in on (I know I’m not the only one, right?) a group of girls talking about their career plans. One of them, bless her optimistic heart, was becoming a graphic designer so she could travel to Thailand, and “I’d only need to find about four hours a day to work – it should be easy enough”.   It’s the dream, isn’t it? You’ve seen the Shutterstock images. In our imaginations, solopreneurship is synonymous with a white-sand beach and turquoise waves lapping gently at your feet. You (the best and most fabulous version of yourself, of course) sit in a deckchair with your laptop, and a fabulous, umbrella-attired cocktail at your fingertips…  “Oh, honey,” I thought, feeling jaded and cynical and… old. I wish I had felt happier for her, and generally I would have (and do now!), but I was exhausted. While listening to her, I was using our 30-minute train ride to frantically reply to emails and get some work done before rushing on to the next thing.  | Think Creative Collective

For the last four months I’ve been living her dream – traveling full time while working too. Although it’s been an amazing experience, holding it all together has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. Now, tapping away on a marble-topped table in a fabulous West London restaurant, flat white beside me and obligatory Instagram-worthy pic in my phone, I’m a lot less harried, and a lot prouder of and hopeful for my young sister-boss on the train. It is possible, and I know that both she and I can do it!

Looking back at the last few months I don’t think I would have changed a thing, but I’ve learned so much for the next steps. 

These are the nine things I’ve learned (that I wish someone had told me before I started): 

1. You need a base

My husband and I sold our house and our cars and left on our trip with two suitcases (fine – four suitcases!) not knowing where we would end up. We still don’t know where we’ll be in the next few months, but we feel more settled now. Leaving on a trip of a lifetime while moving countries and trying to work full time as well was hard. Luckily, we’ll always be welcome at our parents’ homes and our friends have housed, fed and watered us more generously than we could ever have hoped, but we’re craving a base. An address. 

It’s easier to leave everything if you’ve got something to come home to – or a place to call home. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a place of your own that you rent out or a room at mom and dad’s, it’s helpful to have a forwarding address. 

2. Have a routine…

I find it easier to work hard in the mornings. If I don’t, I tend to worry unduly about all the could-be monsters in my unchecked inbox(es). If I’ve cleared them out, however, and got some routine work under my belt, I feel a lot better about going out to explore for the rest of the day. 

3…But be flexible

Whether you prefer to work in the morning, afternoon or late at night, traveling full time means that this won’t always be possible. You’ll have flights, trains, and non-compliant Wi-Fi to deal with, and experiences (like a hot-air balloon ride at dawn over Napa Valley) that you won’t want to miss out on. 

With a basic routine in place you’ll be able to plan your time and your work, while allowing space for changes and adventures. For me those times always felt special – a flight is a chance to watch a movie instead of turning on my computer, and special plans practically invite a strategic day (or morning at least) off. 

4. Slow, slow, quick

For the first two months of our travels, we moved almost every day. Traveling around the U.S.A. and trying to see as much as possible meant spending one, usually two, or – at the most – three nights in a city or destination before moving on. This can be fun, and it can be necessary, but it is always exhausting! Even without any work to do it was unsustainable, and I started to feel guilty – if I was working, I felt bad for not sightseeing or resting, if we went out for the day I felt exhausted and terrible that I hadn’t worked, and if I ever laid down to rest my mind exploded – how could I dare rest during a trip where there was so much to see and so much to do! 

Luckily it all worked out and we left having seen SO much and having done a fair bit of productive work too. But after that we had to take a few weeks verrrry sloowwwly. Sleeping, eating, working and spending time with family became our new routine. In a few weeks we’ll be off again, for a lightening quick trip to see some of the Mediterranean’s best spots. And then we’ll retreat somewhere to have a base (for a few weeks at least); we’ll find a local coffee shop and spend time with friends or family. 

Just like a dance: Slow, slow, quick. Slow, slow, quick. 

5. Delegate your work

If you can systemize or delegate some of your work, do. 

(I highly suggest you read this TCC guest post on how to Manage Mischief your work on vacation – it’s brilliant!).  

I work with a virtual assistant who keeps me accountable (but understands when I’m not at my best or don’t meet a deadline). It means that as well as handing over a large amount of my administration and routine tasks I also have to take a systemized, strategic approach to work – setting goals for the week, working towards specific, brand-growing goals, and working with each other. This connection has proven to be very important to me, and brings me to…

6. Stay in touch

As much as I’ve found it difficult not to have a base while traveling, what has grounded me far better than a key or an address is staying in really close touch with a handful of friends and family back home in addition to visiting the friends and family we are lucky to have around the world. 

My people know me well – they know when I’m not feeling so well, or when I’m missing home, or when I’m super excited because I’m having an amazing time. Sometimes it’s easier not to pick up the phone – you’re busy, there are time differences to take account of, you may feel that they can’t understand where you are or what you’re doing. But picking up the phone and having a cup of tea (or bottle glass of wine with a close friend or my mom or dad) has always left me feeling more grounded and centered than before. 

Home is not always a place. Sometimes, it’s the people with whom you share your life (even from far away). 


7. Compartmentalize your life (and practice mindfulness)

As I’ve already said, I spent quite a lot of our most busy travel time feeling guilty. Ultimately, it could be pointless to eat at a Michelin starred restaurant or hike the red rocks of Arizona or fly over the Gulf of Mexico if you’re worried about an email from a client, a bad review, or something that could happen… but hasn’t yet. 

I’m still working on it, but I’m trying my best to really enjoy every single moment for what it is. If I’m sitting outside on a (uncharacteristically) warm English summer’s evening with family, watching my husband chat to my Grandpa, seeing something fabulous for the first time, or indulging in a beautifully-crafted cocktail, I’m trying to be really mindful of the moment, and the experience. I don’t only want to enjoy our trip through memories and photos – I want to enjoy it at the time too. 

8. Plan your goals

That said, as a digital nomad you do need to work, and (I’m assuming) you need to earn an income. Use a system (such as the brilliant Trello for Business!) to plan out your big strategic goals and break these up into smaller, actionable steps that you can achieve to get your work done. 

This not only takes out much of the stress of working on the move, but also helps to ensure that you’re not wasting your time. You don’t have a 40-hour week while traveling, so don’t waste precious working hours on things you don’t really need to be doing. 

9. Have fun! (Remember your why)

Why are you traveling? Chances are, you’re not trying to get rich quickly, or change the world while you travel. If you’re anything like me, you’re traveling because it can be one of the most valuable experiences in which you’ll ever invest – and you need to make a living at the same time. It’s ok if you’re business grows a little slower than you’d like because you spent an hour this morning lying under the Eiffel Tower (and even longer picking out macaroon flavors at Ladurée). If you take two days to reply to your emails because you had an aborted train trip from Chicago to Washington D.C. and were turned around at Indianapolis, then chalk it up to a fantastic experience that you’ll never forget. 

Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and that while you can do anything you want to, you can’t (and don’t have to) do it all at once. So have fun – it’s a journey!


About the Author

Sarah is a writer and online education consultant who owns a blog-editing and SEO start up, Sarah Evelyn Edits. Their mission is to spread love and add value to online businesses by perfecting copy and improving SEO through a fuss-free retainer system. 

Sarah Laurence, Sarah Evelyn Edits Instagram | Facebook


Think Creative Collective was one of her first clients, and Abagail and Emylee say: 

“Sarah has been such an incredible addition to our team. We previously handled ALL writing/editing, etc. and it got to the point where we were letting things that were less than stellar head out the door. Sarah swooped in and saved the day. She got us to stop flying so much by the seat of our pants and schedule writing in advance. This not only has allowed us to be better writers from the get go, but adds time to get valuable feedback from Sarah. She is now a crucial part of our everyday process. Highly recommend!”

Would you like a 30 days of free editing and SEO for your blog? No card details, and no strings attached. We’d love to connect with you! Please write to us here or email Sarah at sarah@sarahevelyn.co.za


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freelance to full-time, to do list, Time Mangement

Less of This and More of That: Where You SHOULD Be Spending Your Time as a Single Business Owner

As a small business owner you know the struggle is real! Where do you spend your time? How do you manage to get it all done? Stop wasting your time and start spending time investing in yourself and your business. But what does that look like exactly?

Less of This and More of That: Where You SHOULD Be Spending Your Time as a Single Business Owner  |  Think Creative

Over the last several years, I have watched many businesses succeed and many fail. When I decided to jump in headfirst and run my business full time in April, I knew there was going to be some ups and downs. Along the way I have learned from many who have made mistakes before me and  I have learned many more for myself.

Less of This

Spend less time here and reallocate this time to what you really ought to focus on.

Scheduling Nightmares

Stop telling people you are always available. Pick a couple days a week you will take appointments and keep those consistent. When someone asks “what time should we meet?” Don’t just say I am available whenever, throw out 2-4 times that are ideal for you. Schedule your time with others during what would normally be your less productive time anyway. Perhaps, you are a power woman in the morning. Never schedule yourself away when you could be getting more done during that time anyway.

Multitasking

You have 50 tabs open and your desktop is a mess. Yes, both the physical one sitting in front of you and your computer screen. Take 5 minutes and pick it up. Even if it means dumping your 100 things on your desktop into a folder called “Organize Later”. Breathe. And then (re)focus. Do one thing at a time. Do it until you are completely finished or at a stopping point before tempting yourself with a new task. Here is another one of my tricks to getting it all done

Time on Your Email

There is no reason it needs to be open all day. And you definitely don’t need alerts on your phone, iPad, computer desktop and actual email. Every time my phone used to ding my heart rate would go up. It was flat out stressing me out. Now, I have throttled back on my email. I check it when I am ready to actually spend time on it. I decided to not look at or answer emails outside of "my" business hours and stopped reading them while laying in bed. This not only trains my clients to know I am only limited in availability, but I have a much greater peace of mind about what I'm doing. It can always wait. Also, here is how I use Inbox by Gmail to stay organized. 

Attached To Your Computer or Mobile Device

Do not spend 8, 10, 12+ hours a day strapped to a monitor. Get out of your home office. Take a walk. Go for coffee (by yourself, with a friend or even a client). In a normal work environment you would have natural distractions like water cooler talk, meetings and lunches out. When you work from home you tend to lose track of days. Get out of your house at least once a day. Get off your computer at least once an hour, even if it is for just a minute. Sometimes I have to beg my husband who works the corporate job and just wants to relax at home in the evening to go out on a work night. 

Stress

If work is stressing you out, you need to stop and reassess. You are running your own business. There is no reason you shouldn’t be loving what you are doing 90% of the time, if not more. If there is something eating at you, how can you make it less stressful? How could you make that not a part of your daily routine?

Neglect Your Health

Please don’t do this. I personally ignored the signs and have now forced myself into a self-inflicted shoulder injury from working on the computer too much without proper posture. Simple things like sitting too much or with the wrong chair height in the wrong position can cause pain. This shoulder injury that I ignored for 6-weeks has landed me in a months worth of physical therapy. Take care of yourself. You only have one you.

Apologizing

Are you constantly telling people sorry, when really you didn’t do anything wrong? We have a tendency to apologize for work taking longer than expected, not replying instantaneously to emails and letting life happen to us. There is no need to apologize all the time. If you legitimately did something wrong, fine, but I am guessing 9 out of 10 times you say sorry there is no fault to be had.

Fake Work

Are you forcing yourself to be in your “office” when you can’t really focus or you aren’t really motivated? Don’t just sit there and do “work” just to work. (Re)energize and be ready to work before you force yourself to sit down to do it. You are wasting precious time otherwise.

Block Opportunities

When other parts of life or business weigh us down, we tend to put out a negative energy. People don’t really care to spend time with people who are sad, negative or constantly feeling sorry for themselves. The more we put ourself out there as confident, savvy and creative, the more opportunities naturally come our way. You quite possibly are the only thing standing in your way from success. Here are some options to help you feel like you are running a more legitimate business

Saying Yes (to the wrong things)

The opposite can be true; perhaps opportunities knock on our door every day. Quit saying yes to everything. You might be coming across as “easy” or “always willing.” Only commit to opportunities that truly are mutually beneficial.

Will this:

  • Help you advance your career
  • Give you different leadership skills or experiences
  • Educate you on a new topic (that will actually be useful later)
  • Fill up your soul

If you didn’t answer yes to those questions. Really ask yourself “why am I doing this?” If you don’t have a good enough answer – just say “no thank you.” And move on.

Work You Hate

Much like work that stresses you out, you shouldn’t be spending your time on work you “hate.” If you dread the project, it either needs to go or you need to delegate it to a responsible person with follow through who enjoys doing that type of work. Maybe this is your opportunity to find a trustworthy contractor. 

Skipping Vacations

You have to take breaks. Perhaps even more frequently than when you were in the 9-5. Your mind is going 24/7 whether you are at your desk or not. Don’t make excuses. Plan a trip. Plan a stay-cation. Even if all it means is you are away from email and a computer for 2 extra days!

Focus on the Numbers

Quit focusing on the numbers. Sure growth is a major factor, but the particular number of followers, email subscribers or even the price of your products or services don’t really matter. They don’t define you. They don’t say how much you are worth. Followers ain’t nothing but a number. My good friend Emylee even wrote a recent post about how pricing has nothing to do with numbers.

More of That

Spend more time here on what is truly important.

Eat Cake for Breakfast

Ok, I don’t mean literal cake. Not that I haven’t actually done this before. What I mean is spend more time splurging on you. Spend more time doing what you love. Be spontaneous. Go against the grain. Be you inside and out. Just because “everyone else does it” doesn’t mean you have to. Just because “no one else does it” doesn’t mean you can’t.


Just because “no one else does it” doesn’t mean you can’t. - Tweet That!


Build Relationships

Don’t network build true relationships with people. The kind of people you could call at midnight, Skype at 2p.m. and have over for dinner with the family. Create quality relationships both within your industry and with just friends. This support system is vital to your well-being and your business.

Write

Write more. Write way more. Perhaps this means blogging. Or journaling. Or just take notes. The physical act of writing your thoughts and forming them into something tangible makes everything more doable. Write down your goals. Write down your business plan. Write as a way to reach your potential audience. I am excited to be writing my 100th blog post on Thursday! Which is easily the equivalent to a 350+ page novel in the last 4.5 months. 

Educate

Educate yourself and educate others. Give back to your audience by writing insightful blog posts, or social media posts. Perhaps speak at an event or conference. Share your expertise. You do have something uniquely valuable to offer and you should share that!

Be Transparent

Don’t try to hide behind a black curtain. Let people into your business and into your life. Transparency is the lifeblood of business in today's market. The more secretive, the more people tend to fall away or be hesitant.

Sleep

Get more sleep. Not some “nap” at 4-5 hours. Some good solid sleep. I spent too many nights up until crazy hours before I realized not only was this hurting me, but hurting my business. Here are some healthy ways to increase your hustle, while still taking care of Y-O-U!

Invest in Yourself

You are worth more than any other “asset” in your business. Not your building, not your products, not your services. Much like you would maintain your home, you have to maintain yourself and put some investments back in. Attend a conference. Sign up for an online course. Go to a fun cultural event. Take a day off to visit a museum or get a massage. You are worth it!

Pivot

Learn to listen to your business. When things aren’t working, or a product or service isn’t selling that doesn’t always mean you should abandon ship. Learn to pivot. Give a survey or other client feedback and see what changes could be made first. As my friend Emylee would say “Tweak and Repeat.”

Volunteer

As much as taking care of YOU is important, investing back into the community is as well. Get involved with an organization that fits your passions and aligns with your values. Give your time, talent or treasure to move that organization forward. It could be 2 hours a month of 10 hours a week. Find a fit that is right for you, your life and your business. Volunteering can change your life and your career, hear a true confession!

Delegate

Just because you own your own business doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything. Delegate or outsource tasks that either don’t fit your skill set or your time could be better used elsewhere. I personally delegate much of the financial aspect of my business and that saves my mind to spend elsewhere.

Send more #HappyMail

Tell people how awesome they are! Tell people you care about them. Thank people for helping you move your business forward. But don’t just call, text or email them. Write them a little note. We aren’t talking a full-fledged novel. And MAIL it to them the old fashioned way. Hand written mail goes much further and means more to people than it ever has before, so embrace it and get writing!

Spend Time with Friends and Family

As important as your business is you need to learn to get away. Spend time with your friends and family. Learn to do this every single day. It can be so tempting to be working sun up to sun down, but our family and friends will start to resent all the hard work and long hours. Not only will they appreciate the time more, but it will give you the chance to recharge your need to work that much harder when you get back to the “office.” And it might even give you the opportunity to ask questions and brainstorm new amazing blog content. 

Where are you misusing your time and how can you (re)allocate it? Where is your time being spent that is boosting your business? 


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