About two weeks ago, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to blog daily over here at Boss Lady Bash daily.
I've blogged off and on for about seven years, so I'm no stranger to what it takes to write high-quality, SEO rich, Pinterest-worthy blog posts. And you know what it takes?
A ton of freaking time.
(Like no joke. More than anything else that I do all week. All my time. All of it.)
So much time that I'm often up WAY late trying to make sure I get my blog post in for the day, creating images that are consistent with my brand, making sure I'm creating post titles that are SEO friendly, and reading more information than I know what to do with about how to promote said post.
And then, after I hit publish, I still have the hurdle of scheduling out tweets, posting to Facebook, adding it to my newsletter, taking an Instagram photo to push out on Instagram, and then checking my metrics at the end of the week to see where most of my traffic came from. Oh and also, I just started playing around on Pinterest to see how that could help my business.
(Which I'm sort of horrible at, let's be honest, but I'm getting better each time I re-pin something and realize it has a broken link or it doesn't fit within my brand aesthetic.)
I'm up until 2am.
And it totally freaking sucks.
Let's talk about the reasons I wanted to become a business owner.
a) I wanted to wear the same outfit 3 days in the row
b) I hate commuting
c) I really, really love helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through live events, workshops, and other marketing avenues.
I do not see "Stay up until 2am so you can finish a blog post to go out at 6am" anywhere on this list.
And yet we do it to ourselves. All the time.
We hustle harder, and work longer, and hunch over our computers in pursuit of something that we're not even sure what it is.
(Which, when you've finally CAUGHT that thing, that mysterious feeling called validation, it's like an infusion of oxygen. It's like FINALLY someone has been paying attention to all of my effort. THANK THE LORD!)
And yet...you're tired.
Totally and utterly NOT in love with your business.
I've been there. We all have. And this is the year that I'm asking you to evaluate your MOST productive habits with your least productive habits.
Because the truth is, you're probably WASTING TIME.
So stop doing that.
Here's how to waste less time and get more done.
Have a morning routine
"What? LAUREN! That ALREADY sounds like a waste of my damn time. I'm leaving this blog. Peace!"
Hold on, sister. Here's the thing about a morning routine: it gets your buns up and out of bed and makes you feel more ready for the day than if you're taking client calls with one sock on your foot and a a butterfly clip holding half your hair up.
All the bigwigs do it. I do it. You need to do it too.
Got kids? Start setting the alarm thirty minutes earlier to give yourself enough time to drink some coffee, plan your day out, maybe even take a shower.
(I know that's hard. You know what else is hard? Paying your rent, building a business, getting clients. 30 minutes isn't going to kill you. Promise.)
You know what sucks? Starting the day feeling behind. Nobody likes doing that.
Here's my morning routine.
1. Wakeup when the sun comes up. In the winter, that's around 8am. In the summer, I'm rising somewhere around 6:30. The picture windows in my bedroom are my alarm clock.
2. Make tea. Literally grumble on the way to the kitchen because I am NOT a morning person. Make the dang tea anyway.
3. Wash face. Shower if there are meetings. Put on the same clothes as yesterday. I'm all about efficiency over here.
4. Sit in yellow chair, read articles, write in my business journal, or review my calendar and daily To Dos. Sometimes I get stuck in the chair and don't go work at my desk. BEWARE OF THIS!
5. Start day somewhere between 8:30 - 10am. Because I can! Because you can only work 8 hours a day AT MOST and even then, I'm usually peace-ing out somewhere between 4pm - 5pm.
One. Tab. Open. At. A. Time.
Legit. That's all you get.
If you need more than one tab, MAKE IT A SEPARATE BROWSER. Because how annoying is that? You seriously probably only need one or two tabs open at a time, but when you have, like, 40 you're seriously jonesing to get caught off task.
You want to know how to stop wasting time? It starts with forgetting how to multitask. And a list of 38 browser tabs is a good place to start cutting back on that stuff.
Schedule everything. Down to the MINUTE!
Until I started getting really buddy buddy with my calendar, I didn't know the first dang thing about productivity (but I knew a LOT about missed deadlines).
Now, I literally schedule every meeting, every task, and every little thing in my calendar. Does it take time? Yes.
Do I miss deadlines? Nope.
Be ruthless, even with your internal deadlines. Because the more you put off "Write sales page for new product" the more you put off money in your bank.
Work in bursts of 25 minutes.
This is called the Pomodoro method and you can read more about it over here.
Basically, set a timer for 25 minutes. Work as furiously as you can. Take a 5 minute break to eat bonbons. Repeat 3 times. After the 3rd time, take a 20 minute break and dance around your living room (or similar). Try to see how many you can do in a day.
I can successfully do like 3 of these and then I lose steam. But those are THE MOST productive hours of my life. Way more than if I just sat around and Googled something and tried not to get sucked into the internet hole that is personal finance blogs (now you know my guilty pleasure).
Your turn! What's your biggest productivity trick? I want to hear it! Pop it in the comments below!