Make sure you fill your cup.
Yeah, I mean your coffee cup but also your emotional and bandwidth cup. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, a ball of anxiety, you’ll waste time doing things that feel busy but aren’t really productive. Take up a meditation practice. Go for a run. Sing in the shower. Close your eyes for 10 minutes and imagine a perfect day. Write down 10 things that make you feel grateful. Then get to work.
When you write something on your to do list, estimate how long you think that project or task will take. If it’s longer than 3 hours, it doesn’t belong on your list as one item, because you just won’t get it done and it’ll sit on your to do list for WEEEEEEKS! Break it down to smaller pieces! Whatever ends up on your to do list, plan it into your calendar and schedule it so it actually gets done!
Create your schedule for the day ahead, the night before. Knowing what you have on your plate for the next day helps you to feel at ease when your head hits the pillow. You won’t feel like you’re forgetting things and you’re going to take action on the things that are most important.
Eat the Frog.
Do the thing on your to-do list that SUCKS MOST first. By taking care of business in a big way, you’ll have more excitement and energy around things that you can look forward to doing. For me, it’s things like going for a run that I hate doing but I know needs to happen.
Don’t check your email first thing in the morning.
Checking your email first thing in the morning is a habit I had to break when I used to work for other people. It would derail my WHOLE day and I’d have a million things to do and waste my morning. It was a complete waste of time. Just like the rabbit hole that is social media, email is the same way. Email is something you want managed but not something you need to respond to RIGHT NOW. Settle into your morning groove and when you have a small break, check your emails, figure out which need your immediate attention and answer the rest later. I use Google apps for my email and with it, I can use Boomerang which is a tool that bumps an email back into my inbox at a later time when I know I’ll have time for it! It’s a fantastic tool!
Your brain needs time to process and recover from whatever task you’re doing. By taking a break (walk away from your computer and phone) and let your brain take a break! Some ideas for quick breaks: go for a walk with your pup. Pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read. Pick up a coloring book. Drink some wine. Go wander around Home Goods for some Instagram goodies. Take a mid-day bath. Go to the gym. The main point is that you’re the boss and what you do to your schedule is up to you. If you’re not taking care of yourself, EVERYTHING suffers!
Create morning and evening routines.
We’re creatures of habit. We like knowing the patterns and things we can expect. By having morning and evening routines, we can tell our bodies what to expect next. Here’s a sample morning routine (if you have babies, you know that this isn’t going to go perfectly so just go with me for a minute): Get up at 7:00 am, take a shower, meditate for 10 minutes, take (your dog for) a walk, brew some coffee, have a yummy breakfast and spend 15 minutes organizing your office space to make room.
Plan to get 3 things accomplished today.
When your to do list is a mile long, it might actually kill your productivity. If you can prioritize the top 3 things that MUST GET DONE today with no exception, you’ll feel great accomplishing them AND you might even get other things on the list checked off too! Focus your energy on those items and do them well!
Do a brain dump.
As women, we’re multi-taskers and we’re excellent at holding lots of random information in our heads. Especially about stuff that doesn’t matter. Purge all the crap that’s floating in your brain. Pour out anything that keeps bouncing around your head so that you can clear some of that precious brain space. You might stare at a blank page for a good 30 seconds but keep staring and once the floodgates open, write write write! Let everything out. Maybe it’s doodles or drawings or words, or checklists. It doesn’t matter how it comes out. It’s imperative, though that it doesn’t come out.
When you’re a business owner, you make your rules. YAY! Unfortunately, that’s also the worst part of being your own boss, nobody is looking over your shoulder tapping their foot for you to get something done. If it’s something to grow your business and you’ve been dragging your feet, you need to figure out away to publicly commit to doing it. Here are some ideas for being accountable: set an actual date (not, I’ll do it in November). Announce it on social media. Get an accountability buddy. Hire a coach. (No shame plug: Join Q4 Refresh) Join a mastermind. Publish your goals on your blog. By setting accountability, you’ll have specific goals to work towards!
Tell me what you’re trying to get done! What tips above do you find helpful? What will you do differently tomorrow?