Because summer of 2018 is literally slipping through my fingers, I figured this would be the perfect post to write for the middle of August...in all honesty, how many of you feel like you haven't really had a chance to focus on enjoying summer because you've been so focused on WORK and the mundane of day to day life? I'm totally raising my hand right now...but I'm trying to get better! Mayyyybeeee "better" isn't the correct word; I guess I should say that I'm trying to make my days more productive so that I can enjoy summer...not only summer, but my family, and my husband, and things that are important to me. You've probably heard someone in your lifetime tell you this: "You have more time than you think".
...Wait, what? There's only 24 hours in a day.
But think about it. How many minutes/hours per day do you spend mindlessly scrolling through social media? If you really had to think about your typical work day, how many hours would it really take for you to get everything done that you need? For me, if I'm being honest, on a good day, I truly only need a good 3-4 hours of solid, non-stop work. So I've been thinking a lot lately about how to make my work days more productive so that I can enjoy life!
This blog was also requested by Jenny Kathryn Photography a couple months ago, so here you go Jenny! I hope this answers your questions!
1. Each night before you go to bed, write down your three most important to-do's for the next day
These are the things you have to get done, no questions asked! Things that, even if you didn't get any other things accomplished, as long as you accomplish your top three, you can know you've had a productive day.
2. tidy up the house before bed
If you're anything like me when it comes to working from home, it is SO hard to work when the areas around you are a mess. If the house is not tidy, I'll spend all day cleaning before I realize I've missed an entire day of work because I had to dedicate it to cleaning. That's not fair to you or your business...
3. create before you consume as soon as you get up
I used to be SO bad at just immediately getting on social media before I started my work day. Then when it came time to actually work, I would already be so drained and discouraged. If you have to make a post on Instagram before you work (because we all know that's important), do it, but then sign off the app and get to work. Once you're done working and creating, you can start consuming!
4. Set a schedule for yourself...projects get done in a much more timely manner when you create your own deadlines and stick to them!
If you don't have deadlines, your projects will never get done. I have running dates in my calendar when I need to email clients certain reminders, launch a specific blog post, launch my podcast (yes, I am working on a Podcast, you guys!!!). Projects get done so much faster and more efficiently when you allot yourself only a certain amount of time.
5. Reward yourself for little victories
This might sound silly, but I totally will have a cookie (or small treat) sitting right next to me when I'm working and I will tell myself I'm not allowed to have it until I get xxx and xxx done. Or I will reward myself with going on a hike during the week if I'm extra productive and finish all my projects. These are things I know I can look forward to BECAUSE I know I put my head down and did the work!
Annnndddd I'm adding a little bonus #6 for you guys because I literally just thought of this!
Batch work! I am alllllll for batch working! Back in January, I scheduled all my client emails, invoices, blog posts, etc, because I knew that come wedding season, I just would not have enough time to get all of that done. It worked SO well you guys and now this year, even though I'm busier than ever, I feel like this is the least busy I've ever been because I decided to take one-two weeks in January to just sit down and knock out all my work. You never know what might come up in your business if you're the only one running it and suddenly can't attend to a commitment, I am all for batch work and outsourcing where I can!
So there you have it! Because of these steps, I can truly say I work only about 20-25 hour weeks, yet still make a full-time income, and am still incredibly productive. This allows me time to clean the house, go hiking, take care of my husband and dog and make healthy meals for us, meal prep....you name it! I'm gonna go ahead and just take a wild guess: you didn't become an entrepreneur so you could be drowning in work and not have a life...am I right? You likely became one because you wanted the freedom of making your own schedule and pursuing your passion; so why not do just that!?