How you run your week affects your mindset & your productivity. It may sound obvious but it really does make a difference!
As we’re nearing the halfway point of 2021 and with the world reopening I’m hearing lots of people say they are busy busy busy and starting to feel a little overwhelmed about what they want to get done as well as what they want to achieve in business…perhaps you are too?
- How do you get so much done?
- How do you do it all?
- How do you run a successful business, be a mum and fit everything in?
These are questions I get asked a lot!
Because of this, I think it’s important to look at how you plan your week – I love spontaneity and flexibility – it’s one of the reasons I run my own business but I also love to be efficient with my time and that often means adding a bit of structure!
Being intentional doesn’t mean you have to work harder, it means you work smarter and focus on the things that actually make a difference – which has the knock on effect of you being less “busy being busy”.
First of all though we are still human and of course there are occasions where things get all consuming – and often what you feel you may have to project to the outside world is you being a bit of a swan i.e. graceful on the surface but paddling like mad under the water!
As business owners there is always so much to do isn’t there! So, here are 5 tips to help especially if you’re feeling super busy…
- Get everything out of your head and prioritise.
Grab a piece of paper (or use an online tool like Trello or Asana if you prefer) and write everything you “need” to do – life and business stuff, get it all down.
Then decide what HAS to happen (yes you do need to eat, wash the kids clothes etc but what about your business…not everything has to happen this week or this month). Think about your goals and be honest with yourself about which tasks you actually need to do to move forwards to achieving them
You can divide all the tasks you’ve written down and start prioritising everything into 3 columns (or use 3 coloured highlighters). The things that HAVE to happen; the things that would be NICE TO DO and finally the things that DON’T need to happen right now or could be outsourced.
- Plan your diary schedule.
There are different ways you can do this but the important thing is to find a way that works for you because then you will stick to it! Here are some suggestions…
- Time block activities
Did you know it takes an average of 23 minutes for your brain to refocus after distraction so if you’re trying to multi-task switching between different tasks or your notifications keep popping up you’ll actually be less productive and feel more stressed!
So, whether it’s content creation, client appointments, social media, replying to emails etc try to do similar things at similar times and on similar days so your brain works as efficiently as possible rather than flicking between different tasks.
- Use your weekends & evenings intentionally
As your own business owner, you get to choose when is the best time for you to be productive and part of that may be to prep for the week ahead, especially if you know you’re going to have a busy one!
I often batch cook recipes at weekends so I have nutritious and tasty meals for the next few days which is great for those busy days where I just don’t feel like cooking or if for whatever reason I’m working in the evenings and need to grab something quickly.
Evenings I tend to have less energy so that will be a time that I either have my downtime away from work or do more admin tasks that don’t require as much creativity!
- Make time for you
Building on the point above, I’m a big believer of running your business in a healthy way. As CEO of your business, you are your biggest asset and that means you need to look after yourself in the best possible way. Nourish yourself and plan in time for relaxation, re-energising and self development. It’s likely you want to grow your business but you can’t do that (or help those you want to serve) if you’re feeling burnt out.
One great way to do this is by working to your energy and boundaries. Perhaps you may do this already but think about your energy and plan accordingly. Do you work best in the mornings? Are you a night owl? Also, think about your boundaries – how do you WANT to work? As a business owner you get to call the shots and that means you can choose how you run your day to get the best out of it for you.
As an example, typically I don’t see clients before 10.30am (unless I’m speaking to global clients in Asia or Australia and the time difference means first thing works best!) This means I can take my kids to school, maybe do some exercise, some self development or some urgent work I need to get done. Knowing I’ve started the day on my terms and therefore in my own positive mindset means I’m setting myself up for a good day ahead.
- Positive work environment
Having a calm space that you get excited by being in can have a huge impact in how you show up. Take a look at your work environment – does it excite you? Do you need to declutter? Perhaps more light or an affirmation or some pictures / a vision board that you have on your wall to motivate you? Create a space that you look forward to working in and your mind becomes much more positive as you look forward to spending time there.
Surrounding yourself with the right people is all part of a positive work environment. Often as sole business owners we can feel a little lonely, no-one to bounce ideas off but here’s one of my favourite sayings…just because you’re self employed doesn’t mean you have to be by-yourself employed!
Also don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone has a different version of success, everyone has different life and family set ups and therefore different financial wants & needs. People will likely have been in business a different length of time to you too so don’t compare you chapter 2 with someone else’s chapter 22!
Just do you but spend some time working out how to do that the most efficient way – you’ll be the most effective person!
5. Celebrate your wins
Big or small, they are all wins and steps forward in your business. Every time we look for something positive that has happened it fuels our positivity. Sounds obvious but if we focus on the negative or what we didn’t get done, we look for reminders of that negativity making us feel frustrated. Try flipping it and look at what you have achieved – even if you feel it’s small. The truth is running a business and juggling everything else can be hard and sometimes we need to be our own biggest cheerleader. So many of us focus on having a To Do list which is always handy but why not also try a Ta-Dah list…all the things you have achieved!
So, if you wear lots of hats and feel like you’re juggling lots of things, try out a few of these things and see how you get on!
Sarah is a marketing & business mentor for health & wellness business owners. She specialises in providing clarity and strategy to build a business model that increases financial sustainability and profits without burnout.
As a Certified Holistic Health & Massage Therapist, former England athlete, and award-winning serial entrepreneur with over 20 years in the industry, Sarah has lived and breathed wellness all her life. Having built her own multi-tiered sustainable business model, she knows the strategies to scale a business whilst keeping a flexible lifestyle. Sarah’s work has been featured in multiple publications including The Telegraph, Daily Mail, Metro, Natwest Business Online.
After spending 7 years living and working in Asia, Sarah returned back to the town she grew up in and now lives in Hertfordshire, England with her husband and 2 young children.