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Working at home as been a dream of mine for quite some time, but it takes disciplines to stay concentrate throughout the day. As solopreneurs we don't have a fixed schedule, team members to bounce ideas off of or a boss telling us what to do. Even though these are the exact reasons why I decided to be an entrepreneur, they also happen to be some of the biggest downsides.
To be successful in business, you need to be disciplined, productive and consistent. However, like every entrepreneur, I'm not always productive. Not so long ago, I felt extremely tired and lacked the energy to do my everyday tasks. I soon realized that although I was constantly busy, I was not very productive. Think about it this way: you can spend hours on your computer and barely get anything done or you can spend one hour and be super productive.
I want to share with you some of my tricks to stay productive and get things done fast so you can start monetizing your passion.
Use a planner
I would be lost without a planner. I have been using daily planners since high school and know I could not live without one. I know this is not something that everyone uses but using a planner has been a huge time saver for me. Every day I make sure to plan my tasks for the day ahead. If you don't have a clear direction on where you are going, it will be hard to get things done. You can't just do whatever you want because you will end up doing just the tasks you enjoy instead of working strategically to grow your blog.
Write a to-do list
I've only been making a to-do list for for the past year but it's already been a huge game changer. Besides my computer, I always have a sheet where I write all the tasks that I want to complete in my business. This helps me determine the priority of every task and also helps me to get all my really good business ideas out of my head and onto paper.
If I have some spare time during my day or when I plan my week ahead, I always refer to that list.
Do what you don't like first
This is probably the most important strategy to become more productive that I implemented in my business. If you do the tasks that you don't like first, then you'll feel relieved for the rest of the day.
I used to wait until the last minute to do my least favorite tasks and preferred to spend my mornings doing the “fun parts” of my business. However, I kept pushing those less interesting tasks to the next day and the next day until I had no choice but to get them done.
Now, I do those more demanding tasks or those less interesting ones first thing in the morning. I feel better for the rest of the day knowing that those tasks are checked off of my list. I can finish my day with a glass a wine doing fun and exciting projects if I want to.
Always start your day with tasks that need more energy
Studies show that we are more productive early in the morning. If you can, do those tasks that need more concentration or take the longer time during that period.
I have to admit that I'm an early person. I usually wake up at 6 am and start working on my business tasks. Every morning, I start my day by doing a task that needs more concentration. Like right now, I'm writing this blog post first thing in the morning because that's when my brain is the most alert.
Learn to say no
As a small business owner, we have a tendency to say yes to every business opportunity or project. Most of us want to please every customer and get as many new clients as possible. However, if you say yes to projects that may not be aligned with who you are, you'll have no time for those that actually are.
Learning to say no doesn't mean that you should deny projects because they scare you, it means staying true to yourself and refusing the project that doesn't align with your passion.
Check your emails only once a day
Checking your email only once per day will help you stay more productive. Believe me, I know how hard this is. In fact, I'm still struggling with this one. One thing I’ve done is to remove my email notification for the whole morning when I'm the most productive in my business. When I promote my blog on my social media accounts or do less demanding tasks, I turn my email notification back on.
If you have a lot of emails, block a time in your day to read and answers those emails. Don't go back in forth between your email account and your daily business tasks if you have an email coming in every half hour.
Take breaks during the day and go for a walk
I was one of those business people, working long hours without a break. However, I realized that when I take break and exercise, I came back more productive and with better ideas. So in the long run, you'll accomplish more.
Plan your week ahead
Every Sunday evening, I plan my week ahead. This means that every day I block some time (usually in the morning) to work on one important task.
I also plan the rest of my tasks a day ahead so I don't waste any time in the mornings and so I don't forget anything.
Spend less time on Facebook
I say to spend less time on Facebook but this can apply to any social media account that you feel you are spending too much time on. For example, if you are spending hours on Pinterest looking for recipes or fashion outfits, you are not productive.
For me, it's Facebook.
I try to go once in the morning and one more time in the afternoon but this is probably one of my biggest productivity problems.
If you are reading this blog post and have a second tab open to one of your social media accounts it might be time to do something about it.
One of my tricks is to use my phone to set a 15 minute timer for Facebook. Because I host a Facebook group, fifteen minutes allows me to promote my blog and answer my private messages.
If you are tired of wasting your time on Facebook and need help promoting your blog, grab my 30+ Facebook groups with their day-by-day promo schedule. So don't miss a chance to promote your blog/business.
Automate some social scheduling
This is something that I feel is a must in order to promote your business effectively without losing your mind. Every Sunday, I set up my Facebook and Twitter posts for the week. I like to use Hootsuite to schedule my Twitter posts. Hootsuite is a free social management tool that allows you to schedule your posts in no time. I also use Tailwind to schedule my pins on Pinterest. Tailwind has a free trial for up to 100 pins so you can test the platform and see if it’s a good fit for you.
Even when I use scheduling tools, I still go on each social media platform to share on the spot posts and to talk with my followers. "Social media is about being social, not hiding behind a computer."
Take time off
So you are probably wondering how taking some time off will make you more productive? Schedule some down time, you'll help you get more energy but more importantly, live a better life
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Welcome, I'm Emilie Guerin. I help bloggers and online business monetize their passion using effective online marketing strategies. MORE ABOUT ME