If everyone only has 24 hours in a day, how is it that some entrepreneurs get super human amounts of work done daily? How do you make the time to juggle a full-time job while building up your side hustle? Productivity, my friends. Managing your time effectively is the key to making it all happen! Before we go into more detail on how to be more productive and start your creative biz faster, you should keep this in mind: Some of these tips you have heard before. If you have heard a tip before, there’s probably a reason you keep seeing the tip over and over again. If you’re thinking “I've heard that advice before, let's move on to the new exciting stuff!”, here is the truth: it doesn't matter if you’ve heard the advice before, it only matters if you are actively applying the advice to your life! If you know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but you still pick up a Snickers every chance you have… well, you get the point. Without further ado, here are my 6 essential productivity hacks to streamline your workflow:
Social media is great to use when you’re marketing your business… not so much when you’re scrolling through adorable pictures on your cousin’s neighbor’s dog’s instagram. The excessive social media habit is a TOUGH one to quit, especially if you’re dreaming of living the traveling entrepreneur life that your followers are living. I’m guilty of having a habit of checking my social media as soon as I wake up, too. So, how do you stop the distractions? Schedule out your social media time for the day and stick to it. If a morning coffee is part of your ritual, you can let yourself scroll through your facebook feed then. If you have a subway commute, you can see what your favorite celebs are up to while on the train. Be sure to start by gradually weaning yourself off of social media. If you generally use your phone for an hour a day, try to cut that in half. Remember, when you travel to certain countries, you won’t have access to many of the apps you use at home anyway... think of this as practice!
Since I moved to Chicago, which was almost 2 years ago, I still haven’t bought a TV. Why? It isn’t because I couldn’t or can’t afford it, it’s because I knew that the TV would take away my attention from other things that I was passionate about. If you’re watching TV out of habit and not because you’re genuinely immersed in the story, it may be time to hide the remote and cancel your cable subscription. If you’re still not convinced, think of it this way: when you binge 2 hour long episodes of TV, that’s 2 hours you’re not working on building your career. Yikes. The Real Housewives of Orange County may be addictive, but why add unnecessary drama to your life anyway?! Cut out the TV and spend that time constructively instead.
You should know your body and how much sleep you need to get daily to function well and get what you need to done. For some, that’s 5 hours, for some, that’s 10. If you know that you can get less sleep and still feel refreshed in the morning, why wouldn’t you take that extra hour and use it to your advantage? When optimizing your sleep schedule, you should also think about the things that make you the most tired. If you need a full 12 hours of sleep to recover from a long night of clubbing, maybe doing that every weekend isn’t the best if you ideally want to spend your Saturdays building your new business. Sleep less by sleeping smart!
… Okay, maybe you don’t have to say no to every invite that comes your way, but you need to prioritize building your business over your social life. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary for the time being to get everything up and running. Now, be cautious and don’t take this to the extremes. You need to say yes every so often to make sure that you’re socializing and keeping up with your loved ones. If you don’t, your friends may end up planning an intervention for you because you’re acting like a cavewoman and haven’t gone out in a month. (Yes, this actually almost happened to me!) Building an online business takes a lot of work, especially when working a full-time job. My only free time was a few hours after work and on the weekends, which meant I was prioritizing my work and business over my friends. Remember: just because your priorities are work first doesn’t mean you have to cut out being social entirely! If you have little free time, try going out for brunch with your gals or guys every other week. That way you spend a few hours with the people you love, you get to catch up on what’s happening around you, and you get a break from your hectic work schedule! There is this famous quote that states, “Entrepreneurship is about living a life that for a few years (or months) that most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” Let this quote be your guide!
Getting yourself organized through a software (like Asana, perhaps?) is one of the most important things you can do for yourself to get your business up and running. When you invest in organization, you’re able to see what you need to do to reach business milestones. Breaking down your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks lets you know what you need to get done and when you need to get it done by. Setting goals and reaching them is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track!
Is social media still tempting you? How about those personal email notifications about flash sales at your favorite store? Or that never-ending group message with your siblings? If you don’t want to turn your phone off entirely, do the next best thing: put it on airplane mode while at work. One of the best productivity hacks I’ve personally been doing lately is turning off the service on my phone when I’m in the zone. Getting text messages and social media notifications are all too distracting! To make this technique work for you, you can turn your phone on airplane mode for 50 minutes, take a 10-minute phone break, and repeat. You’ll still be able to respond to everyone by doing this, too! If it’s time to work, it’s time to work. Make it easier on yourself by putting your phone to the side. Start by choosing one or two of these productivity hacks to see which ones work the best for you. Actively making changes in your life to be more productive will help you get your business started faster and will help you achieve your dreams sooner! Have you tried any of the productivity hacks above? Do you have other tips on being more productive that weren’t mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below!