As business professionals with full-time jobs and loaded lives, it gets increasingly difficult to find the time to devote to our hustle. Google.com defines Productivity as “the state or quality of producing something, especially crops.”
True productivity for those of us building our profitable side hustles while working full time jobs also includes building better habits and optimizing our time.
Here are three strategies that you can build into your routine to up level your productivity — and produce crops in your business.
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Strategy Tip #1 – Set Priorities
Taking the time to map out your priorities on a yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily basis allows you to keep a hawk-eye on your goals and track your progress.
Aligning your priorities looks different for every person and business. If you know that your priority is building that marketing business and perfecting your craft, then you build in time each day or week to ensure that you are doing just that. Perhaps you spend time developing social media posts for the next two weeks. Or maybe, you sit down for two hours and focus on defining and understanding your ideal client to further perfect your marketing copy.
You can do anything that you want, but you can’t do everything. Begin each day by aligning on your priorities and pinpointing your goals. Then, take action during the day to progress towards them.
Recently, I hosted a one-person annual and quarterly planning weekend at the end of January for my business. Since then, I have found my pitch, messaging, and goals to resonate clearer to everyone I connect with. When you know your priorities, everyone else can gravitate around that center.
Strategy Tip #2 – Feed Strengths
Do you remember being told to “work on your weaknesses” growing up? I do. “Practice makes perfect” and “turn your weaknesses into strengths” followed me through each grade.
However, some things are meant for the past. Today is time to focus instead on your strengths.
You might be incredible at building connections with customers and clients for your product, and yet, terrible at design. Every time you sit down to put your brilliant idea to digital paper, you feel anxious – you’re not a designer, you never wanted to be, and this is a weakness.
So, do you practice, practice, practice designing until you feel comfortable putting out your designs? No.
Instead, focus on your strength of being able to create connections in an innovative and thought-provoking way.
You ask, what about the design? My response, what about the design? Find a freelancer and ask them to do it. If that scares you, then ask yourself, is this design really a priority? Did you catch the reference to Strategy Tip #1 – Set Priorities?
When you’re leading with your strengths, there’s no time for anybody to notice your weaknesses. If your design is not perfect, yet you provided the best customer experience for your client, what will they tell their friends? They will say “check out this marketer, so amazing and impeccable in her work – delivered more than I expected.” And voila, it’s like your “weakness” doesn’t even exist.
Strategy Tip #3 – Install Systems
As you organize, streamline and eliminate what isn’t working for you, you’ll find that there are a few useful tools that can be utilized to help you along your journey.
Use your Google Calendar to keep track of all of your events, schedule out your day and even as an appointment scheduler. For my coaching business, I have found Calend.ly to be extremely helpful, and it connects to my Google Calendar.
Pro-tip: When adding an event to your calendar, include all necessary links, documents and notes along with notifications. Set up reminders and alarms to be repeatable.
Project management tools are going to organize your thoughts, goals and projects. These three questions will guide you through making an informed decision on what works best for you right now.
- Ease of use – do you feel comfortable using it?
- Integration – how well does it mesh with your other apps/platforms?
- Features – does it have the features you want?
If you’re looking for tools that are easy to use, integrate well with your other apps and offer team capabilities, try Asana and Trello. My team is exploring both tools currently in the business. Why both? Well, we’re finding one tool does something well that the other does not.
My hope for us and for you as you consider which tool works for different processes in your business is that you simplify the process and select a system that optimizes for those priorities and goals you aligned in Strategy Tip #1.
Implementing systems is certainly not easy, yet they will make your life feel sooooo much more productive.
Give yourself permission to optimize the time you have to be the best business and marketing professional you can be. Start by aligning your priorities in business and life to ensure that you’re not getting off track. Once you’re aligned, create a strategy for your productivity that prioritizes your strengths. Finally, magnify your impact and income by using tools that optimize your time and keep you organized.
Time is the most valuable asset that we have and it’s time we stop wasting it.
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