For the budding female entrepreneur, it at first seems a curse that there are only so many hours in the day. The truth bomb here is that this is never going to change. So whilst we can’t make time stand still, we can certainly maximise our productivity with the time we do have.
In a broader context, life is short – we’re not here for a long time so let’s make it a good time. Let’s commit to doing the work that lights us up and focusing on how we can best share our messages to help and support others in the world through our businesses. In a day-to-day context, we have the ability to make the best possible use of our valuable time. We may not all be able to dance like Beyonce, but when we keep in mind that she, too, only has 24 hours a day to play with, well, there’s no time like the present to get moving and shaking!
1. DECLUTTER YOUR WORKSPACE
If you can’t see your desk under the pile of paperwork you’ve been meaning to file for months, then it’s time to address that paperwork and declutter your workspace. Businesses thrive on effective organisation – of yourself and the spaces around you. Ensure your workspace is clear, hygienically clean, and has the minimal requirements needed for you to focus on work without distraction. A good tip is to follow our ‘Bring Your High Five’ rule. These are the top five things ONLY to be placed on your desk that are going to help you garner the most productivity when you work. On a completely cleared desk, place:
THP’s Bring Your High Five rule
- Your computer
- Your pen/pencil and notebook
- Your to-do list
- Your water bottle and a snack
- Your “inspiration” trigger (This could be a deck of inspiration cards, or an app on your phone, to help you regain focus or re-energise if you’re lacking motivation).
2. DECLUTTER YOUR MIND
Got a box of lingering issues? A good way to maximise your productivity in your business is to get out of the way any obstacles that are going to impede you moving forward with your work. Is there something administrative you need to action? Is there something relentlessly on your mind, chewing up your mental space? Is there someone you need to forgive? It’s time to address and clear that often confrontational stuff that gets in the way of our work being done, let alone of a high quality output. Make the calls; send the emails; remove the burdens. Write down any limiting beliefs that are no longer serving you well and replace them with positive affirmations of love and acceptance. Once you do this, bring awareness to your “why” – the reason you are doing the work you are embarking on – and focus fully on the task at hand with channeled positive energy and high intention.
3. PRIORITISE AND PLAN
Once we attend to life’s necessities (in our case, toilet training, grocery shopping and kid-wrangling;)) and lock in our absolute priorities (i.e. 20 minutes a day of ME-TIME), we can clearly see how much time is left over to plan our daily small business goals. Write your to-do list using our very fab and free THP to-do list template below - and when we say write it, we mean chuck EVERYTHING that’s in your current psyche – business and personal - on this guy!
Write your to-do list in three simple steps:
- Write down what needs to be done. You’ve got more than 20 lines to do so.
- Sort through the list and number each one in relation to importance.
- Now, write the top three to four priorities that are a must for you to complete today under the ‘Today’s priorities’ section of the template. If you don’t get it all done, no worries – print out another and roll them on to tomorrow’s to-do list.
3. HAVE AN EMPLOYEE MINDSET
You may be the boss of your own business, but you’ve still gotta put in the work to make this dream biz work-life-balance gig work. Having an employee mindset in your business includes learning to say ‘no’ when long, lazy (boozy) lunch dates pop up (within reason of course;)). Keep it real, though, schedule in what is set in stone and be flexible with everything else. Whether you are working from home or from a co-working space, having an employee mindset also means dressing up like you’re going to work for the day. Break for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Start at 8.30am and finish at 5pm, or whatever time you can afford that blends in with your lifestyle. Prepare a healthy lunch for yourself in the morning, too! At lunch time, get outside and into the sunshine to eat the delicious lunch you have lovingly prepared for yourself. Stretch out your body. Recalibrate.
Also, spend a little time each day investing in educating yourself about current trends in your industry. You may not get the professional development perks of a company employee, but you have access to the internet, which is a great place to keep your finger on the pulse with free online courses, free downloadable resources and small business information available for you to absorb (including awesome blog posts like this one!).
4. PLANT THE SEEDS
They say patience is a virtue, and this is most true for budding female entrepreneurs that have taken the big leap away from their careers, perhaps have nurtured or are still nurturing a family, AND are committed to turning a passion-based idea into a thriving business (we salute you, sisters!). Part of this commitment to your business growth includes planting some seeds now that can be harvested, and therefore beneficial for your business, later on. These include:
- Connecting with likeminded women on similar paths in their small business journeys
- Reaching out to a mentor or brand you’d like to work with in future
- Creating a folder for all of your start-up business expenses to file your tax with ease when end of financial year comes around
Remember, you are your best asset, so working strategically and smarter (not harder) now will help you reap the rewards when you are looking for content, collaborators and ease of process in the future.
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