This past week has been jam packed. I onboarded all the new Dare to Grow students, hosted 3 coaching calls, and adopted a 5-month-old puppy. I’m trying to get as much done as possible, keep my work days short, and still be a present and focused coach for all my students.
While strategies are important, sometimes it’s the little habits that end up saving the most time.
This week I’m sharing a bunch of my daily productivity habits that help me stay on track and get my work done in less time.
Here are 6 tips to help you stay focused on your work, check off your priorities, and me more productive in your small business every day.
Resources + Links
- 100 journal prompts
- A few more productivity tips
- Zapier (for task automation: connects apps / platforms together)
1 ➜ Avoid task switching
Studies have shown that it takes about 20 minutes to mentally move from one task to another. For example, moving from designing graphics to writing emails to checking stats. Every time you switch tasks you’re throwing away 20 minutes and yes, another 20 switching back.
To avoid throwing away too many transition hours I do some tasks on the same day every week.
– Mondays = Instagram: I take photos, write cations, edit videos and schedule all posts for the week.
– Tuesday = Zoom: I have calls with the D2G Membership 2x each month on the same day at the same time. I also try to stack client meetings after my membership call.
– Fridays = admin: The inbox gets cleared, I do bookkeeping, and check off all the tedious tasks in one day.
This leaves a few days each week meeting-free so I can work for hours at a time without any interruptions.
2 ➜ Create a ritual around starting work
How do you get the most done in the least amount of time and create the biggest results? Check off the highest priority task every day.
But sometimes we start the workday with the inbox, or research, or scrolling instead. Which does feel like work but isn’t going to generate as much growth as posting the video or emailing your list.
To start on your actual task list first, try adding a ritual or habit to create a transition moment. A ritual of making a cup of tea before you sit down at your desk. Taking 3 deep breaths before you open your laptop. Going for a walk around the block before you host your first call. Or a ritual of making the priority task list you’re about to do.
Adding a trigger helps transition your mind and body so you can focus, make decisions, and be creative. After a while that trigger will make starting your workday part of the routine.
3 ➜ Write your content in a document first
Every email, blog post, social media post is first written in a Google Doc. (Or EverNote, Notion, Clickup, etc.)
Even on an iPhone, writing in a doc makes it easier to:
1. See what I’ve shared recently
2. Plan in batches so my content has a flow
3. Go back and find things they I want to repost or repurpose
4. Edit text in a larger space
Plus I’m not losing posts because IG crashed or I neglected to save.
Every year I create a new doc and write content for every platform in one spot. This allows me to repurpose content across platforms and expand my reach.
4 ➜ Add roadblocks instead of deadlines
If small tasks take forever or you have a difficult hitting deadlines, a roadblock is a great way to work faster.
Like time-blocking, where you block a certain amount of time for each task. Adding a roadblock, like a meeting or appointment, helps to enforce the deadline.
The saying if you give yourself 6 hours the task will take 6 hours, but if you only have 1 you’ll get it done it 1 is true. If I have an appointment in the afternoon I will work like a machine in the morning to finish everything. But if I have the whole day…it’s gonna take the whole day.
5 ➜ Set alarms for EVERYTHING
I’m attached to my calendar, but I found having a meeting or event on my calendar actually turns into a distraction. A 4pm meeting means I’ll check my phone every 30 mins to make sure I’m on time or I’ll completely forget. (hello ADHD :)[ GIF ]
Every distraction stops my flow, even checking the time, but an alarm allows me to focus. So every night I set alarms 20 minutes before every appointment, meeting, or event. And I have repeating alarms for things I do at the same time every week or every day. (I keep my phone on vibrate – still works)
Now I don’t need to keep an eye on the time and I’m distracted les which means I get more done. I can work and work and not think about that meeting until my alarm goes off. 20 minutes gives me enough time to get ready, set up my computer and be on time, every time.
6 ➜ Automate as many tasks as possible
Every week I have 3- 5 coaching calls. After each call I download the video from Zoom, upload it to Dropbox, and then send it to the group or client. A task that only took 5 minutes, but with the addition of the 40 minutes for task switching, it’s too much time.
So I automated it. I connected Zoom and Dropbox to upload the recordings to a private folder the client or group has access to. (this is a feature in Zoom settings)
It doesn’t seem like a huge time saver, but if you’re doing that task 10x every week tasks you could save hours. Task eliminated, time saved!
Zapier is another option that allows you to connect apps that don’t already connect. Or connect apps that do connect but allow them to take different actions. For example: I use Zapier to connect Teachable with ConvertKit. This “zap” tags students that cancel their membership and adds them to a spreadsheet.
It’s wild to think that such small adjustments make such a significant difference but they do. Everything adds up and the more you can focus on your priorities the faster your audience will grow.