Amplify Your Productivity
You’ve got a few clients… now what? Well, it’s time to amplify your productivity my little unicorn. That’s what!
Depending on what stage you are at in your business, you’re probably getting a few more clients, you’re starting to spend less time in Facebook groups, and maybe you’ve started to really think about how you can take it up a notch.
Because remember, this ain’t no side hustle, you’re running a business now.
But sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the thrill of having a steady income that we forget to treat our businesses like a real business.
Now I’m sure you’re probably thinking….”Well Amy, right now I’m focusing my time on building and nurturing my client relationships. I want them to know that I’m there for them and right now I don’t have that many clients, so I’m not really worried about my productivity.”
DO NOT DO THIS!
This was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made in my business – waiting until I was successful enough (to my standards) to start maximizing my time. Because that’s what productivity is.
Here are 5 sure-fire ways to amplify your productivity:
1. Organize Your Inbox:
I know this sounds like an obvious one. But this is mentioned especially for the inspiring coaches out there. Creatives tend to have a million ideas and want to implement them all, but that requires an organized inbox. So when things get shaking, you’re able to be on top of everything. VAs, you are not to exempt this. I know many VAs that just have two or three folders in their Gmail.
See, I’m talking very detailed folders. I have about 100 to organize my emails. Starting with Potential, Current, Old Clients, and then subfolders of their name, and sometimes defining the project for each client. So there alone, we’re looking at 40 folders minimum. So when you eventually will need to reference an email that is 1 year old, it’ll be easy to find. You’ll thank me later.
PRO TIP: PEOPLE WHO HAVE OR MANAGE MULTIPLE INBOXES
Kiwi for Gmail is a great program and is for both Apple and Windows. It allows for multiple inboxes to be housed in one place and you can see how many unread emails are in specific accounts without having to switch in and out of Gmail accounts via Chrome/Safari. This is not a paid advertisement, it’s just a genuine love for this program. The only limitation is that is has a maximum of 6 inboxes. So for someone like myself who needs access to up to 10 inboxes at any given time, it does have its downfalls. Overall, I am incredibly happy with this product.
2. Organize Your Cloud Storage:
I cannot tell you enough how this has changed everything for me.
These small habits set you up for success and mental clarity in the organizational structure of your business. Which feels fantastic. My advice is to create two main folders: one for your own business, and one for your clients, so name them accordingly. And then within these two separate folders, break down folders into project names, business procedures, list building initiatives, finances, really whatever makes sense to you. But do it, don’t leave this to a task you’ll complete someday soon, someday soon is too far away.
3. Have a Daily Business Opening and Closing Routine
This changed my business and also made me feel like I was organized AF, and who doesn’t want that confidence boost? Each morning I wake up and check all emails that I (and I’m pretty good at guessing) the emails that will take less than 5 minutes to respond to. I spend about 20 minutes working on this, and then do any tasks that I know won’t take longer than 5 minutes, be this communicating with my designer about a project that is due that day or doing a quick WordPress update. Whatever it is, these small tasks clear out any mental clutter and helps me knock off another task in my ever-growing To Do list. It also lets me kick start my day like a boss.
As far as a closing routine, this is pretty minimal for me (I work later into the night because I am a night owl by nature and all my greatest ideas come to me at night). The one thing I do before I sign off for my work day (re client work), is that I make sure I make a to-do list. I always do this the night before and not the morning of, and I suggest this method because what is on your mind at night will resurface the next day, so why not whip those tasks in the butt instead of letting it take up prime brain space.
4. Make To-Do Lists
The reason things like To Do Lists are mentioned so frequently in productivity articles is because THEY WORK. I make To-Do lists throughout the day, every day. I make To-Do lists on what order of tasks I should complete and what I need to remember to do for a certain project before I switch to another, and even who I need to communicate with that day. I have it all written down in bullet form.
This allows me to stay on track for the day, and not get sidetracked by Facebook group surfing, or talking to friends or colleagues about issues outside of work. I know that I need to complete all these tasks, and mostly at least 5 more, before I can retire for the evening. Additionally, I make finishing these tasks non-negotiable, which keeps me focused.
5. Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Sayyyy whhattttt?????? You’re probably thinking, wow Amy, slam those breaks, I’m not that far ahead in my business yet. This is especially, ESPECIALLY important when first starting out, especially if you have big ambitions to grow and grow quickly.
Any business owner, regardless of their profession, only has so many hours in a day. And unless you are one of the lucky ones that only need 4 hours of sleep to function like a normal human being, that only means a maximum of maybe 63 hours. And that’s if you’re working 9 hours a day, 7 days a week. No way Jose. Did we not get in this business to have flexibility and freedom?
But back to the point. SOPs are the best to create as you go, especially in the early stages of solidifying your biz practices. I wish I had started writing down my SOPs 2 years ago.
Do you know the best part? When you grow – because I know you are going to – you’ll be able to hand off tasks to new contractors with ease. And limit any confusion in the process.