Organize Your Business Organize Your Life
Have you ever or are you currently struggling to organize your biz or your overall life? When I first started in online biz as a virtual assistant I had just a few clients to manage. It wasn’t so bad. Things were moving along and I was growing my business, getting referrals, and making dreams happen. Jump ahead a year and I was slammed with 25 clients!
How did this happen?! How do I organize this so I don’t miss important deadlines and such? How do I get my team all on the same page? And even more importantly; how do I carve out time to live my life?
Now if you can relate, it’s time to stop the panic. The shoes I mentioned above, I am no longer in. I can tell you first hand that you CAN organize your life and get your shit together! What I have found over the past few years are a few things that we can ALL consider and implement into our businesses and lives to make these organizational struggles less of a burden. Using tools to organize and some common biz sense can go a long way for all of us!
Some Things to Consider.
The one thing we all need to remember is that it’s more about quality and not quantity. Sure we get excited about new clients coming in, the exposure, and more income but have we considered how much picking up a huge number of clients drains our resources and wears us out?
Have we considered that taking on too much day to day is in fact adversely affecting us? Do we consider if it’s hurting our businesses verses helping?
Not to mention if we aren’t being optimally organized or setting up systems, how overwhelmed and complicated things could get?
And with that much work, even if we did organize, how much would we keep pushing off to the next day because we ran out of time and forgot to eat dinner or take a shower?
Often in the beginning of a venture we don’t think ahead about these things. So let’s take some time to think about them NOW.
So Amy, Where Do I Start?
Ask yourself what your WHY is in your business. What are your BIG reasons for doing what you do? Dig in deep and really take ownership of your WHY. Furthermore, what is your WHY behind what you do for your clients? What problem or problems are you helping clients solve? What do you LOVE doing consistently for clients? The point of this exercise is to narrow down what you truly want to be ALL about in your business. You may know this as finding a NICHE. Sound familiar? Niching down is all about FOCUSing and finding your ideal clients. These are the clients who match with the solutions that you want to provide as a business owner.
When I had 25 clients I was ALL OVER THE PLACE! Making the decision to niche down and specialize was great for many reasons. First, I no longer had to rely on doing 100s of small tasks every day for so many different people – organizational WIN here! That was overwhelming not to mention how does one even keep track of that? Instead I’m now able to focus my specialty on just 2-3 valuable clients who – here is reason number two- pay me way more money than all 25 previous clients did together! Like I said, quality not quantity.
Some other things to consider here are coming up with a solid game plan (I’m talking step by step actionable items that you can complete in reasonable time), setting goals, organizing tasks, creating schedules (including your personal time), and really focusing on those clients who fit your niche.
Where Do I Go From Here?
If you are anything like me you have a lot to do from day to day. This includes checking and responding to emails, meetings, posting on social media, working on websites, working on launches, creating courses, speaking to clients, the list goes on. And we are not only doing these tasks for ourselves but for our client’s businesses as well. For example, one fellow virtual assistant I know posts to 5 different Instagram accounts per day. 3 of there she spends nearly an hour each engaging, communicating with and growing the audience. That’s 3 hours per day and does not include everything else she busts out. Not to mention uhh personal life?? So how does she do it? How can we all do it?
We can organize! DUH! Seriously though, there are so many amazing tools out there that us online biz peeps can utilize and take advantage of that will make our lives so much easier. So why do we still insist on running frantic? Is it that we truly love flying by the seat of our pants, forgetting deadlines, and being pulled 10 places at once? I highly doubt any of us really want that. I would like to think that we instead want to be organized, meet our client’s expectations and feel a calmness about our day? Right? But maybe we are afraid to change or try something new? Even if it means better success for us.
Getting Your Shit Together in Your Business
It’s time to prioritize and ORGANIZE! Take your game plan, your goals, and everything you have to do for yourself and for your clients, including your personal time, and schedule it. List it all out first if you must. But it’s important that you get it written down and on the books.
I always LOVE to recommend block scheduling. It’s pretty simple and you can even utilize Google Calendar for this. We all have the same 24 hours in every day and choosing how to use that time is very important. With block scheduling you simply set aside blocked sections of time per day for each of your tasks. You set very specific start and end times. So rather than writing a “to do” list, and having to move 5 of your “to do’s” to the following day because the first item on your list took 6 hours, you would have instead only blocked 2 hours for that task for today. The other 4 hours you’d spread out through the week. Block scheduling works well when you have multiple clients. Depending on your tasks, the hours you work and so on you can utilize block scheduling to fit your unique situation.
Okay, I made a Schedule But What do I do with Everything Else?
Here’s the fun part! I’m going to tell you about my absolute favorite organizational tool so that you can get on track! TRELLO!!! I had been using Trello for a while but not quite in the way it was meant to be used. But then I met Sarah Hayes while stalking Instagram and found her course: Trello Like a Boss! And OMG let me tell you!!! – GAME CHANGER!
Trello is a task management tool – productivity system where you sort your tasks on a timeline in the categories of to-do, doing and done.
Some features of Trello:
- Boards that are like a content calendar or operations manual.
- Lists which are like steps in the process.
- Cards which are like your individual sticky notes and could also be listed as anything from blog posts to team members names where you can communicate.
- You can label and color code tasks and make your boards pretty if you want with fun backgrounds and emojis.
- There are power-ups which enhance/add additional functionality to your board.
- Some are calendar power-ups that make it easier to track the deadlines for each task. Another is custom fields, card repeater, slack/mailchimp/asana/dropbox/google drive, etc. integration.
Trello has changed my life.
If I could trust all of you with my login and password I would totally let you login to my Trello and see for yourselves just how much it has truly changed my life! I mean I trust you but I think you really need to create your own account and find out for yourselves! Imagine having ALL of your tasks, notes, to do lists, client management, team work, etc. all in ONE place! My team even celebrates our wins via Trello. It’s such a great way to stay on point, meet deadlines, communicate, organize, upload videos, and images, manage clients, manage content (the list is endless!).
Ever since taking Sarah’s course I have been able to effectively use Trello for team communication, blog management, Instagram and Facebook content management, my podcast, meeting notes, assignments, operations manual, rebranding my biz, planning personal travel and MORE!
Don’t be afraid of change, be afraid of falling behind the game
My goal for you has always been and always will be to help you overcome inconsistent income, disappearing clients, and help you deal with that pesky little brain of yours whispering, “you can’t do this”. Because I know for a fact that you CAN do this! I mentioned earlier that maybe we are afraid of change or afraid of trying something new and that is part of what holds us back in business. Fear is no joke but facing fear is where winners are born!
In one of my conversations with Sarah on The Virtually Free Podcast she provided some words of wisdom that I want to share with you.
“Don’t be afraid to pivot or change your business Roads always fork – like roads always divide and they go in different directions, and there’s nothing wrong with, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of starting down a particular path and going…Your business is going to grow and it’s going to evolve and it’s going to change as you as a person grow, and evolve and change. And if you wrap yourself in this thought process that your business has to stay the same and it has to be what it was when you started it how many months or years ago, eventually, your business isn’t going to be a thing that you love anymore.”
So if you’re struggling with being overwhelmed in your business, or if you’re pulling teeth trying to keep up with your tasks and organization – don’t be afraid to pivot and make a change and try something new. Trello is badass and could really help you organize your life!