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Using ClickUp for project management. The beginner edition.

ClickUp is a cloud-based project management tool that has been taking the small (and medium-sized) businesses by storm in the past couple of years. Known for it’s flexibility, integration of multi-use functionalities, and aesthetically pleasing layout, ClickUp has been a forerunner in the project management software market. 

 

However, as much as it can offer, it is has been known to have a learning curve. I mean with all of that functionality, it’s going to have quite a few things to learn in order to use all of the pieces effectively. 

 

In essence… many people start using it, and then give up.

 

So let’s start simply, shall we? 

 

Check out my YouTube Beginner ClickUp tutorial to start to understand how to get around and start building your to-do’s and project management within this tool to not only get the most out of it, but to enjoy it as well.

Items covered in this video: 

  • ClickUp Pricing
  • Home Screen layout
  • ClickUp Heirarchy
  • Creating a new Space
  • Adding a folder and a list
  • Anatomy of a task
  • Different View (to start)
  • and more!

I will be diving deeper into different parts of ClickUp to help improve your productivity and make the most of your time. If you want to be the first to hear about it, make sure to sign up for my mailing list below and subscribe to my channel! 

 

Have an awesome day! 

Using ClickUp for project management. The beginner edition. Read More »

How to find your data FAST.

An article in McKinsey reported that


“employees spend 1.8 hours every day—9.3 hours per week, on average—searching and gathering information. Put another way, businesses hire 5 employees but only 4 show up to work; the fifth is off searching for answers, but not contributing any value.”

The same is true for soloprenuers and small businesses.

Have you ever given much thought to how much time you spend looking for a document or a link in your business and are unable to find it?
You either give up entirely, or spend a few hours recreating the document that you know already exists, but are unable to locate.

Let’s look at an even smaller situation. Let’s say you make a connection with an ideal client and you are wanting to schedule a call with them. Do you need to go to your scheduler link to send them or hop onto google calendar and take the time to find a mutually beneficial slot?

It’s amazing how much time we waste just LOOKING for things. 

This is especially frustrating when you are a business owner, a mom, a neuro-diverse individual who can go down rabbit holes WAAAAYYY too easily.

So how do you organize your life and business for success?


Well, insert your “Executive Hub”, the portal to everything you need to access and a MUST for my clients.

Executive HubSo while time saving and productivity are the #1 reasons to set up an executive hub, I have outlined some other vital benefits as well.


1. All pieces of your business in 1 place – Organization


My motto for my own business is to

Simplify simplify simplify.

The first way to do this is to keep everything organized and categorized. If it’s organized in the place where it should be and easily accessed it has resounding effects all over your business. I mean the synonym to “business” is “organization”, it’s not “a mess of links and files that I may or may not be able to utilize every again”.
Perhaps it’s the years that I worked in a library, but the mere fact that everything is organized makes everything else EASIER. There I said it. BUSINESS IS EASY.

Okay, I’m a bad liar, it’s not easy, but it CAN be simple.

2. Easy to hand off things to team members and trust they will know how to find the info themselves


Somewhat related to point 1, having everything organized makes handing things off to team members or contractors a much smoother process. If they happen to have a question about something, direct them to the Executive Hub.

If they are asking about how a process happens, direct them to the Executive Hub

If it’s their first day and their trainer is out sick and they dont’ know where to start….. Direct them to the executive hub (or maybe give them a quick overview first).

 

3. Anxiety reducing – it’s good for your health!


Anxiety may be one of the top contributing factors to health issues in today’s world. Seeing that women are much more susceptible to it than men (not to mention the # of things that today’s modern-day woman juggles, especially those that have chosen to have families) it would make sense to reduce the anxiety in all of the areas possible. Taking care of yourself should be one of your “big rocks”, you are the CEO of your company and your family. Leave your brain-power and your problem-solving abilities for when they need it. 

 

4. Simplifies processes and SOP’s

Executive Hubs also makes it more efficient to outline processes, create SOP’s and generally help your business and team operate smoothly.

Knowing all of the information points, or data points that your processes utilize can help shorten the length of time you or a team member may utilize to find that information multiple times for multiple projects.

If a link to a particular document changes, the only place you need to change it would be the hub, if everything else, like your SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) point at the hub for access to these things.  Gone are the days of updating 10 places when you just have to update 1.

 

5. Allows you to serve your clients better and more efficiently


These may be the most important and beneficial aspects of your Executive hub. Being able to answer client questions, provide information, or review an FAQ for policy changes are just some of the things that an Executive Hub can do to improve the Client Care aspect of your business.

In fact, in some cases, you can actually direct your client to a client portal that has access to some of these things, not only saving time for you but your clients as well.

As a client of many services, I appreciate quick and succinct answers and access to my inquiries, and knowledge of how things work.

 

Okay, so you know that an Executive Hub is a good idea, how do you go about creating one? How do I structure my business from the get-go to be able to access the information I need?


Ana writing⭐ Start simply.

 

Over the course of the day, write down all of the “information” you find yourself looking for. At the end of the day, categorize those “things” in larger sections, such as “Operations”, “Training”, “Finances” or “Marketing”.

With those in mind, you can use Airtable (my preference) or Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, to create a table for each of those sections.

The next day you can add more items to each of the categories. As you go on you will find several subcategories for them within each larger category. For instance,

 Marketing will have “Social Media” or “Idea Hub” etc.

As your business becomes a bit more complicated, you will be able to refer back to the executive hub and figure out if you need to update anything or if it’s out of date and then classify it as “active” or “inactive”.

Stop looking for things multiple times. Know you can go one place and only one place to find everything you need. It may seem like a small thing, but having that dewy decimal system of organizing is life-changing, for you and your biz.

Do you want to know more about these Executive Hubs? How they may help you? How to start one, or how to hire someone to help you organize it?

Send me a message or check out my website 🙂

How to find your data FAST. Read More »

Implementation – the 4-letter word

I may as well call this “policing” because that is very much what it feels like sometimes. 

You do all this work to figure out the best processes for you and your business, figure out all the details of who does what, when and how often, automate the pieces that can be automated and then close your eyes and press that big button “GO”, close your eyes, hold your breath and hope it works. 

This is, hands down, the most difficult part about creating processes and systems for my clients. Not because they are resistant to it, but because change… any kind of change… even if you WANT it, is H. A. R. D.

In the corporate world, this is called “change management”, and it is such a large part of any type of change that there are departments solely dedicated to figuring out plans to help the employees make the change successfully. 

I have a few thoughts on the matter, from my experience in multiple ERP conversions (tech changes at an organization), as well as implementing processes for small businesses. There are some very specific things that will help make these changes successful, for the business owners, as well as any team members.

Leader buy-in:
Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, is to have the belief and support of the team leader and CEO. Make sure they DRINK THE KOOLAID. If the CEO of the business or leader is at all unsure or not supportive of the changes that are incoming, then the rest of the team will follow suit. Even if the business is just 1 individual… if there is no excitement about the processes, if it isn’t one of the most important parts of their future plans, then chances are, it won’t be followed and won’t provide the savings in time or money that it is intended. If you invest in outlining your processes, creating SOP’s and having a well-oiled machine, you must be a fierce advocate of the end result that it will provide. HAVE FAITH and express excitement at every turn.

Adequate Training, WHEN it’s needed:
When I work with clients, this is the piece that I hear being the most concerned about. While every organization is different (and every process and technology has it’s own needs), giving training WHEN and HOW it’s needed is almost like meal-planning for your family. Taking care when planning the training, taking into consideration the audience that needs the training is important for it’s success.

Adults learn differenty than children, the typical “sit in a classroom or through an hour-long training” may not be the most effective way to train. It is a good way to give an overview of a subject, but adults typically want to learn something WHEN they need it, otherwise it will filter through their brains as “interesting, but not vital information” and will soon be forgotten. Breaking up that training into bite-size chunks with small videos, Checklists and SOP’s in a place that can be easily accessed when they reach a specific part of a process is the most effective way I have found to help a team find their way around a new process or technology.

Rollout plans:
Are you going to roll out a new process piece by pieces to one person at a time? Are you going to rip off the bandaid with  go-live date that they all have to comply by? Do you have the support you need for either one of these roll-outs? Do you have change champions that can act as support to those that need it? All of these should be considered early on in the process outlining session. Depending on the changes being made, or the technology being introduces as WELL as the personalities of your team, you will need to figure out the best way to serve their needs and keep your productivity level up.

My personal opinion is to make a clean change in the business expecting some bumps in the road, but typically this is the fastest way to ensure the new process is adopted.

Feedback loops:
Always have a way for your team to ask questions, give feedback and be a part of the solution whenever possible. Having your team support, from the ones that do the work is super-important. It also will open your eyes to ways to improve the next time you improve or add a new process. The communication aspect encourages the team to have ownership over the business as well and improves moral during times of change.

This is also a really good way to create an FAQ document to help support the organization. When new people come in and your business grows, you will already have a list of questions that have been asked to get them onboarded and up to speed as quickly as possible.

 


It is not uncommon for a client to be excited about saving time and investing in technology to help them do so. However I see it time and time again the excitement wane once they realize that it does take them a little work to see the change through to completion. No change is ever easy, because it takes a flexible mindset to ‘ride the wave”, and put in the work to get to the time and cost-savings.

Using these tips from the beginning of the process till the end will help ensure the excitement and anticipation will carry-on and make your process changes a success.

I’d love to hear from you! What have you learned in your time as a small-business owner OR a corporate employee that helps you work through process changes and implementation?

What have been your biggest frustrations?

Implementation – the 4-letter word Read More »

What the Heck is a process, and why do I need one?

The steps to run a business, when you break it down, really aren’t that complicated.
You provide a service or a product, you receive money for said service/product, you deliver what is promised. Easy Peasy… right?

But we all know, that when it comes down to it, there is a plethora (I love that word) of things to do/create/dream up when it comes to owning and running your own business.  


You must create a plan for your finances, paying taxes, paying yourself, paying for software, supplies, a computer that won’t give you the blue-screen-of-death or the rainbow spinning ball. There is how you plan to be visible, connect with potential clients or customers and sell to them. How to give them a client experience that will make them remember, come back to you or even better, recommend you to others.


All of these pieces of a business can be done without an outlined process, but it will take you more time, more frustration, and more money to do them without a thought-out process.

So many companies that have the potential for success ultimately fail because they don’t have repeatable processes in order to maintain or improve upon their success.

So, what is a process?

Well I’m glad you asked!

A process is a series of steps that can be taken to achieve the same result every time.

Sometimes the word “system” and “process” are used interchangeably. While they are similar in meaning, a system is actually an overall series of smaller processes for a particular set of needs.

For example, in your business, your content creation may be a system, but the steps you create to create the content, edit the content, pick the pieces of content for social media, post the content, etc., are the processes that make up that system.

A process is something that helps the system run more efficiently.

I like to think of it as pieces to a puzzle or even a lego kit. (Can you tell I have boys?). Even the way that Lego sells their sets is a great example of how processes and systems work together.

The lego pieces are in separate little bags to matchup with the instructions in the instruction book. Each bag is opened and the pieces are put together to make a “part” of the final product.
The lego pieces are the processes, each baggie is the “system” and the final product is the entire business. 

Oh if all of our problems could be solved by legos…


Why do I NEED a process?

I’ll lose the creative edge that makes me stand out!

If I had a dime for every time I heard this or heard it insinuated, I could work for free!

So many business owners are awesome creative quick-starting geniuses, that sitting down to create a workflow, or repeatable process just makes them cringe and curl up in a ball and sleep till spring. (I have to admit, that doesn’t sound half-bad right now… thank you cold-snap)

Well, to that I say “pshaw!” Having processes and systems actually frees UP your creativity! No longer are you searching for documents, or redoing work just because you couldn’t find your notes. You can build creativity INTO the process as well as offload some of the more non-creative tasks to someone more better-suited.

 (If you still can’t see yourself doing this, but understand the value of it, perhaps we should chat! Head over to my contact page HERE)

Think of processes as a map. You may be envisioning where you want to end up, but having a map of how to get there, rather than “winging it” will help you ensure your destination is what you imagine it will be.

Okay, I believe you, how should I get started?

Now that you’ve decided to create processes for your business, there are definitely some steps to take to make sure you won’t lose steam or get lost in the minutia.

1. Define your goals.
They should be focused on your company objectives and where you envision your business being in the future. All of your processes and systems should support these goals

2. Identify the main systems in your business.
Most small businesses will have systems in one of these 7 categories: Financial, Sales, Marketing/Visibility, Operations/Project Management, Product creation, Client Experience, Team Growth/HR.

3. Start with the system you spend the most time in or find yourself not enjoying the work.
For many this is Operations, or Financial.

4. Record the step you take using a video software (or even record in Zoom) and start to create a library of videos of how to you it, even if you know improvements can be made

5. Have a colleague or VA review the videos, perhaps create an SOP of the steps, or parts of the steps to see if it makes sense.

(Optional 6. Hire a process or systems specialist to come and help create your processes and improve the overall functionality of your business so you can “get out of the weeds” Click here to discuss!)

Sold yet?

So if you still believe that processes exist to squelch creativity and “corporatize” businesses, I hope this has helped you see the purpose from a different perspective. Any business that runs needs to have a structure and some sort of framework so that anyone can come into the business and make it run without “reinventing the wheel.”

I hope you will now view lego’s differently next time you buy a set….. Or is that just me? 😉

Let me know what you think!

Have your own opinion on systems and processes? How do you record the operations in your business and help your business grow?

What the Heck is a process, and why do I need one? Read More »

Your values and your “Big Rocks”

You’ve all heard that story about the professor and the lecture he gave to his class regarding big rocks, small rocks and sand. This is a story used by many time management experts and coaches to exemplify that although life is filled with many “things”, some of those things are more highly valued than others (the big rocks) and some are not as high value (small rocks) and shouldn’t be the “main focus”

If you have NO idea what I’m talking about, please visit this youtube channel for a quick 2-minute explanation of the Big Rocks before reading the rest of this! I promise! It’s less than 2 minutes long!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5ZvL4as2y0

This analogy can work with your life as well as your business, it actually can be used to put a framework pretty much about anything you do in your life to help decide where to spend your time and evaluate the direction you are going.

So, what are your big rocks?
Your big rocks are based upon your values and everything you find important in your life. In my life, my big rocks are my family, my health, my spirituality, and my contribution to the world.

So many of us, including myself, get bogged down in the minutia of everyday life, and all the things others expect of us, it is no wonder that we lose ourselves so often in serving others, especially those that have children or others that depend on us.

But if we let the small things, the “shoulds’ and the “expectations” run our life, we will lose site of those big rocks and the reasons “why” we started our business, started exercising, or creating a family game night in the first place.

How can we keep the important things in mind?
Being able to keep your values and your big rocks in mind, even when life takes over and puts you on autopilot is as simple as a sticky-note.

Much like anything in life, what is out of site- is out of mind. But when it comes to our values and our big-rocks, constant visible reminders will help us prioritize on a daily or sometimes hourly basis.

Action item: Put your values or your big rocks on 5-6 sticky notes, or note-cards and stick them in places you see every day. This can include your bathroom mirror, your daily calendar, your office whiteboard, the dashboard of your car. Remind yourself of why you are here on this earth to serve, to help, to be.

What about all of the other things?
Whenever I start thinking about my big rocks, I start to get a little panicked about all of the other things that I need to do in order to support my big rocks. The mortgage needs to be paid, the office needs to be decluttered, the kids need to have halloween costumes… you know the drill.

These are all important things as well, and some of them are even in support of my big rocks, but based on other needs, they may be able to be pushed back depending on how they effect the immediate needs of myself, my family and my health.

They shouldn’t be ignored, obviously, but they should also be prioritized so they aren’t forgotten or set aside so long that they cause you stress and anxiety. 

So how DO you do “all the things?”
The simple answer to this is “you don’t”. You don’t have to. Some things will spill over, but if you keep the big rocks and the “kind of big rocks” at the forefront of your mind, all of the IMPORTANT things will get done. 

The answer for me is weekly planning and time-blocking with my priorities in mind.

I have talked about time-blocking before and will be coming out with a more specific blog-article about it in the future. It is all about being intentional with your time and understanding the value of what you are doing. Time-blocking the best way I have found, not only to plan out your weeks/months prior to them happening, but to make sure the big rocks have the place of importance in your life.


What’s the process?
If you’ve been following me at all, you know that I am a very systems and process oriented person, so of course I will let you peak into the processes I have either heard of or created in my life to help keep my values and my priorities in the forefront.

When setting up your week or your month, make sure your big rocks are on the calendar first. This is from everything from self-care and family time, to meditation/yoga/date night.

Once the big-rocks are scheduled, then you put in the little rocks, that support the big rocks in next. For me, that would be:

  • Business/work time
  • Planning for family events/vacations
  • Paying bills
  • Schedule time with friends
  • Updating the house

In my business specifically, my big rocks are 

  • Client Management
  • Connection
  • Self-improvement
  • Course-creation

Small rocks would be 

  • Project-work
  • Project management
  • Meeting preparation
  • Hiring/team management

 

Put this in action in your own life.
So many of us just go through the day letting everything happen to us, not taking accountability for what happens and the direction we are taking. It is true, life has a habit of throwing us curveballs (2020 anyone?). But how you DEAL with those curveballs, based on your values and priorities is in the end what defines you. I know we are all capable of moving forward to our goals no matter the path we are forced to take if we keep the Big Rocks the most important things in our lives. 

What does this look like for you?

I’d love to hear from you and share with me what your big rocks in your life…. In your business?
What are the small rocks that help support those big rocks?

What do you think of my process for organizing my life around my priorities?

Your values and your “Big Rocks” Read More »

Top 5 ways to simplify your life

How many times have you tried to get one thing done, and then find yourself down the rabbit hole, 2 hours later, surrounded by receipts and post-it notes and signed up for a course on how to use convertkit?

How many times have you tried to solve a quick problem only to find out that it’s actually caused by a bigger problem and then you are up all night trying to solve it?

How many times have you thrown your hands up in the air with so many things to do in frustration and just want to give up?

Dealing with overwhelm

I hear you sister …. Loud and clear.

Overwhelm is a feeling I am extremely familiar with, as many women who are driven in many aspects of their life can relate to. We often feel like we are pulled in multiple directions, whether it’s in our business our families, or just keeping the house in order. It sometimes feels like a never-ending battle with no real solution.

It’s then when you need to slow it down, give yourself a minute to breath, and ask yourself “What do I need right now to get to the place or the mindset I need to be?”.

This week I have been extremely busy with work when my son came down with a cold. He is currently attending in-person school, but where we live, if a child has a runny nose, they consider it a Covid-symptom. This means he must stay home for the quarantine period (not ideal) or get the Covid-test and be able to go back to school once we got the paperwork. (also not ideal).

I don’t know how many of you have ever worked with a 4 year old running around who is curious about everything, but you can only put them in front of PBS kids so long until either they get bored or you feel like the worst parents ever that you are essentially ignoring your own child. So we decided to get him the Covid test.

This was his second Covid test, so you know he was not too happy about it. 

Let’s just say that even with all of the positive reinforcement, hand-holding and promises of chocolate it took two nurses and myself to hold him still enough to get the test done. As a mom who believes in vaccines and have been there for the majority of her childrens shots, this was extremely overwhelming for me, for so many reasons. My brain flooded with the sadness and fear that my child felt, the fact that we have felt so isolated for so long other than trips to grocery store and runs/walks outside. How almost 1/4th of my son’s life has been during Covid and this is the childhood he will remember. Everything you could think of came flooding to my head and I had to hide my tears from my little guy so I wouldn’t scare him.

Once we got back home, and he was happy with his MM’s, I went to my office and just breathed for a few minutes allowing myself to feel the overwhelm of the situation we were in and ask myself what I needed in that moment. I had to cut through all of the thoughts and emotions and focus on what needed to be done at that time in order to get through this and onto the next step. 

Much of the time we deal with similar situations in our businesses. There are a million ways to do the million things that are on our list. One of the great and wonderful things about entrepreneurs is all of the amazing ideas that they have all the time.

I have many conversations with my clients about what is the most important thing to do and what they should be focused on in order to move their business forward the quickest. In essence, Keep It Simple Sister. (Yes, I know the saying is “Keep it Simple Stupid”, but I’d rather use the feminine power in this blogpost) 😉

Through trial and error, I have learned to clear the clutter from my brain and my life by making sure I focus on the right things, and keeping my goals and my paths simple and clear, not only for me, but for those around me. Keeping my goals and priorities clear, makes the paths to achieve them almost magically appear before my eyes in a simple and clear way.

Much like Marie Kondo asks us to only keep the physical objects that bring us joy, I ask you to only focus your time and energy on the people, relationships, and activities that bring you joy or actually need to be done to move you forward to your goals.

”Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains”

Steve Jobs

Now I warn you, making things simple isn’t necessarily easy. Sometimes a lot of mental and emotional effort goes into letting something go that you have been use to thinking about, worrying about or doing… but once that thing is gone, it doesn’t take up your mental space anymore, allowing you to deep dive into the parts that make your soul sing. 

Top 5 ways to keep things simple in your life:

1. Your space – Throw-away, give-away or donate the items in your house/life that are just taking up space and not adding value

2. Create a list of family values and goals so you are all aligned on what is important and what you stand for

3. Write down your thoughts/plans for your business at least once a week and put it in the same place so you can focus in on the ones that matter the most to you.

4. Create a system around how you work, when you work, so it doesn’t need to be explained to your family or your clients and you know what you are doing every day of the week without thought

5. Make everything that isn’t something that needs your emotional or deep-thought a repeatable system, from when you grocery shop every week, to making coffee in the morning to exercise. Humans are creatures of habit, use that tendency to your advantage with enough flexibility that you can drop everything and care for sick child, have a meaningful talk with your husband, or go for a massage.

Life is short, Keep it Simple.

Top 5 ways to simplify your life Read More »

Why self-care is the most important part of your business.

It is no secret that today’s generation of working women have a completely different measuring stick of success than any of our predecessors. I was born at the end of generation X, looking over the edge at the Millenials and sharing a lot of the same generalized traits of being computer-savvy, outspoken (in certain circumstances), and having a hard time accepting the “status-quo” life of the American dream that was laid out in the generations before me. However, much like the majority of Generation X, I also believed in putting in my time and effort into a specific cause for a long time, having the grit to push through challenges, self-dependence, and determination to reach goals and not sweat the small stuff.


I don’t believe that I am original in my drive and determination, in fact, I was raised with and am surrounded by women with the same ideals and challenges. Many of these women have risen to extraordinary heights in the face of adversity and a culture that still values the work of men at a higher pay-rate than women. It is because of this determination, this drive of our generation, that so many of us are burning out. It is completely understandable and yet tragic that so many women are working harder, longer, and with more responsibilities as wives, parents, daughters, employees, or CEO’s than our parents before us still don’t feel like we are measuring up to the women before us that paved the way for our successes.

All of this possibility for women of today, being raised with the work ethic and family values that I was is at the same time thrilling and exhausting. Not measuring up to our internal sense of success is not only unacceptable, but it is also unattainable.

From the perspective of a mother during the Covid pandemic, I can vouch for the feeling of overwhelm, to the point of burnout, but powering through regardless because of the expectations I have learned to put on myself and the financial responsibility I feel for my family.. After the anxiety goes on long enough, it turns into physical ailments, heart palpitations, panic attacks, and iron deficiency (at least in my case).

I’ve had to take a long hard look at my life, what “success” actually means to me, and what I am willing to give up to achieve that success because although I believe that I, we, all women, can have ANYTHING we want… we can’t always have EVERYTHING we want. There are only so many hours in the day, and neglecting ourselves will only make everything we really care about suffer.


Other than our families, loved ones, and values when it comes to society, part of every woman’s idea of success should be their own happiness and health. This means that self-care, in whatever form it takes needs to be a priority in our lives.

I know… this is a REALLY easy aspiration to have, but an even easier goal to let pass by the wayside when something more important comes up. I have even had others around me judge me negatively because I showed up to work late after attending a mothers-day event at my son’s school. Nevermind the fact that I was doing more work than the others in my department or that I found more efficient and effective ways to work with my peers. 

So I get it. Actually making the time for yourself when society, the way you were raised, the judgement from family, friends and your colleagues may tell you otherwise, is in a word… improbable. 

But think of the alternative.

Losing your life to work. Not spending the time with your friend who needs you. Not breathing the early morning air on your daily run. Not doing that yoga and losing your flexibility.

What is the result if you DONT make self-care a priority in your life?

I beg of you (and myself), to find something every day to do for yourself that is enjoyable and helps make you a better person. Make your self-care valuable to everyone you serve, spend time around and work with, and it will be that much easier to do.

This is a list of things that I have tried myself, or is on my mind to learn to do in the next year that would classify in my book as “self-care”

  1. Running or cardio exercise of some sort. 
  2. Yoga or some stretching exercise
  3. Mindset coaching
  4. Playing Piano / Singing
  5. Going on a walk
  6. Meditation
  7. Calling a girlfriend
  8. Getting a massage
  9. Reading a book
  10. Creating a healthy menu or eating healthy foods. 

 

Notice everything on that list has either a health benefit, or a brain benefit or both. 

Self-care doesn’t mean self-indulgence. It is what you can do for yourself that will build a better tomorrow, next month or next year. It is the act of creation and healthy habit-forming that is not a self-punishment, rather an investment in your future as a whole person, not just one with the work-ethic of a saint.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you”.

 

Katie Reed

So while your work-ethic is something the women’s liberation movement would be proud of. We need to make sure it is not just our work that is admirable, but the way we care for ourselves and hold to the parts of us that came before the businesses or your social groups and family expectations is almost more important than the rest.

If you promise to take time for your own self-care this month. I promise to be diligent about mine as well. 
Now let’s kick some ass. 

Why self-care is the most important part of your business. Read More »

How to focus on the right things

As us busy entrepreneurs are more than aware, getting more done in less time is the order of the year. While many of us pride ourselves in being able to do multiple things at a time, like cook dinner and have a client call while watching our kids, we really end up not doing ANY of those things well if we do them all at the same time.

Over the years, as I have gotten to know myself, how I work, and the way my brain works I have found that 2 hours of deep, focused work, will be much more productive than a day of balancing everything that falls in our lap.

Creating the time and space to focus on the parts of our business or our lives that require it is not easy. But being aware of things we can do to help CREATE the focus, and therefore the flow that is required to get the hard things done.

And much like anything, if you create a habit of it, it becomes easier and almost something you look forward to.

But putting all of the distractions away, figuring out HOW to focus is sometimes more than half the problem.

I have a few things that I utilize to help promote focus when I work on my content, PM builds, process outlines and other high-concentration tasks in my business. 

Focus hacks that I’ve used for myself

  1. Find a space to work where you will not be interrupted, that preferably has a door, and let your family and friends know you are there to focus.
  2. Put your phone on silent or airplane mode and turn off all social media pop-ups or slack conversations
  3. Ambient music or white noise. I swear by ambient music (there is a plethora of it on youtube), my favorite is just a crackling fire
  4. Work when your brain works best. There is something to knowing when your neurons are firing the fastest and using those hours of the day to do.
  5. Have a hot drink or a snack at your disposal. Nothing distracts me more than being hungry, cold, or thirsty. I always make a hot cup of tea (currently it is peppermint) to get me through a focus-session with the most effectiveness. 
  6. Only try to get 1-2 things done during your focus sessions and then take a break. 
  7. Plan your session out before you do it. Knowing what you are working on prior to doing it will help you focus on the tasks at hand
  8. Physical activity. It is good for you, you already know that, but it also helps your focus and concentration as well. How often do you get your best ideas when working out? I know I do when I run.

Alarming Statistics about lack of focus. 

  • Trying to focus on more than one thing at a time reduces your productivity by as much as 40%. 
  • The average desk job employee loses 2.1 hours a day to distractions and interruptions. That adds up to over a full day of work every week.
  • On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted every 10.5 minutes.
  • Being distracted by incoming calls or emails can lower employees’ IQ by as much 10 points.

I’d love to know what kind of ways you help your focus as well. How do you get yourself in that “flow” state quickest? 

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