My word of the year in 2021 was Consistency and this year it’s Inspire, so to make these plans come into action I have to continue to have solid work time and be held accountable. That’s why I really enjoy working with friends and working with a team. I have a group of friends I talk to daily on Voxer which is a walkie talkie app that you can use vocally or in text by having private conversations or group texting.
Every night at 5:30-6:30 PST I get on Zoom for a “powerhour” work time doing whatever things we need to get done. I work on my blog, my friend and VA Pam works on her planning and posting for another business, my friend Katie was working on school and now is studying for yoga teacher training and various other things. We also have a few entrepreneurs in our group who do the things they need to do at the same time. We all just chat and catch up (Covid- things) and help each other through problems or brainstorm. Having friends to work with and a set time to do what I need to get done is the best scenario I’ve found to be truly productive. It’s really nice that I can brainstorm and flush out full ideas and blog posts when everyone has a different perspective and take on it. Also keeping a pace on tasks that are due at a certain day or time; making sure you are using good time management through the week. This month I’m reading “Eat The Frog” which is all about how to get the hardest or most dreaded task done first to jumpstart productivity and give you a sense of accomplishment. Approaching my daily work this way has made all the difference and the feeling I get from completing a task, well that’s great too.
Basically I wanted to share the tools I use to make my planning and work time the most efficient. I begin by planning my content and social media content out on Trello. I have boards I use with my VA with brainstorming and the process that I use while I draft my posts. If I need to do formatting or linking I write in Google Docs. Being a blogger I try to create my images for my post (using stock most of the time) and I love using Canva to do this. Canva makes it so easy and fast to get any correct auto or custom sized images for social media or website use. You can really create anything! They have tons of templates and layouts galore. I use my custom branding in Canva settings to make my images stand out and reflect my blog.
I have been talking a lot about my Hustle Sanely planner and notepads, which I love using and really help me keep my priorities straight. The daily layout I picked helps me be consistent and focused on one day at a time. However I can plan ahead in the month when I need to or over the span of a week if that makes sense. I track my blog posts in this as well and completing a post is usually in my Top 3 for that day (today). Keeping track of my goals and daily/weekly habits is also very important to me so I can mark those down as well. Making sure that I’m not sacrificing my mental health and relationships is crucial to me and my daily life.
Being a very forgetful person, initially my dates and appointments go right into my reminders so I cannot forget the important things or far off tasks that I may space by the time they are here. I try to schedule an alarm like an hour or two before the actual event, appointment or whatever. This is just an added layer to not letting myself be late or miss anything important. Plus then I know if I have a call or if someone is coming by and I need to be home or aware of it.
Oftentimes, I will use the Pomodoro technique (timer) which just helps you get focused work done in shorter 25 min spurts with 5 mins to break between each non interrupted session. Another thing that helps me a lot is to have music in the background. I am not one of those people who can work in silence. Usually it’s some sort of lo-fi or soft singer songwriter guitar music, which is ideal for writing when it doesn’t conflict with my thoughts as I type. I also have to be comfortable so I may be in pajamas if we get on Zoom together at night. More than likely, i’ll be writing late at night as well. Since most of my friends are on the East Coast or Midwest, we always accommodate for the time difference.
I try to get some sort of outline going first and maybe brainstorm with some of my friends. Then I see how I can make my idea more unique or narrowed down. Follow that up by expanding any ideas that are easy and already on my mind, fill out whatever paragraphs I can right away. I don’t always write chronologically or in order. Sometimes it flows and other times it doesn’t but just don’t give up-that’s what I’ve learned, being diligent is important.
This is just a few of the ways that I hold myself accountable and get work done on a daily basis. It’s nice to be able to have a team of helpers behind you when you’re doing something like run a business or blog or the like. But when it’s not possible to hire out; just balance your time and use your time management skills and these resources around you and you’ll be just fine.