why Productivity is NOT a dirty word
We’ve all heard it being said,
Don’t work harder, work smarter.
After the last few years, surely 2022 has to be the year of ease right?
We hear about being in flow, staying in alignment, even working alongside your monthly flow (if you have one).
Some folks reckon the way to make running your business easier is to simply double your prices.
Or maybe it’s tech…we need to invest in the right tech.
We have all these tools available to us to make things easier, automating tasks that would otherwise take energy and time to complete, systems and processes to help us get more done.
Maybe I am missing something though…
Whatever happened to the idea of old fashioned graft?
Is there anything wrong with putting in the effort?
I think this idea that “it gets to be easy” is bullshit, especially for the majority of solopreneurs. It gets to be easy for folks with money because they can bypass the organic audience building and just throw money at Facebook ads, or hook up with their equally rich friends and offer 50% affiliate rates to share the audiences they have farmed through said ads.
What about the rest of us?
Seriously, I think the narrative that we should all be working fewer hours and making more money is tripping up a lot of entrepreneurs….especially those who are still trying to make a name for themselves.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Love Island Contestant Mollie Mae created outrage when she suggested we all have the same 24 hours in a day.
She is right we do.
However until she has grown up and realised how hard the majority of solopreneurs who haven’t built 10 bazillion followers on socials over the course of one summer, and now has a team of people running her business…then I think she has a lot to learn.
There is an element of truth behind that statement, and I think the fact it caused so much outrage gives us a brilliant opportunity to explore how much we get done in a working week,
I hold my hands up.
I get a lot of stuff done in the course of a year, I have months where I feel on fire, and yes I have months where I feel burned out…often because I haven’t scheduled in downtime, or ways to let off steam.
I am a typical ADHD, manifesting generator, multi-passionate, starter upper.
I think I probably always have been.
But it was only when I started supporting entrepreneurs online that I realised that many of the ways I inherently grow my business, some business owners just don’t even consider.
My productivity hacks began when I became a mum, and then doubled down again when I became a single mum, the pandemic took this up a level, as I juggled parenting, the managing of two business, the caring for my sister who had broken her ankle…and of course the general fall out of being in a global pandemic.
So much so that I ran a mini programme called “Do More Bits’ weirdly enough inspired by my dirty secret of quite enjoying Love Island. (those that know about the do bits club will know what I’m talking about lol)
I have taught time management as a trainer since the early 2000s, when I used to support freelance artists to see themselves more as business owners, ensuring they charged effectively for their skill, and got a return on investment for their time.
That’s the thing…productivity is exactly that. It is about getting the greatest return, on your greatest asset. TIME.
January is always a busy month for me, as is often the case for business coaches AND those working in the fitness world. But this January was particularly productive…and I have been exploring why that has been.
So firstly let me share what I got done.
- I wrote a book…yes from start to finish, publishing it in less than 30 days. The ebook came out today…the paperback will be ready in about a week.
- I designed and launched a new running programme which saw 165 women pilot it.
- I established a new partnership with a global charity, who I will be fundraising for this year, in an attempt to raise £100,000
- I redesigned my www.toofattorun.co.uk website, with a web designer obviously, but all of the copy and design decisions still had to be made
- I launched a new clothing range, using a new drop shipping system which I had to get my head around
- I began training for my 6th marathon, meaning in January I did 6 runs, 10 CrossFit classes, 4 peloton rides, and some yoga.
- I ran a 3 day FREE training for 100+ entrepreneurs, followed by a launch.
- I committed to posting an Instagram Reel a day for 30 days (sometimes posting one in each of my two businesses)
- I designed a 21 day Instagram Reels Challenge, and have registered 32 small business owners
- I also had a week off suffering with a tummy bug, followed by 4 days of my daughter suffering the same.
- And we celebrated my daughters 9th birthday
- Oh and I watched 6 seasons of This is Us (I just couldn’t stop watching it)
Now you might look at that list and think how is that even possible?
Well firstly I would say, some of this stuff was simply following through after building up momentum, with projects coming to a conclusion in January.
But it was also about understanding how each of these tasks and projects fitted into the others.
I worked a slightly different work pattern than normal too, which involved 6am starts most days (the best time for me to write) and earlier bed times.
It also meant I reduced my social media output on some platforms.
Do you know during the pandemic I stopped answering emails? Yep. I told my clients if they needed me to post in the FB group they were a part of, or DM me on messenger….and I realised that literally 80% of the stuff that landed in my inbox was bullshit.
I looked at my emails once a week…and do you know how much more I was able to do during that time as a result?
The truth is there are some things you do in your business that make not a drop of difference to your output.
And then there are other things that literally open the doors up to growth.
Often the BIG projects like, launching a podcast, designing a group programme, creating an organic audience-building strategy that works…fall of your to-do list, replaced instead with dealing with emails, creating social media content, and searching the internet for the next BIG thing, the MISSING thing, the THING that everyone else must obviously know about and you don’t.
That’s what missing.
Focus. Commitment. Graft
Any online course you take, business coach you work with, a new piece of tech or process you need to grow your business…comes with graft.
And so let me ask you this.
When in your working week this week have you allocated time to do the business building graft you know your business actually needs?
I get a lot of stuff done in my business because I don’t always have a lot of time to waste.
I get a lot of stuff done in my business because I focus at least 40% of my week on business-building activities.
I get a lot of stuff done because I stop myself from being a perfectionist, I understand the mind monkeys that are at play, I know that the reason I procrastinate is because of fear…and so I face that fear head-on.
So this week, pick one big project and carve out time to work on that…give yourself a big fat gold star when you have completed a significant chunk of it…then come back and do the same next week until that task is complete.
And grab a red felt tip, and cross out anything in your diary that you know is just you avoiding the gold star activity.
See how much more you get done.
Join me for my get the important shit done workshop
Julie Creffield is a serial entrepreneur, and creative business mentor with a passion for building and activating powerful and profitable communities, and helping solopreneurs to THINK bigger and PERFORM better
Once a quarter she runs her popular Get More of The Important Shit Done workshop. Over the course of 2 hours she will share 3 productivity and business growth systems for really making progress in your business…and there isn’t a SMART goal to be seen.
Thursday 9th February @2pm
Can’t join live, no worries you will get the recording, an overview of the systems and all of the resources shared on the call.
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