One of the most common things I hear wedding professionals say is “I’m too busy” or “There’s just too much to do”. When you’re running a business there is never a shortage of things that need to get done but there are some small tweaks you can make to how you manage your time and your tasks that will make you much more productive! Get ready to have some breathing room!
1. Batch Your Tasks
Batching is simply grouping similar tasks together so that you can use momentum to get through all of them. I do this with writing and it makes it a lot easier. If I had to come up with an article the day before it was supposed to be posted, I would struggle. Instead, I have a process where I finalize my topics by a specific date and I set aside a day to write and schedule all of my posts for the month so I don’t have to worry about it for an entire month.
Often times the hardest part of a task is getting started and batching allows you to avoid that hurdle. Batching can also be applied to things like client meetings, phone calls, accounting, content creation, social media scheduling, responding to emails, etc. Some people go a step further and set specific days for specific tasks in their business to maximize their productivity. I do most of my podcast interviews on Tuesdays for this reason.
2. Plan Your Day
Sitting down and thinking “Hmm what should I work on today?” is a surefire recipe for getting distracted and letting other people’s priorities run your day. Instead, plan out your day in advance. You could do this the night before like I do or first thing in the morning if that’s when you’re freshest.
On top of planning out your day ahead of time, I really love planning out my week using this super simple method. I spend about 15 minutes on this every Sunday and it has worked really well for me while more structured systems have failed. Being productive isn’t about following some trendy new planner or some guru’s structured plan. It’s about finding what works for you so you can get shit done! I’m a fan of keeping it simple and getting on with the work.
3. Create 1 System
A system is simply a process that you use to complete a task and can be as simple as a checklist. Your systems are what keeps your business running smoothly. If you have streamlined systems, your business runs like a well-oiled machine. If you don’t have streamlined systems set up, it can really slow you down.
For example, how do you schedule initial consultations with potential clients?
Do you rewrite that email or use a template?
Do you send them to a tool like Calendly to choose a date & time or do you go back and forth over and over via email?
Do you only do consultations on certain days so you can batch them or is it all over the place?
You already have systems in your business even if they aren’t optimized or streamlined. That means you have a lot of opportunities to take your time back! Systems may not seem sexy but they give you your time back, and that my friend, is super sexy.
This topic is so important that there is a very thorough masterclass inside The Wedding Business Collective all about creating systems simply and easily. I also ran a challenge to help you create just 1 system and you can still go through that when you join The Wedding Business Collective.
4. Identify 1 Thing To Delegate
You are not the only person that can do the tasks that need to be done in your business. You can’t do everything and you don’t have to. If you hate doing your bookkeeping and put it off until it becomes a massive burden, just delegate it to someone who enjoys it. Instead of wasting your time doing this task, you can delegate it to a bookkeeper for a very reasonable cost. This frees up your time to generate more business which is what really matters. I am SO happy to hand over money to my tax advisor. Every year she saves me money by finding deductions that I wasn’t aware of and she saves me time by doing my taxes which I HATE and would put off until the last minute creating even more stress.
People often look at the most successful people in the world and see that they don’t spend their time doing tasks they hate but they assume this is a perk of being successful. In actuality, this is how you become successful. By building a team you can essentially clone yourself. There are some things that only you can do, but most things can be done by someone who is particularly good at that specific task.
I am capable of doing my podcast editing but does it make sense for me to fight with my computer for over an hour when I could hand it off to a pro for $15? The hour or so this frees up could be used to generate more than $15 in revenue. However, I’m not immune to thinking “Oh I can just do it” and overloading myself. I stopped outsourcing my podcast editing for awhile because I fell into a scarcity-based mindset. It took some time for me to admit that I was being ridiculous and that as the business owner, I should not be spending my time on this.
Delegating tasks does not mean you have to hire an employee. I found my awesome podcast editor on Fiverr and there are tons of amazing virtual assistants who can take tasks off of your plate. Take time today to identify just 1 task you could outsource.
5. Don’t Allow Notifications To Run Your Life
This is a big one and it does involve fighting human nature a bit. When we see notifications come through from social media platforms, email, or anything else, we get a little hit of dopamine. It feels good and that little dopamine hit is addicting.
But here’s the thing, if you allow notifications to run your day, you’ll never get anything done. You’ll always be pulled away from your work by other people and their agendas. That’s going to leave you feeling frustrated because you can’t seem to get anything done.
You have to stop the notifications from reaching you because if you see or hear them, you’re going to react. Here are a few super simple things you can do.
- Keep your phone on silent. You shouldn’t be doing sales calls off the cuff anyway because you can’t be prepared and focused. Have potential clients schedule a time to talk to you.
- Disable as many notifications as you can. I don’t have email notifications on my phone because I don’t need them. I check my email throughout the day and NOTHING is so urgent that it needs me to drop everything. No one is going to die if I get back to them in a few hours or tomorrow.
- Keep your email closed when you’re not using it. If you’re working on anything other than processing email on your computer, that tab should stay closed. Even having that tab open is enough to tempt many people to seek out that little dopamine hit.
- Instead of letting technology use you, use it! If notifications are running your day, your technology isn’t working for you. You’re working for it. Instead, use helpful tools to help you fight against those urges to drift away to Facebook or Pinterest. Tools like LeechBlock and StayFocusd will allow you to block access to certain websites for a set period of time. Assume you will get distracted and use tools like these to serve as your guard rails.
6. Ask This Question
Anytime you begin a task, ask yourself this question: “Does this move me closer to my goal?” If the answer is yes, carry on.
If the answer is no, STOP. That means this is a task that either needs to be delegated or deleted entirely. If it’s something has to get done, like bookkeeping, start looking for people you could delegate this to. If you don’t have the funds to delegate, streamline the hell out of this task so you’re batching it and automating it as much as possible.
If it doesn’t have to get done and it doesn’t move you closer to your goal, then why are you doing it? It’s okay to decide to just delete tasks that don’t need to get done and don’t move you closer to your goal. In fact, it’s a great habit to get into!
If you want to step up your productivity and time management, come join us in The Wedding Business Collective! The Your Most Productive Week Ever course and the Systems Masterclass will help you create some breathing room for yourself in your business so you don’t feel so damn overwhelmed all the time!