How To Plan When There Is Not Enough Time To Get It All Done

How To Plan When There Is Not Enough Time To Get It All Done

One of my favourite planning practices that I started last year came from one of those weeks where I knew everything that I wanted to get done would not fit in the time I had available.

Does that sound like a familiar week to you? Maybe it’s every week!

I knew if I just sat down at my computer to ‘get work done’ I would start by checking my email and looking at my tasks in Asana. I would do the easy things, the quick things, the things that didn’t have any questions or anxiety attached to them. Although I’d probably get my client work done (because accountability) I wouldn’t do those other high priority tasks that actually move my business forward or could bring in more money.

So I decided that instead of sitting down and getting to work with a random, anxiety-driven approach to the mountain of work I would take myself off to a cafe.

I ordered a cheese scone and a lemon, honey & ginger hot drink.

I did bring my notebook and phone with me too. So after a bite of buttery scone, I opened my notebook, brought Asana up on my phone, and began to sift through the mountain of work to strategically and consciously choose what I would commit to completing this week that would actually fit in my work schedule.

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How To Make The Most Of Your Business Expenses And Save Money

Get more use out of your business expenses and cull the ones you’ve outgrown

One of the first things I did when preparing for maternity leave was to review my business expenses.

I didn’t just look at the next month, I looked at the whole next year’s expenses. I looked through my Paypal account and my business bank account for monthly subscription charges, for annual subscription charges, and other expenses that I’d expect to incur again in the coming year.

I went item by item and decided whether or not I would need that subscription, that business tool, that expense during my maternity leave when my business was operating in a season of rest and not a season of growth.

I unsubscribed, downgraded, and in some cases switched from monthly to annual subscription plans so that my business expenses while on maternity leave would be as minimal and as useful as possible.

This isn’t just something I did for maternity leave. I did the same thing when preparing to take December & January off. I did the same thing as part of my annual planning. And now that I’m much more comfortable with the money numbers in my business (thanks to Denise DT & Money Bootcamp, not because the numbers have drastically increased) I do this as part of my monthly planning.

But like anything, I want you to start where you are.

I want you to get more use out of the tools you’re paying for and save money on the ones you’ve outgrown.

One of the first things I did when preparing for maternity leave was to review my business expenses.

I didn’t just look at the next month, I looked at the whole next year’s expenses. I looked through my Paypal account and my business bank account for monthly subscription charges, for annual subscription charges, and other expenses that I’d expect to incur again in the coming year.

I went item by item and decided whether or not I would need that subscription, that business tool, that expense during my maternity leave when my business was operating in a season of rest and not a season of growth.

I unsubscribed, downgraded, and in some cases switched from monthly to annual subscription plans so that my business expenses while on maternity leave would be as minimal and as useful as possible.

This isn’t just something I did for maternity leave. I did the same thing when preparing to take December & January off. I did the same thing as part of my annual planning. And now that I’m much more comfortable with the money numbers in my business (thanks to Denise DT & Money Bootcamp, not because the numbers have drastically increased) I do this as part of my monthly planning.

But like anything, I want you to start where you are.

I want you to get more use out of the tools you’re paying for and save money on the ones you’ve outgrown.

One of the first things I did when preparing for maternity leave was to review my business expenses.

I didn’t just look at the next month, I looked at the whole next year’s expenses. I looked through my Paypal account and my business bank account for monthly subscription charges, for annual subscription charges, and other expenses that I’d expect to incur again in the coming year.

I went item by item and decided whether or not I would need that subscription, that business tool, that expense during my maternity leave when my business was operating in a season of rest and not a season of growth.

I unsubscribed, downgraded, and in some cases switched from monthly to annual subscription plans so that my business expenses while on maternity leave would be as minimal and as useful as possible.

This isn’t just something I did for maternity leave. I did the same thing when preparing to take December & January off. I did the same thing as part of my annual planning. And now that I’m much more comfortable with the money numbers in my business (thanks to Denise DT & Money Bootcamp, not because the numbers have drastically increased) I do this as part of my monthly planning.

But like anything, I want you to start where you are.

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How To Automate Your Social Media With SmarterQueue

How To Automate Your Social Media With SmarterQueue

It feels like I’ve been working on my social media system and strategy for the past two years of my business. And guess how old my business is! Yep, two years old.

First, it was setting up my Facebook Page, deciding whether or not to delve into Instagram, and then going all in on a Pinterest course.

Then it was figuring out what on earth to post to my Facebook Page, finding the time to even write the content, and chasing the elusive strategy of batching for months on end.

Key #1 to creating content for my social media was learning about categories from Jackie Johnstone. Suddenly the prospect of creating four posts across four categories felt much more achievable that writing 16 posts for the month.

My social media system evolved with a social media planner within Asana that I could share with my VA and begin to hand off the creating and scheduling of some posts.

We played around with Buffer, Hootsuite, and native Facebook scheduling. While I tried to stay ahead of my schedule when creating content.

All of the testing, experimenting, and practice came together in December when I implemented SmarterQueue* to automate my social media system.

Now I have a consistent stream of helpful, free content going out on my Facebook Page every week. And I don’t want you to have to go through the months (years) of experimentation that I did.

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How I’m Planning For 6-10 Months Of Self-employed Maternity Leave

How I’m Planning For 6-10 Months Of Self-employed Maternity Leave

I started my business when my daughter was 6 months old with just one day a week of childcare and stealing moments at naptime and evenings.

Over the past two years, I’ve been able to put our lifestyle first, let her childcare be led by her development needs, and transition to a balanced 2.5 day work week.

Now we’re expected our second baby and all my carefully crafted plans and schedules are about to be blown away.

I have no idea how I’ll juggle a business, toddler, and baby as a stay-at-home mum putting the needs of her children first.

What I do know is that there will be a way to do just that.

There will be a way for me to transition back to working 15-20 hours a week on a growing business. There will be a way for my toddler to get all the learning and development opportunities she needs while still having quality family time. There will be a way for our us to parent our new baby the way we want to. There might even be a way to share sleep-ins with my hubby and steal a date night here and there.

After doing the business and baby juggle once before and reading plenty of other advice from other mompreneurs having babies and running businesses I knew where to start with maternity leave.

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How To Make Appointment Scheduling With Clients A Snap With Acuity

How To Make Appointment Scheduling With Clients A Snap With Acuity

The first system I implemented and automated in my business was booking meetings with clients and prospective clients (and colleagues and mastermind buddies and honestly anyone) by using a calendar scheduling tool.

I knew it was going to save me and the people I chat with a whole lot of time and mental space by not having to juggle our available across time zones by going back and forth over email.

One of my big fears, when I started my business, was that my availability from here in New Zealand to a worldwide and largely US-based audience would be a barrier to working with me and simply communicating with me.

Needless to say, there are thousands of businesses operating on an international scale because of the internet and there are fabulous tools like calendar scheduling tools to help us do that.

Even if you’re not juggling time zones like I am you’re probably spending far too much time in your email trying to pin down a convenient time to meet with your clients, prospects, suppliers, and mastermind buddies.

Like one of my clients said to me last week…

“I want to know your thoughts about scheduling tools. I know you were talking about this way back when we started and I was not about it and now I’m all about it. I see the point of not having the back and forth emails.”

It is absolutely one of the first things you can automate at a low cost for great time savings while looking super organised.

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What Taking A 2 Months Holiday From Business Really Looks Like

What Taking A 2 Months Holiday From Business Really Looks Like - Adventure in Productivity

When I started my business I committed to putting my lifestyle first.

My daughter’s education and development would determine her childcare, not my own work schedule. I wouldn’t work public holidays so that we could spend time as a family when my husband had time off work. And I’d take two whole months off over December & January to prioritise family time, the holiday season, and summer.

It’s not been easy to hold these boundaries and often times my work hours run into family time or time for myself. The first year I tried to take two months off I think I only managed two weeks!

This year I prepped, I planned, I had a VA to keep my content being published, and I talked about it so much that even one of my clients told me to get off my email when I emailed her a week into my holiday.

I actually took two months holiday and it was fabulous. I’m so proud to have made it happen and although I did do a little bit of work over that time I’ve come back feeling refreshed, reinvigorated, and excited about my business.

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Why I Don’t Call Myself A Business Coach… Even Though I Kind Of Am One

Why I'm not a business coach... even though I kind of am

One of the first dilemmas I had when I started my business was whether to call myself a business coach or not.

I knew what I did was help people with the big picture of their businesses and how the parts of their businesses could all work together in an easier more effective way.

I also knew that I didn’t want to tell people what to do with their businesses. I didn’t want to tell them to use a particular strategy or implement a particular tool because I’m not the expert on your business, you are!

I also really didn’t want to jump into what I saw was an already saturated market of business coaches.

I knew some of these feelings were influenced by mindset blocks but that there was also merit it defining what I did and didn’t want to do when working with clients.

Not only did I have to define it for myself but I had to define it in order to communicate it to you!

And so after this topic had been on my Facebook Live list for months I finally recorded a video when my VA set a date and I had to front up about it! It’s always been one of those behind-the-scenes stories that I always suspected would be really helpful for people but that I felt incredibly vulnerable sharing.

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When To Plan, How Far Out And When You’re Using It To Procrastinate

How to know if you're using planning to procrastinate

I love the beginning of a new year. I love the unlimited possibility of a fresh 12 months.

I love to dream and plan and vision a bright future that isn’t held back by plans already made or expectations already set. It’s a clean slate and I always feel like anything is possible.

Of course, we can technically do this any time of year on any day of the year. We have our whole future ahead of us after all. But there’s something about the holiday season, celebrating the New Year, and here in New Zealand the added fun of summertime.

I could spend hours lazing in the sun with brightly coloured workbooks and planners dreaming up wild dreams for myself, envisioning my ideal lifestyle, painting the picture of my ideal day.

But at some point enjoying dreaming and planning for life and business begins to stop you living your life, or taking action in your business.

If you’ve ever sought refuge in outlining a project or writing a to-do list so you didn’t have to do that next scary thing this week’s video is for you.

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Productivity Myth: You Need ONE Planner To Be Productive

How to create a productive planner system for the new year

Have you decided that 2018 is the year that you’ll get organised with your business?

You’ll finally dive into the world of project management tools like Asana or Trello and leave your mess of notebook pages and post-its behind you.

You’ll finally stick with the one beautiful paper-based planner to manage your week, review your business month by month, and keep you on track towards your meticulously set 2018 goals.

(If you’re on the hunt for the perfect planner then check out my Speed Dating Guide to Planners from last planner season.)

I want to help you create that organisation success in your life and business for 2018.

I want you to have a system that works the way you work, supports all aspects of your life and business that need to come together on any given day, and allows you to see the big picture as well as the day to day details.

(Learn more about how you do “to do lists” in this video from Carol Tuttle based on the 4 Energy Types.)

I’ve been using both a notebook to write to do lists for my week or day and Asana to hold #allthethings related to my business. In this week’s video I give an example of a client who uses two project management tools, a paper planner, and a whiteboard that all work together.

So if the answer isn’t one planner, nor is it a mess of planners, what really matters when it comes to organising your business?

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How To Choose The Best Tool to Automate Your Business (For Social Media, Calendar Scheduling, Customer Management, And More)

How To Choose The Best Tool to Automate Your Business

One of my favourite things to do, especially at this time of year, is to dream BIG. That combined with my love of automation and making things easier for myself and other mompreneurs leads me into a planning & review exercise I do every year.

I do a stock take of all the free and paid tools and services I’m using to run my business. Then I do the fun part where I look at which tools I want to upgrade or add to my business.

Right now those free and paid tools look like this…

Do you love the automation tools that you’re using in your business?

Or are you onto your third social media scheduling tool that works well enough now because you don’t want to waste any more time messing around setting up a new tool.

Or do you still have accounts (some you’re still paying monthly) of four different project management tools, none of which you were able to stick with, and now you’re back to trusted pen & paper.

Remember these tools are supposed to make it easier to run your business!

If any one of your automation tools is causing you more trouble than it’s worth, or you’re simply ready to upgrade or automate something new then you need to watch this week’s video.

Let me share how to choose the best automation tool for how you work, who your customers are, and that fits your business.

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