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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What To Do When You Keep Running Out Of Time For Your Work Every Week

How to stop running out of time for week each week

How long have you been working in your business and constantly running out of time every single week to finish the work you had committed to clients, customers, or your audience to do?

It took me two months of operating like this before I said enough was enough.

When you’re all out of reasons as to why you’re falling behind on your work every week then it’s time to put your #momboss hat on and really change something.

It’s not that you’re sick, or your family is sick, or your childcare is disrupted, or you’re emotionally distracted by a big life event.

It’s not that you don’t know what you need to be doing. You’ve planned out your work week but those boundaries are not holding. You’re prioritising for both important and to get sh*t done but the work is still not getting done.

What you’re left with is a jigsaw puzzle of epic mompreneur proportions.

Let me share how I got myself out of this place by looking at ALL the options available, even the ones I didn’t like.

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Solving All of Your Time Management Problems – Part Three: Why You Need To Get Really Clear On Your Priorities (And How To Start)

Solving All of Your Time Management Problems - Part Three: Why You Need To Get Really Clear On Your Priorities (And How To Start)

This is the third post in the 3 Things Causing All Your Time Management Problems series where we’ll tackle PRIORITIES.

Catch up on the rest of the series here:

Every Monday morning I drop my daughter off at childcare and then stop off at a garden centre that has a great cafe with the best cheese scones.

I don’t only go for the cheese scones. I go to do my planning for the week in an environment where I’m not tempted by distraction or to start a task before I’ve finished planning everything out.

It’s just me, my cheese scone, sparkling apple & blackcurrant juice, my notebook, and mobile phone. I can look up everything I need on my phone from my email, task lists in Asana, and Google Drive.

When it’s the end of the month I also crunch my numbers, and when it’s the end of a quarter (or the year) I’ll also do some reflection and bigger picture planning.

But I always come home from that cafe knowing exactly what ONE thing I will work on when I get to my computer.

And then the next thing, and then the next thing. All in prioritised order so that it’s really obvious when I start to get distracted and I can get myself back on track or adjust the plan asap.

Do you know what ONE thing you’re going to work on when you sit down at your workspace?

Or do you open up your email, Facebook, your notebook, your to-do list app and browse a myriad of tasks that need to get done over the next days and weeks.

Do you know what’s the most important for you to get done right now? Do you know what you need to do first because otherwise you’ll get distracted by other work and it just won’t happen?

How to prioritise effectively not just based on importance but to get sh*t done is the time management trick that will bust you out of procrastination and into productivity.

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Solving All of Your Time Management Problems – Part Two: Realign Your Expectations For Productivity Success

Realign Your Expectations For Productivity Success Part Two in the Solving All Of Your Time Management Problems series

This is the second post in the 3 Things Causing All Your Time Management Problems series where we’ll tackle FOCUS.

Catch up on the rest of the series here:

 

WHY DOES EVERYTHING ALWAYS TAKE LONGER THAN YOU THINK IT WILL?!

My biz bestie’s and I moan about this to each other on a semi-regular basis. No matter how long we’re in business it always comes up when we’re trying something new.

Call it upper limit problems, money blocks, self-sabotage, or whatever you like. It’s part of being an entrepreneur, it’s part of trying things you’ve never done before, and it’s part of running a business.

But you CAN get better at estimating how much time your tasks take and setting your workload so that it will match the time you have available to work.

When was the last time you wrote a to-do list for your day or week and actually got all of it done in the time frame you thought you could?

Do you feel like this is a little bit like #inboxzero? It sounds great in theory but you never truly believe anyone has achieved it.

For years I would ride the magic carpet of my aspirational, optimistic dreams always falling short on how much I thought I could get done.

It was hugely discouraging to constantly be setting a target that I never reached. Or that always took longer than I had allowed for and burnt me out by the time I finally did reach it.

Eventually, I began to use my project management training to not just estimate how long something would take me but to track how long it actually did. This completely changed the game and made what previously felt impossible possible.

Let’s confront those self-imposed expectations and learn how to set our to-do lists up for success every day and every week.

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Solving All of Your Time Management Problems – Part One: Tame Your Inner Toddler And Get Seriously Focused

Solving All of Your Time Management Problems - Part One: Tame Your Inner Toddler And Get Seriously Focused

This is the second post in the 3 Things Causing All Your Time Management Problems series where we’ll tackle FOCUS.

Catch up on the rest of the series here:


I sat on the couch with my laptop open trying to finish some work before my brain shut down for the evening. My husband lounged on the couch opposite watching some police drama on TV.

I should probably go work in the office, or at the dining table, or anywhere away from the distraction of the TV. But we hadn’t seen each other all day. And I used to be able to get so absorbed in a book it didn’t matter if explosions were going on around me let alone on TV. So surely I’d be able to focus okay?

I wrote another sentence or two in an email. *BOOM*

I looked up to see a warehouse exploding on TV and the main characters leaping spectacularly at the front of the blast.

I really should go somewhere else to work. But the couch was so comfy and the room was warm. It was as if I was caught in the tractor beam of the TV and it wouldn’t let me go or focus.

It took me months of thinking I could just will myself to focus when up against the mighty distraction of TV shows I wouldn’t even choose to watch before I finally admitted the truth.

The solution wasn’t to force myself to focus. The solution wasn’t even to go somewhere else to work, because I clearly couldn’t get my butt out of the sofa either. The solution was to stop work in the evenings, or only to work on implementation tasks that didn’t need 100% of my focus.

Let me share some tricks to keep your inner toddler occupied so that you can focus on one task at a time no matter what your work environment.

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How To (Finally) Start Consistently Sending Out Newsletters

When was the last time you emailed your list?

Does that question alone make you want to close this window and click over to Facebook?

This is one of the great examples where the internet, online resources, and #alltheopinions have overcomplicated something so much that we’re paralysed from taking action.

All those opinions sound so sensible and really make us want to get it right so that we’re honouring the space we’re taking up in someone’s inbox.

But when we don’t know what to write, how to design it, or what day or time to send it we stop before we’ve even started.

I talk all the time about how the way your work, your business model, and your audience is a unique mix. Until you’ve tested something out for your business and your customers you are guessing. They might be really educated guesses, but they’re still guesses.

So I’m going to get you started sending email newsletters to your list on a regular basis so that you can get real feedback from your people to make your newsletters better and better.

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