The thing about being self employed is there is a never ending list of things to do.
There’s working IN your business - seeing clients, supervision and CPD.
Then, there’s working ON your business - marketing, blogging, social media, networking, email marketing, word of mouth, accounts and admin etc.
How can you manage all those tasks in the limited amount of time you have?
Try this one simple productivity trick to get more done.
How much time do you have?
Firstly, how much time do you realistically have to market your business each week/month?
To make your marketing work for you - so you attract more clients, help more people and make more money, you need to commit to it, make it a priority rather than an afterthought.
Because sometimes, it can feel like something that gets in the way of doing other things you enjoy.
If that’s the case, you'll put off doing your marketing. And if that is the case and you dread marketing, consider what type of marketing you do.
There are many different ways of marketing your business, so choose the ones you enjoy or are good at.
Forcing yourself to do something you don’t like simply isn’t necessary.
This is the method I use when I really want to focus on a task whether for marketing my practice, or any other job I tend to procrastinate on like clearing out my wardrobe.
It’s rediculously simple: You set the timer, then completely focus on the task in hand until the alarm goes off.
No making a coffee, no ‘researching’ on Facebook, no Google black holes. Just totally concentrate on that one task.
Then (and this is the important bit), you have a break. You stop working, make that coffee, stretch your legs, and then do it again.
I use an app - Get Focused (it's free), which is great, but you could just set the timer on your phone, or use an egg times, it really doesn't matter.
This simple method for beating procrastination has been a lifesaver for me. It works so well because the focused time to work is small and therefore not overwhelming, and I know I get a break at the end.
The combination of highly focused work, strict time boundaries and break time afterwards makes it doable - and it’s highly effective. I love to challenge myself to get lots done, and afterwards I have a great feeling of achievement.
Don't forget to reward yourself
It’s that feeling of achievement that’s often missing when we work alone.
It feels like we’re plodding through a never ending to do list, no light at the end of the tunnel, no feeling of satisfaction, just more and more things to do.
Consider what motivates kids: A star chart, or a reward of some sort.
What makes dogs sit, roll over and shake hands? The tasty treat we give them.
Rewards work, so reward yourself - and don’t be tempted to skip the reward, it doesn’t have to be something big.
2 x pomodoro = a sit down with coffee and a magazine, or read a chapter of a book. (Avoid food based treats)
That said, your 'reward' could be taking the extra time to tackle something else, like that drawer that's always crammed full and annoys you every time you open it. No longer having that minor stress in your everyday life just makes things better!
How long should the focused time be?
On the pomodoro app I use (GetFocused - it's free) it’s set to 25 minutes and a 5 minutes break, but you could do 20 minutes and a 5 minute break.
I wouldn’t do it for longer than 25 minutes of focused work as it’s the short blasts that are really effective.
So if you struggle to get a blog post written, or to effectively research and schedule social media, give it a try and see what you think - and let me know how you get on in the comments.