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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

Boost productivity in your business

When I first started my business, I was lucky, because I already had experience working remotely. However, it was very different going from a structured work-from-home job to being completely in charge of my own daily tasks and schedule.


Having flexibility and control over my work is great, but it also means that when it comes to my productivity, sometimes I’m the problem! 


I’ve put together some of my best tips for staying on track and being more productive in your business!




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Productivity = less distractions


The first thing that I encourage you to do is to limit your distractions where at all possible. 


If you’re able to, it really helps to have a dedicated workspace in your house, preferably in another room where you can close the door. This is especially helpful if you are not going to be the only one home during the day. 


When you really need to focus and get something done, especially something that is detailed or very creative and requires a lot of thinking, I encourage you to turn off notifications. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb if you need to. Turn off your email notifications so that you can really focus. Prevent yourself from getting distracted by phone calls and Instagram notifications and everything like that. 


There are settings on your phone that allow you to turn off notifications for specific apps during specific hours (like turning off social media notifications during work hours!). There are also programs you can use to give you notifications for all new emails on a schedule (for example, once an hour) instead of a notification every time a new email comes in. 




Pick your priority


The second thing that I encourage you to do is to look at your to-do list and start with the end in mind. What is the big priority that you want to focus on right now? 


One of the things that I find really impacts productivity is when business owners are trying to do too many things at once. This makes it hard to focus and to follow through on everything. Instead, it really helps to focus on one thing at a time and think about the end goal. 


If your end goal is to get to a specific point, then what are the things that need to happen in between? Usually you are not jumping from point A to point L. There are a bunch of things that have to happen in between, right? Pick one of those and make it your priority until it’s done.


Make sure that you are only focusing on one to two priorities at a time so that it is manageable. Also think about how those priorities are going to move you towards your end goal. If a specific priority does not line up with your end goal, then that’s not your priority right now!


Make a plan


Once you have your priority set, then take that and turn it into a step-by-step plan. Break it down into all of the individual pieces that need to happen in order to accomplish it. Sometimes when we look at a goal or a place that we want to get to, all of those individual steps seem overwhelming. We are looking at it as a whole and it just seems too big for us to get there. 


But if you break it down into little tasks and bite-sized chunks, and you work away at one thing at a time, then it's going to be much easier to actually hit that target and follow through. 


Plan out all of the steps that need to happen to reach your priority goal and the order that you need to complete those steps in. What needs to happen now so that you can do another step later?


Create this plan however works best for you - write a list, write out each task on sticky notes, create a spreadsheet, use a task management software - choose what works best for your brain!


Make the time for productivity


Another thing that is going to help you actually follow through and accomplish that thing that you want to accomplish is to make sure that you have time set aside in your calendar to work on it. 


This could look different depending on what works for you. For example, some people do really well using time blocking in their calendar. This means actually setting aside a chunk of time - a half hour, an hour, 2 hours - to work on something specific. However, this doesn’t work for everyone (personally I’m not a fan of time blocking!) But you can do other things, like give yourself a due date for a specific task, or tell someone when you are going to have it finished and have them check in with you for accountability. 


Figure out what works for you, but make sure you are actually working time into your schedule to accomplish these tasks, because otherwise it is much less likely that they are going to happen. 


It’s the little things


In my day-to-day business, I find that one of the things that can potentially turn into a giant time suck are all the tiny little things. The little administrative odds and ends, answering emails, etc. These sorts of things can eat up a lot of time if you let them. 


One of the things that I recommend is setting aside a chunk of time every day to work on these tasks all at once. The amount of time is going to vary depending on your business and how many of these little one-off tasks you have, but maybe half an hour or an hour. 


Block that off every day to do all of those little things at once, and then you get them over with and you stop getting distracted by them. You can even set a timer while you're working on them if that makes it easier for you to stick to that chunk of time and really power through, be productive, and get those things off your plate. 


Group similar tasks


Along these same lines, I also find it really helpful to group similar tasks together. So, for example, I have my own email inbox, but then I am also responsible for other email inboxes that I'm jumping into for some of my clients. I tend to do all of my email-related tasks all at once, because I'm in that same mindset. 


Or at other times I do it differently. Sometimes I do all of the daily tasks for one client all at once, so I'm in the mindset of their business. Then I move on to a different client. Find what works for you and makes the most sense for your business. 


But I find that doing tasks together that require a similar amount of energy and a similar mindset makes it easier to power through, get more done, and stay focused. 


It’s all about energy


Another thing that has been really helpful to me in my own business is to keep an eye on my natural energy levels throughout the day. 


When there are times when I am tired and I'm having difficulty focusing, that is not a time when I want to do something that is very detail-oriented or requires a lot of creativity and coming up with new ideas. I want to do those things when I am feeling energetic. 


I really pay attention to how I'm feeling and how a particular day is going. I find that I have natural points where it makes more sense for me to do routine things, and it makes sense at other times for me to do those more intensive tasks. 


I encourage you to pay attention to that in your own business and really capitalize on that, because trying to force yourself to do those really intensive tasks when you're at a point in the day where your energy level is low is going to be so much more of a struggle and the result may not be as good. 


See what your energy does throughout the day and find times when it's easier to do certain types of tasks, and when you're potentially going to produce better work because you're in a better mindset for that type of tasks. You can even track your energy levels for a few weeks and see if you notice patterns that might help you to schedule your work more effectively.




Level up in order


The next thing I see that can contribute to imposter syndrome is not leveling up in order. What I mean by this is trying to skip steps or trying to do things before you are ready to do them. There's two things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to leveling up your business. 


The first one is: don't try try to do too many things at once. I see this so often and it's one of the things that can make us feel like a failure in our business. And it's not our fault. We just got shiny object syndrome and we're trying to do too many things and we need to simplify. 


When you try to level up several aspects of your business at the same time, it is going to be overwhelming. You are probably not going to be able to do any of them well, because you are not able to give any of them the individual attention that they need and deserve. It will probably take longer than it needs to and you may even have to go back and redo some of those things, because they are not at the level that you need them to be when you were so distracted doing them the first time. 


I encourage you to level up one, maybe two things at a time. Really give them your focus and your attention so that you can do them right the first time.


The other thing that you need to keep in mind when you're leveling up your business is do the steps in order. This is going to look different for everybody. There is not one right way to grow or build a business. But think about it like this. If there is something that you want to get to, that is not happening in isolation. There are other steps and other factors that contribute to it, and you need to do them in a certain order so that you are able to do that thing. 


For example, let's say that you want to launch an online course or a group program, but you have never done that before. You might have a small audience on social media. Maybe you have a baby email list or no email list at all. Who are you launching to? 


It's not that you can't launch an online course or a group program, but maybe it makes more sense to spend time now on growing your list, growing your social media audience, and making sure that you've got a large group of people that you can launch to before you jump into that launch. You need to do those things in a certain order so that you can get the result that you want. 


Yes, that means it's going to take longer to get there. But when you get there, you're going to do it right and it is going to have a much better result than skipping ahead and jumping in when the other pieces of the puzzle are not ready yet. 


I struggle with this a lot because, as I mentioned, there are big things that I want to do and get to, but I know that I don't have the other pieces together yet. So stay patient. Recognize that every little step is contributing to that thing that you want to get to. 


Trust yourself


The final big piece that I see when it comes to impostor syndrome is business owners not trusting themselves. Not trusting their knowledge, their expertise, their abilities. Not trusting their intuition. And this is a big problem, because when you don't trust yourself and you don't trust your instincts, you may not take the right steps in your business. 


It's going to feel like you have no right to be a business owner and you don’t even have a real business. Again, that is your brain lying to you. 


The first thing that I would like to remind you is that you know more than you think you do. I see business owners who get caught up in taking courses, watching webinars, and trying to build their knowledge, when what they really need to be doing is building their confidence. You already probably know most or all of what you need to know, and you need to lean into that. 


You don't need more knowledge, you need to take more action. When you're worried that you're not doing enough in your business or that your business isn't making enough progress, trust your instincts. They are going to tell you what you need to do next. 


Usually at that point what I see people struggle with is the follow-through. If that's you, find some sort of accountability partner or coach or somebody who is going to help you take that action, and make those things a reality, and take that next step. And the next thing to do is trust the process. Lean into your values. Lean into what makes you you. What makes your business unique. What position you want to take in your niche. There is nobody quite like you. There is nobody doing what you do exactly the way you do it. Lean into that and trust that even if it takes time and effort, you're going to get there. 


When I think back to the early days of my business and the times when I struggled to believe in myself and believe in what I was doing, I offered services I didn't love, because I felt like those were the only things that people were going to pay me for. I said yes to clients and situations that I knew were not the best fit, because I was worried about not having enough income coming in. Now I am privileged to be at the point where I offer the services that I love and I am able to turn away clients that I know aren't a good fit without being worried about paying my bills that month. 


When you really lean in to your instincts and you focus on what you want to be doing and who you want to be doing it with, and you say no to situations that you know aren't right for you, you stop ignoring red flags and doing it just for the money, then you will leave yourself open for more opportunities. There are things that will show up that are nothing like what you expected, but that are going to be amazing and help you along the journey of getting where you want to go. 


When you lean into those good things, it's going to make you feel better about your business and about yourself, and like you are on the right path, doing the right thing, and you can do it. Conversely, when you keep saying yes to these things that you know aren't right, it is just going to feed that impostor syndrome and make you feel worse about your business and what you're doing. 


Avoid social media


My final recommendation - I know this is hard: stop comparing yourself to other businesses on social media. They are showing you a little sliver of their life and their business. Stop comparing it to your entire messy whole. You are not seeing anyone else's whole messy life and behind the scenes, so how can you compare their public facade to your multi-dimensional life? You can't. 


I recommend being really aware of your mood and your mental state when you choose to scroll social media. If I am having a bad day or I'm feeling bad about myself or my business, I do not scroll through my business social media, because it's just going to make me feel bad about where other people are at and making me feel like I have not made enough progress in my business compared to them. If I do need to scroll social media when I'm in that mood, I look at cat videos. 


But when I am looking for inspiration, ideas, or I'm feeling good about where my business is at, I'm okay to scroll social media in that mood, because I am not going to allow myself to absorb that imposter syndrome as much as I would when I'm feeling crappy. I encourage you to do the same thing and not scroll when you're feeling bad about your business. 



I hope that you found all of these tips helpful. If you have any questions about boosting your productivity and getting more done in your business, please let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.


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ABOUT

Kayla Droog Consulting supports heart-centered small business owners with the back-end systems setup and updates they don't have time to do, so they can focus on serving their clients and growing their businesses!

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