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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

Start your business day on the right foot for productivity

Let's be honest.


As small business owners, we are responsible for our own time and our own schedule, and sometimes we are not the best managers of ourselves, am I right?


So if you want to start your day off on the right foot, you don't have to get up at 5:00 AM or some other ungodly hour and go to the gym and journal and meditate, etc. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do.

I myself am not a morning person whatsoever. But there are some things that you can do to help yourself get a better start to the day so that you're able to be more productive. I'd like to share with you some things that work for me and hopefully it might work for you as well.






Do you want more productivity for the wrong reasons?


Now before we jump into this, I just want to say a little bit about the concept of productivity.

If you've been around this blog for a while, or you follow me on social media, or we're connected somewhere online, you probably know that I absolutely hate, loathe, despise the idea of hustle culture.

I'm not encouraging you in any way whatsoever to use these tips to overwork yourself even more than you already are. I am encouraging you to maybe incorporate some new healthy habits into your day to help make your work a little bit easier. But you don't have to work any harder than you already are.

Please don't feel that I'm telling you that the worth of your business or your worth as a person is tied into the productivity of your business. I'm absolutely not saying that. Please take these tips with a grain of salt. Use what works for you, leave what doesn't.

Maybe use this as a jumping off point to create morning habits or routine that work for you, that get you into a flow so that your work day can happen with more ease instead of a to do list that is a drag and freaking you out and causing you a lot of anxiety.

Please, please approach these tips from that standpoint and not from a hustle culture, toxic productivity standpoint, because that's not what I'm advocating and that's not what I want for you.

All right? So if we have a deal, let's jump into it.


Tidy your workspace

So, what are some things that you can do to help yourself have a more productive day on a regular basis? Well, one of the first things that I like to do is to make sure that I am starting with a tidy workspace.

I find that if my desk and my workspace are cluttered, it contributes to the clutter in my brain, makes me more frazzled and disorganized and anxious.

So if I can start with a tidy workspace right off the bat, it just makes me feel better right from the get go.

Note: it's VERY easy to use this as a means of procrastinating on other work, which is not what I'm recommending at all! But taking 5 minutes at the start or end of the day to tidy up your work area can help you feel better and stay organized.



Dress for success


As small business owners working from home, we dress however we want. I find that on days when I don't have meetings, sometimes I'm wearing pajama pants and a hoodie and a messy bun, because nobody's going to see me.

But the second thing that you can do to increase your productivity is to pay more attention to getting dressed in the morning and maintaining your personal grooming habits.


Full disclosure - I'm wearing yoga pants right now, but I showered this morning and put on clean yoga pants and a work appropriate shirt. I did my hair. I put on a little bit of makeup.


This helps me take myself and my work a little bit more seriously.

I don't feel the need to get dressed up and do hair and makeup to the level that I did when I was working in an office in a corporate setting - if you do, great, that might help you feel more productive in your own business. For me, I prefer to be comfortable.

Putting in that little bit of extra effort does make me feel a little bit more like I'm in business mode. It's not a perfect productivity generator by any means, but it's one of the little things that I like to do to start my day on the right foot.


Make a realistic plan for the day


One thing that I do every morning when I start work for the day is to make a plan for how I'm going to tackle the day.

I look at any meetings or appointments that I might have and when they fall in my daily schedule, and I get a general idea of how many hours I have available that day to devote to work. I take the total number of hours I have available to work, and subtract the time needed for meetings.


I also think about my physical and emotional capacity. How much energy do I have within me that I am able to devote to work today? Once the meetings are subtracted, I know how much time I have for the rest of my work today.


Then I take that time and I look at the tasks on my list that are the most urgent, that have due dates that are coming up, things that really need to get done. I don't necessarily create a specific block of time for them, because time blocking is not something that works for me specifically. But if I only have 4 hours outside of my meetings to devote to work today, and I have three tasks that are going to take up those four hours, OK, those are my priority tasks for the day.


It's all about what is the most pressing and what is realistic to accomplish in the time that you have available. Then if you have additional time available outside of those urgent, important tasks, you can start adding other, less urgent things into your plan for the day.


Maybe you want to get ahead on some projects, or maybe there are projects on the back end of your own business that you want to devote some time working on. Maybe it's creating content or working on a new offer or doing a podcast episode or something like that.


There are so many things that you could do to fill all of your time on a day-to-day basis in your business. You have to be smart about it and strategize and really think about what you actually have the time to accomplish.

Get the little things out of the way


The next thing that I like to do, is to take a chunk of time and get all the little tasks out of the way.


This is typically first thing in the morning, but you can decide when this works for you and your brain and method of doing things.


During this time I do things like answering emails, quick administrative tasks, and all the little annoying stuff so that that's done and off my plate.


There are people who recommend doing the hardest thing first, and that's not personally how my brain works. If it works for you, that's great!


I would rather get all the little stuff done so that I know it's already out of the way, and then I can devote my full attention to the bigger, more challenging things.


(I also use the little things as a way to procrastinate sometimes, so finishing them all first thing means that I have to focus on the bigger things and I have no excuses.)


Schedule things to look forward to


The final thing that I suggest to have a more productive day and a more productive schedule in general, is to book things on your calendar to look forward to. Make plans.

Decide what you are going to do in the evening or on the weekend to give yourself incentive to be more productive.


If I don't have anything to look forward to in the evening, then it's not such a big deal if I work until 8:00pm or 9:00pm.


But if I've got something going on, all of a sudden I have to finish work by 5:00pm or 6:00pm so that I can go do that other thing that I'm looking forward to. That forces me to be more efficient and productive during the day so that I can get everything done and then go do that thing that I'm going to enjoy.


This gives me a little bit of incentive to focus more on my productivity and not get distracted during the work day or let my work day stretch longer than it needs to. I invite you to try it out and see if it works for you.



What strategies do you use?

What sorts of things do you do to make yourself more productive?


I hope that you don't tie your value or your business success into your productivity. That's not what I want for you.


If you only have a limited amount of energy or mental capacity on a given day, that is not a bad thing. That is not a negative reflection on you.


If you have days or weeks or months where you are not as productive as you want to be, that doesn't make you a bad person or a bad business owner.


But if you want to incorporate some little habits into your regular schedule to encourage yourself to be a little bit more productive without getting into toxic productivity, then I fully support that.


I hope that these productivity tips are helpful to you and maybe help you get a little bit more done in your day-to-day life as a business owner, and maybe help you check some things off your To Do List. If you have any questions, please leave a comment 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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