I’m sharing five hacks to create more time and manage your workflow better!
Welcome back everyone, how is it going? Today I’m chatting about a topic that I think will be super helpful for lots of busy writers out there—productivity and time management!
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of underestimating how much time you have, or feel severely underproductive most days?
Yep, I’ve definitely been there.
There’s a couple of workflow hacks that I’ve implemented which really help me get past these things, and today I wanted to share five of my favourites with you.
It’s time for tool tip of the day—I love using tools and tips to automate my workflow and make running a business so much easier, and I aim to share one tool or tip per episode that I personally use and recommend! Today, I’m recommending CoSchedule.
Coschedule is a handy dandy software that helps you to schedule social media posts, blog posts, and other content in advance. You can also re-share the same content on repeat if you need to.
I’ve been using Coschedule ever since my waitressing days, so that I could have content going out at the right times even when I was at my day job. It is a serious time saver for authors and really helps to automate your workflow!
If you want to check out Co-Schedule, I’ve got a link in the show notes so that you can easily go take a look. Make sure you do after the show.
Now that we’re back, let’s take a look at some of these productivity hacks, starting with the first…
I love checklists—I can’t say enough good things about this method. I use checklists on a daily basis, and I specifically purchased a Simplified Planner purely for it’s checklist daily layout.
Checklists are good for sooo many reasons. For one, they allow you to braindump everything on your mind and check it off at your own pace—which makes it less likely for you to forget a task. You can also add to it as you go at any time.
Secondly, the actual process of checking off tasks helps you to visually see just how productive you’re being (even if your workflow feels like a breeze. I myself like to start my day with all the easy to-do tasks, and finish up doing the more time-consuming ones because it makes me feel super productive to spend my morning ticking off as much as I can and sets me up with great energy.
I tend to plan my day in my planner the night before using a checklist—but on rush days, I can also braindump a checklist in my phone notes and use it on the go. Checklists are uh-mazing.
The second tip I have for you today is…
Now this is something I used to struggle with, and I know a lot of other people do as well. It’s the constant battle between doing time sensitive tasks, and the tasks you actually enjoy doing which makes this a tricky problem.
However, I like to use a simple tool that I actually included in my recent release, The Balanced Launch—it’s a three-column list divided up between low, medium and high priority, and I like using it during time sensitive periods.
In my high priority list, I put any essential tasks that will keep my workflow, biz, household and life flowing (because let’s face it, fuel and grocery runs don’t disappear during these periods). In my medium priority list, I put tasks that I’d like to get done if I can, but can push back to a later date if needed.
Then, in my low priority list, I put tasks that I need to remember but can postpone, or even outsource if I really need to.
The thing is that you’ll want to prioritise everything on your plate because it’s all important to a certain degree, but this tool helps you to put boundaries in place and help recognise what you can realistically fit into your workday on top of your everyday life. Speaking of boundaries, this leads me to tip number 3…
Boundaries are very important to have in place, and when you work from home it’s easy to blur these lines. I’ve burned myself out way too many times because I happen to enjoy my job as much as I enjoy a good Netflix binge—but like all things, too much can be overwhelming.
It’s really crucial to ensure you are making time for breaks, and purposefully including activities that fill you with joy in your schedule. This can be anything from spending time with family, to meeting a friend for brunch each week, to going to a theme park or movie once a month. Downtime is just as important as work, and without a balance between the two, it becomes easy to lose motivation and drain your energy.
My next tip for you today is…
Now, routines might sound boring, but boy do they help minimise confusion and overwhelm when it gets busy. In fact, having a writing routine can actually trick your brain into getting inspired at the same time every day, which makes it a lot easier to write consistently.
Once you’ve put your boundaries in place, strengthen them by following a routine. Maybe you work in the mornings and spend the afternoons at the gym. Maybe you clock out by 5pm every evening—no exceptions. Maybe you write for one hour before bed. Whatever works for you, stick to it and you’ll find staying productive and keeping to schedules a whole lot easier.
And, my final tip for you today is…
In any workflow, the more you can automate, the more time you’ll create—which is why one of the first things I did when I started my business was automate my social media posts, email sequences, appointment scheduling and connected all my email inboxes through to my phone. The less time I have to spend manually publishing, sending, scheduling, checking and posting things, the more time I can spend with my clients, on writing, and creating amazing content (like this podcast).
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I’ve got money coming in, new leads on my list each day, and important book news is going out thanks to these systems I put in place.
Automation is well worth the time spent setting up, and I highly, highly recommend it.
That’s all I have for you today—if you found this episode helpful please leave a comment and let me know, or even share this with a friend! And, make sure you join me two weeks from now, because I’ll be back with another episode of The Paperback Podcast.