Being busy means you are in business, which is a great thing, but having a successful business does not necessarily mean working more hours, but working smarter.
Pre-baby, I pretty much managed EVERYTHING in my business. I did all errands, research, all the small stuff. But after Sofia came, my time was more valuable (since I decided to stay home with her versus hiring a nanny) so I quickly learned how to focus on the important and outsorce the small things that were essentially taking up a majority of my time, and how to work smarter.
The outcome? I now dedicate less hours to my business, I can be full time with my baby, and I have doubled my income.
HERE ARE MY TIPS TO WORKING SMARTER.
- Pay your dues: When you START a business you have to pay your dues. You don't have clients, you have to hustle to get them. You can't afford an assistant that can do the tiny work for you, you have to do it yourself. So obviously at the beginning, you have to understand that you do have to put in more hours. But keep motivated, keep focused, remove distractions, cancel social plans for a while, network with the right people... Don't waste your time. Be smart.
- Plan properly: Narrow down your exact top priorities daily. What MUST get done. What are your daily & weekly goals. Create exact objectives and make a strategic plan.
- Arrange meetings at the right time + have a meeting outline. As soon as I started scheduling meetings at the time that worked for me I started to save so much time. I make sure the commute times make sense, I plan around Sofia, etc. And I come to the meeting with bullet points of everything that needs to be taken care of: goal, questions, objectives, topics to discuss, etc. Staright to the point. So much time is wasted in meetings, and you have no time to waste!
- Schedule blocks of time: know exactly when you are going to do things. If you only have 2h to get X things done, you'll get it done. If you only have 45min to workout, you'll workout more effectibley. If you only have 1h to meet with a client, you'll go over everything in an hour. You get the point!
- Know your worth. Working smarter also means working for what you are worth. Don't under value yourself. Less clients that pay better is working smarter, than lots of clients that pay crappy. Experience is compensated. Up your prices, and only work if it's worth it!
- Outsource. This is what has given me the chance to really grow this year. I can't believe I am making more money now than pre-baby. How? Delegating! Of course I have more expenses that I did before, but if I am dedicating the time to bring more income, and be able to make a higher profit even with more expenses, then it's worth it. Plus, doing this let's me grow my business AND be with my baby. You decide what you want to focus on, there are people who choose to have a nanny instead of delegating work. And they can keep growing their business too. You do you.
- Wellness. I would not be able to keep productive and work effectively (especially through the first year of motherhood) if I did not take time for myself: daily gym workouts, self-care activities. All of these are so important to be able to focus and really wake up energized (after nights of interrumped sleep too). There's really no excuses, you can workout with your baby, you can pamper yourself after the baby goes down to sleep. You need to put yourself as a priority too if your goal is to be productive and able to come through with your plan!