Overwhelmed with your ever growing to-do list? Follow these easy steps to get back in control..
Have a Master to-do list that you can add everything to, and make sure you break down larger tasks into small, manageable tasks (eg. writing a blog post can be broken down into brainstorm, research, draft, polish, create graphic, etc) – but, DO NOT leave this where you can see it throughout the day. This is the Overwhelm list.
2. At the end of every week (I do this on a Sunday), pull out your Master List and choose 10-12 of those bitesized tasks that are most important – This will be your weekly to-do list.
3. Every evening, look at your weekly list and choose 3 items that are most important. This will be your to-do list for the following day. Make sure you write them down where you can see them the next morning.
It’s okay to put more on your list if you’re especially busy, but make those 3 tasks your Top Three. Once you have completed those 3 tasks, you can feel like you’ve been productive and your day has been a success.
There you have it! A straight-forward way of simplifying your to-do list to reduce overwhelm and get you being amazingly productive on a daily basis.
Does anyone else do this, or have any other tips to add? Leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I keep seeing coaches on social media posting about the 3-hour work week – boasting that you can run your business by only working for 3 focused hours per week. This may be okay if you have a day job and you work on your own business on the side, but let me tell you now… If you are serious about building and running a successful business, that earns you a serious salary, you can not do this by working for only 3 hours a week!
I’m a massive believer in working smarter, not harder. You really don’t have to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week to make your business a success – but you do have to work. Having a structure to your day and focusing on specific tasks, one at a time, is the key to productivity.
Personally, I work for 5-6 hours a day, 4-5 days a week as a rule – but this is flexible and can change on a weekly basis. I can work more on particularly busy weeks, and less on other weeks. It all depends on my business at the time. At the moment, I am in a flurry of creating content for my new training course, which is launching this Summer, so it’s not unusual for me to work 8-10 hours a day.
It’s important for you not to take what someone else is doing in their business and try and fit it to your own. Your business is unique to you – so the next time you see someone touting on social media that you can run a successful business by working for 3 hours a week, don’t take it literally. If you want to scale your business, make consistent income and reach the success you want, you will have to work hard. There’s no way around it.
Have you got any thoughts or opinions on this subject? Drop a comment below or email email@example.com
There will always be some people in your life that put a negative spin on everything. We all know at least one person who, no matter what you tell them, always see the negative aspects – and points them out. Spending time with people like that can be draining, and it is hard to stay positive about something if you have someone there, pointing out the negatives at every opportunity. I have people like that in my family, in my circle of friends and work colleagues… The trick is deciding which of these people you can block out of your life, and how you can deal with the ones you can’t.
Let’s start with the people you can block out of your life. I have a friend that I recently cut from my life… Now this wasn’t just a casual acquaintance. We had been friends for over twenty years’ so I felt like I had to keep this person in my life even though I really wasn’t enjoying her company any more. I would dread our weekly telephone conversations, often cutting them short by pretending there was someone at my front door. You might be thinking what an awful friend I am, but this person was greatly affecting my mental state. Every time we spoke she would have a different illness (never confirmed by a doctor) and she would go on for hours moaning about this and that. She was in a much better financial situation to myself and sitting there listening to her moan about not having enough money drove me crazy. If I tried to lift the conversation by telling her about one of my goals or something I was working on, she would either ignore it or belittle it… When I first started Dream Plan Achieve she literally laughed in my face and told me I was wasting my time. On the flip-side, whenever I felt like I needed a bit of a moan about something, she would go on and on about how happy she was and how well she was doing in the area I was struggling in. This had turned into a toxic relationship without me even realising. This went for a number of years and I kept on making the weekly calls and going to visit her just because I thought that was what a good friend does… I put her before my own wellbeing.
It wasn’t until recently that I realised I didn’t have to have this person in my life anymore. I wasn’t married to her and we had no ties… I could just cut her off whenever I felt like it, and I could do it without shame or guilt because I was protecting my own wellbeing. This also goes for family members. Just because you share DNA with someone, it doesn’t automatically give them the right to be in your life, especially if it affecting your wellbeing in a negative way. I realise that saying it is much easier than actually doing it, but it doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be cruel or blunt about it. Gradually reduce time spent with that person and let the relationship fade naturally over time.
For the people we can’t just cut out of our lives, for different reasons, learning how to cope and deal with these people is paramount. For example, I work part-time as a senior carer at weekends, and when I am working the night shift I often have to work with a particularly negative person. I can’t cut this person out of my life because I can’t choose who I work with, but I can control how I react to this person and learn not to absorb that negative energy. This particular person likes to scroll through news stories from around the world, finding the most upsetting and catastrophic to share with me. This person also likes to bombard me with negative facts and statistics relating to anything we are working on. At first, this affected me a lot. I would finish a twelve-hour shift feeling emotionally drained and not looking forward to my next shift. Now I have learned how to deal with this person, I am much happier and I look forward to work again. One technique I use is to reply to every negative comment or story with something positive. This usually works, but on the occasions it doesn’t, I just completely ignore the negative comment and walk away. By using these two simple techniques, it throws this person off-beat and I find that the rest of my shift is much more positive.
Using positivity to balance negativity is a simple, but effective method for dealing with negative people, and when all else fails, choose to ignore and walk away.
What are your tips for dealing with negative people? Leave a comment below or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first resource of The Ultimate GirlBoss Collection is now live!
Your Complete Guide to Writing The Ultimate GirlBoss Business Plan guides you through the process of writing a killer business plan, step-by-step.
Each section of the workbook tells you what to include in your business plan, gives you top tips on making your business plan amazing and includes pages for you to make notes and draft the sections of your business plan.
Writing a business plan can be overwhelming and confusing. This workbook is designed to take you by the hand and guide you through the process in simple steps – and the result will be a professional ‘Ultimate GirlBoss’ business plan.
Early birds can get this workbook for only £9.99 for a very limited time. That’s a 50% saving!
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away in the comments below, or drop me an email at jenni-ryan@outlook,com with ‘Business Plan’ as the subject.
Perfection is the biggest killer of both creativity and productivity. I experience this on a daily basis. Staring at a blank page when trying to write a blog post because I want the first line to be perfect, or fiddling with filters and captions for an age, trying to make that Instagram post perfect.
The problem with this is that you lose your authenticity – what makes you individual. You start comparing yourself to others… In the world of social media, everybody’s life is ‘perfect’. You rarely see a selfie of someone lying on the sofa with bed-head and zits on show – but that’s real life.
I know that when I’m making connections online, or trying to decide whether to purchase something from someone online, I’m much more attracted to people who are authentic. When someone makes a mistake and has a laugh about it, it shows me that they are real human-beings and don’t take themselves too seriously. One of the best examples I can think of is Erin May Henry of The May Collective. On her YouTube videos, she regularly includes a reel of bloopers. Not only are these funny, it makes her more relatable and as you can see by the tens of thousands of subscribers she has, it clearly works!
It’s sometimes hard to be yourself online, because you open yourself up to criticism. If someone criticises the person you are pretending to be, it doesn’t hurt as much as if they criticise the real you – but then I could argue that if you are putting yourself out there online, you should expect criticism and develop a very thick skin – fast.
It is also extremely hard to pretend to be perfect on a long-term basis. If your ‘perfect’ image slips, just once, you will lose all respect from any following you have built. Being yourself is so much easier! Allow yourself to make mistakes publicly… Someone else might learn from your mistake and thank you for it!
There might be people out there that will absolutely hate the real you – but I guarantee, for every person who dislikes the real you, there will be someone who loves the real you.
I completely believe that having a solid morning routine can change your life. ‘But what if I’m not a morning person?’ I hear you ask… Neither was I, until recently. I read ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, which I totally recommend, by the way. If you look forward to your morning routine, you’re more likely to want to get up earlier and without pressing that dreaded snooze button.
So, what does a ‘miracle morning’ look like? The answer is entirely personal to you, but according to the book, you should include some meditation, exercise, journaling and learning.
To help you out, I’ve included my own ‘miracle morning’ below.
5am – Rise and shine!
Use bathroom, brush teeth – 5 minutes
Make Coffee! – 5 minutes
Meditation/affirmations – 20 minutes
Freewriting in journal (brain dump!) – 5 minutes
Exercise (change it up so you don’t get bored) – 10 minutes
Reading (personal development) – 10 minutes
Review planner and make to-do list for the day – 5 minutes
This routine takes around an hour and takes me to 6am, when the rest of the house wakes up and I jump in the shower. My ‘miracle morning’ is flexible and I like to change it up regularly to stop it from becoming boring. The aim is to make your ‘miracle morning’ enjoyable and something you look forward to.
5 ‘Miracle Morning’ Top Tips
Get enough sleep! If you want to wake up at 5am, going to bed at 2am is a sure-fire way to fail. Only you know how much sleep you need to wake up refreshed – make sure you get it.
Keep your ‘miracle morning’ flexible. Life happens.
Don’t jump in too quickly. Try waking up 15 minutes early for a week, then work your way to your ideal wake-up time.
Don’t give up! And don’t feel bad if you miss a day or two. Just get back to it and keep moving forward.
Switch it up. Keep your routine fresh and exciting so that you look forward to jumping out of bed in the morning.
Bonus Tip: Read Hal Elrod’s Miracle Morning.
Do you have a miracle morning routine? I love learning how other people structure their day, so please, share it below.
When you’re passionate about something – especially when that something is a new business, it’s very tempting to keep working, even when you feel tired. We’ve all done it… You work through your lunch break and sometimes forget to eat all day. I’ve even forgotten to go to the toilet, then at 8pm I realise that my bladder is about to burst.
It’s not good for our bodies and it’s certainly not good for our mind. Working yourself to the bone might get you results faster, but you aren’t going to be well enough to enjoy the success. Your work will suffer and all of that extra time you put in when you weren’t looking after yourself will be wasted anyway.
Here are some of the main signs that you’re heading for burn-out and what you can do about it.
* Feeling tired and lethargic all of the time. This is a sure sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep, but also that you aren’t feeding your body the right things. You need nutritional food to get you through the day, so make sure you are eating small meals regularly throughout the day. Five or six small meals are much better than one or two large meals. Make sure you are getting enough fruit and vegetables and if you can’t include more in your diet, take some multi-vitamins. Getting enough sleep is also extremely important. Every person needs a different amount of sleep to stay healthy, so I’m not going to tell you how many hours sleep you should have. Experiment with different amounts and see what works for you. For me, 6-7 hours’ sleep is ideal, but whatever your number, be sure you make sleep a priority. It should be just as important as that meeting you have scheduled. Get sleep in your diary!
* You get frequent headaches. This is one of my main symptoms of dehydration and is a tell-tale sign you’re not drinking enough. As with sleep, everyone needs a different amount of water to be fully hydrated, so there is no magic number. Try keeping a bottle of water with you at all times and sip from it consistently throughout the day.
* Forgetting things on a regular basis. Being forgetful and frazzled means your brain isn’t focusing properly and that is a major sign you are heading for burn-out. Take regular breaks, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. Taking a couple of days’ off work will do you the world of good and could be the difference between you coming back fighting strong or having a melt-down.
* Getting emotional or your mood shifting rapidly. Another major sign that you’re on the path to burn-out. My top tip for this would be to take a relaxing break. Try a warm bath with aromatherapy oils and a good book or relaxing music, then get plenty of sleep. A good remedy for this is a long walk. Try going for a walk a few times a week and your mood should level out.
Obviously, if any of these symptoms persist for more than a week or two, you should consult a doctor. These remedies are only suggestions to help you avoid burn-out and are in no way medical advice.
My best tip for avoiding the road to burn-out altogether is to plan effectively. If you plan your days in advance and keep your to-do list short and sweet, you are much less likely to get stressed or be worrying about deadlines.
Do you have any tips for avoiding burn-out? Let me know! You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, or tell me telepathically.
It’s not always easy to get motivated, especially in the morning. It’s coming to that time of the year when mornings are dark, damp and cold, and some days it’s a struggle to get out of bed. All you want to do is curl up on the sofa and binge-watch Gossip Girl.
It can also be hard getting motivated to start a new project or do something that’s out of your comfort zone. The most common reaction to fear is to procrastinate. This is why I’ve compiled some of my top tips to get you motivated and then get you being insanely productive – using that motivation wisely.
* Read, listen or watch inspiring content at the start of your day. There are some amazingly inspirational people out there creating YouTube videos, podcasts, blog posts and books. Use them! I have a blog post here listing all of my favourite inspirational content by category. Check it out.
* Exercise in the morning. Listen, I have six children and I know that most people can’t fit in an hour gym session every morning… but anything is better than nothing. Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth, do as many star jumps as you can while the kettle is boiling, or stretch those calves in the shower. You’ll be surprised at the difference small but often bursts of exercise can make.
* Practice gratitude. Every day, write three things in your journal that you are grateful for.
* Visualisation. Spend at least a couple of minutes every morning visualising your dream life. What are you working towards? Actually feel yourself living that life and engage all of your senses – what does it look/smell/taste/sound/feel like?
* Review your goals and achievements. Looking back on a month and seeing how much you have achieved is the best way to get motivated. It doesn’t matter how small the achievement is… Write it down!
Get insanely productive and slay those goals:
* Plan your day the night before. If you wake up knowing exactly what you need to do, and in what order, you are much more likely to get them done.
* Keep your to-do list small. Try and give yourself a ‘top three’. Three things that you want to achieve that day – and if you achieve them, you can consider your day a productive one. Having a to-do list that’s never ending is one of the biggest causes of procrastination. You feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. I have a blog post here all about creating your ‘top three’.
* Do the hardest or most uncomfortable tasks first. It’s very tempting to do all of the tasks you enjoy doing first and the hard ones get put off until another day. If you tackle those difficult tasks first, you are more likely to get through them because you are building up to the ones you enjoy.
* Reward yourself! Completed a goal? Treat yourself to a chapter of your new book, an episode of your favourite show or even just a coffee break.
* Take a break. Working yourself to the bone is only going to end in burn-out. Take regular breaks throughout the day and make sure you have at least one day a week where you switch off and take some ‘me’ time. Check out my blog post Sunday is Funday for more info on self-care.
Do you have any top tips for getting motivated and being productive? Let me know! Leave a comment, drop me an email or send a carrier pigeon.
You know those days where you’re just not feeling it..? It’s tempting to crawl back under the duvet and lounge around in your onesie all day, but that’s not going to get you anywhere, is it?
Everyone needs a little extra jolt of motivation every now and again. And with that in mind, I’ve created a special post just for you. These are my go-to guys for motivation and inspiration. You can’t fail to get inspired by any one of these content creators. Enjoy!
I have exciting news… The Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is now available! You can listen to the podcast right here on the blog, on Soundcloud, and it is now available on iTunes. Please take a few minutes’ of your time to go and subscribe to the podcast and give us a rating.
My goal with the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast is to bring you expert advice on starting up your business, living life as a Girlboss and tips to help you become more productive in your business by creating systems and simplifying your daily tasks.
Some of the podcast episodes will be based on posts from this blog, so you can listen to the episode within the blog post, however I strongly recommend subscribing to the newsletter so that you never miss an episode.
This first episode welcomes you to the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast and tells you what to expect from the series. Please let me know what you think – but be kind! I’m still getting used to this podcasting malarkey…
If you have any suggestions on what type of content you would like to hear in the series, or any questions you would like me to answer in an episode, please get it touch. You can leave a comment here, drop me an email, DM me on Instagram or send a message in a bottle.