In this episode of the Dream Plan Achieve Podcast, I’m talking all about how you can be boss and still be a badass mama. What does it take to juggle building and running your business with family life? Hint: Planning…
This episode has come at the perfect time for me. I have just given birth to my seventh baby, and after 12 weeks of maternity leave, I am back to work. I have to juggle my business, creating the new Ultimate Boss Mum Masterclass, school dates, baby appointments, family time and studying (I study Forensic Psychology).
The only way I get anything done is by planning my week with precision. I love to use time blocking and I touch on this in this episode. I find that when I group similar tasks together, I am able to focus more and ultimately be more productive.
Let me know how you plan your time, and if you have any pictures of your planner make sure you send them to me! I hope you enjoy this episode.
Back in the day, Sunday was a day of rest… In the ‘laptop lifestyle’ times we are in, Sunday is rarely a day of rest. It boggles my mind that some people don’t have a single day of rest throughout the whole week!
I regularly work on Sunday, but I have strict boundaries around what type of work I do. I think it’s important to start your week right and that’s why I use my Sunday to dream, plan and ultimately style my week for success.
Most weekday mornings I am jumping out of bed into a flurry of breakfast, uniforms, school letters, last minute homework and usually an argument with my seven year old daughter over why she isn’t allowed to wear glitter tattoos to school.
So on a Sunday, I like to wake up slowly. I wake up earlier on a Sunday than I do on a weekday, because I like to have the house to myself before everyone wakes up. I lie in bed for a good half an hour, setting intentions in my head about what my day will look and feel like.
Once I get out of bed, I make my way into the kitchen and make myself a huge mug of very strong coffee. I’ll do some reading (currently reading Being Boss by Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson), and then I’ll write a couple of pages in my journal.
It’s during my journal writing that I usually come up with my plan for the week. Then I’ll get my Passion Planner and Productivity Planner out, write out my weekly to-do list and slot those items into my daily plans. I also give each week a theme or focus. Sometimes it’s something lofty like ‘abundance’ or ‘compassion’ and other times it’s something simple like ‘Get Shit Done’.
Once I have my plan for the week, I feel so much lighter, but styling my week for success doesn’t stop there. I know that in order for me to smash my to-do’s during the week, I need to do certain things to help myself along the way…
I’m one of those people that can’t relax around mess or clutter. It makes me anxious. I am also the Procrastination Queen, so if I have an important deadline looming but there’s housework to do, the housework will get done first. So, I’ll make sure that all of the housework and domestic chores are done to give me the best possible chance of success. I also love to go into my office and have a good de-clutter and deep clean. That way, when I walk into my office on Monday morning, I’ll feel clear headed and actually want to spend my day in there.
All of the above probably doesn’t sound like a day of rest to you, but the satisfaction and peace it gives me far outweighs a day in my pj’s watching netflix and eating junk food.
This Sunday, I invite you to try it. Style your week for success and let me know how it goes. Did you get more done and feel more calm and productive as a result?
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.
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.
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.
Is your website tired and outdated? When was the last time you changed your free opt-in’s or added new freebies to your website?
With everything else we have to do on a day-to-day basis to keep our business up and running, it’s easy to forget to update your contact details on your website, or change that link in your blog post that doesn’t work anymore, but it’s so important. Imagine how many potential clients you could lose if they are emailing the wrong address – and it’s not very professional, is it? Keeping your website up to date and your opt-in’s and freebies relevant keeps your audience engaged and ensures that you don’t miss out on sales.
How often should we be refreshing our content? I think it depends on the business, but as a rule, I like to update my website once a month. Put it in your diary so you don’t forget. Check that all of your contact details are up to date, then check that all of your links still work (don’t forget blog posts). I wouldn’t recommend changing your opt-in every month, unless you have the time, but changing it every quarter is a good idea. Different opt-in’s will attract different people and you don’t want your audience getting bored with the same printouts year after year.
I try to link my freebies to the time of year or season. For example, for the first quarter I will put up freebies that relate to goals, new beginnings and new projects. The second quarter will be all about spring cleaning the office, making a fresh start or looking at something with fresh eyes. You get the point.
Something to try this month: Make a date in your diary to check that all of your contact details are still up to date on your website and that all of your links still work. Take a look at your freebies and opt-in’s – are they still relevant? If they haven’t been refreshed for a while, think about changing them and creating some fresh ones.
I am forever raving on to anyone that will listen about simplifying business processes. ‘What does it mean?’ I hear you ask… Simplifying your business processes basically means breaking down all of the tasks you have to complete on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis – and creating a system to complete all of those tasks on time and with the least amount of stress as possible.
This means that you know exactly what tasks you need to complete on a daily basis, knowing that everything that needs to be done for your business to function, grow and make money is taken care of. I go into a lot more detail during my coaching program, but following these simple steps will help you gain more clarity and be insanely productive in your business. Ready? Let’s get started…
Step 1: This is the most time consuming step, but the most important. You will need a large sheet of paper and some coloured pens/highlighters. This is the breakdown phase.
First, I want you to write down every task that needs to be completed within your business. I’ve created a sample list below:
Publish a weekly blog post
Create Instagram graphics/quotes
Schedule Social Media updates
Make sure you include everything. You may want to do this over a number of days so that you don’t forget anything – but you can always add to it at a later date – this is a working document. Once you have completed your list, highlight all of the tasks in each area of your business in a different colour. For example, all tasks relating to social media are yellow and all tasks relating to sales are blue…
Step 2: Now that you have all of your tasks and your business areas, we can move on to breaking down each task. Choose a task and list underneath all of the steps involved in the process. For example to publish a weekly blog post, I need to choose a subject, do some research, draft the post, proofread the post, create the graphics… etc.
Do this for every one of the tasks you identified in step 1.
Step 3: Now comes the fun part – planning! All of those steps you need to go through to complete your task need a due date. Some of these will be obvious… If you publish a blog post every Wednesday, you know you will have to complete most of the steps before Wednesday – so get out your planner or open up your calendar and start scheduling in those steps and tasks. Make sure you highlight each task with the relevant colour, so that when you glance at your calendar/planner you can easily see what area of your business you are working on.
Now, you have a simplified plan for your business. If you follow your schedule and complete each step on the day and time you assigned for it, you can be confident that everything your business needs to run smoothly is getting done.
If you have more than one team member in your business, make sure you delegate the tasks appropriately and your team members know what they need to do and when. I use Asana to schedule all of my business processes. You can easily sync to your iCal or Google Calendar and it makes it easy to delegate to your team members and see where they are up to on each task or project. I’ve got a post coming up that goes into more detail about how I use Asana, so keep your eyes peeled.
Let me know how you get on with simplifying your business processes and if you have any questions or need help with anything, drop me an email!