September 23rd, 2015
You woke up this morning with a ton of things on your mind to get done today. Better get a jump on that, you think, so you open your laptop, start the coffee…just as your little one trudges out of her bedroom.
As you made breakfast for your daughter, you were going back and forth between the kitchen and your inbox.
She wants milk, but you didn’t hear her.
Whining starts… and you finally bring her the fork and drink she asked you to bring her…but you snap…and that starts a whole morning of back and forth you are pretty much to blame.
By the time you get out the door for school and back home again, you’re completely sapped for the entire day.
Even if you’re not a parent (maybe one of fur babies), you’ve likely been guilty of working/focusing on too many things at once. Namely something IRL (in real life) and something in your business.
We just want to get ahead of the curve. To be more productive. So instead of stopping, thinking about when, where and how we’re doing our week…we push into the little spaces that exist in our day…
Usually these spaces are the worst times to work.
That’s why I’ve been thinking a lot about productivity and launching…how your ability to do the right things at the right time lead to the best launches.
And, maybe you’re like me and realize that just getting a lot done doesn’t mean or even feel like you’ve been productive.
If there’s a skill and a practice you should become an expert in outside your main business focus, it’s how to be effective and productive (and usually these lines are blurred because I believe they are very connected!).
Keep reading and I’ll share some simple practices based on 2 well known productivity methods to get you working better and so much smarter then you have been.
Why should you even care about productivity?
First of all – I get that productivity seems like such a blanket, vague concept…possibly not even worthy of your precious time.
If you’re planning to launch, though, being effective is going to be the difference between you launching and being proud of your work … and you not feeling so great about what you accomplished. You’ll be:
- Focused on the right things every single day
- Doing those things in the right order and at the right time so you remain unstressed and forward moving.
- Able to say no to things that don’t matter or that will
- Okay with changes as they naturally occur during a launch.
If you can learn how to harness your own productivity style– you’ll be learning two key skills you need to launch whenever you want– how to be effective and how to make decisions more easily.
Make a note: Have you ever wrapped up a launch only to be underwhelmed by the results…and you are disappointed that all those amazing ideas you had for your launch weren’t implemented?
If so, I urge you to keep reading.
Two Productivity Methods For Creative Entrepreneurs
If there’s one thing I do as regularly as podcasting and writing for the blog, it’s studying productivity methods. How to get projects done more easily. How to set the right goals. How to focus on the essential important tasks. How to manage my time more effectively. How to delegate.
The following two methods of being more effective are well known and ones that you can implement in pieces. This is by no means an exhaustive list – just the ones that I use myself and they are amazing to fall back on during a launch.
Getting Things Done (GTD)
David Allen’s book Getting Things Done has literally been in my collection for YEARS.
Here’s the quick summary – this book and approach will help you primarily with managing information. If you’re a business owner, information might be in the form of ideas and brainstorms or braindumps. But you’ll also learn how you accomplish tasks every day and how to weed out the things that aren’t important.
Who it’s best for – GTD is great for you if you have no one helping you and eventually want to have a support team. If you love having a system and making it something you do and use every day, you will love GTD. Best yet, it can applied to offline and online work styles.
Resources to get you started –
- The book: http://amzn.to/1KyvNgm
- Use the method offline – here’s how to implement the 13 folders system outlined in GTD
- Lifehacker article on using Trello and GTD
- Great article on Medium about using Asana with GTD
- 4 Minutes To Massive Productivity
What you can do today – grab the book or read one of the resources and come up with your plan to “capture new ideas”. If you have a list of launch ideas you’ve already started brainstorming, go through them with the lens of – Taking action now, Filing it for a specific time in the future, or trashing the idea as something you no longer want to do. The more you can take action on now, the better. Leave no idea un-touched.
Kaizen is an approach to making improvements over time. I read this book years ago when I was implementing a new fitness/health plan for myself, but now this is my mindset even with my business. While it’s not a direct approach to make you more productive, I do think it’s a way to approach everything you do so you don’t get stuck in non-action or indecision.
This is exactly why I have a CBB list. CBB means it could be better. As an artist, a creator, everything can always be improved. But if you accept your resources, your abilities, your schedule now, at some point you have to draw the line and say – this is the best I can DO now and I’ll put the improvements on my CBB list.
Summary – Make small consistent improvements over time. Iterate. Test.
In other words: Do what you can now and take daily mini actions to improve your business, your launch.
Who, what and when it’s best for – People who get overwhelmed by big dates and big events…if you like improving things over time. If you want to create a membership site, a piece of software, turn your products evergreen and put your launches on auto-market, this is the mindset you’ll have to adopt. You as an entrepreneur have to be good with always growing, always improving, always moving in the direction of your end goal.
[Tweet “Do what you can now and take daily mini actions to improve your business, your launch.”]
Resources to get you started:
- Kaizen (book): http://amzn.to/1Fs05Eo
- Get better at getting better
- Kaizen official site and description
Surprising uses – the most effective way to adopt kaizen in your business or life is to try thinking about your entire life as a series of small improvements…and start using it every where.
Kristoffer Carter has an amazing free manifesto which shows how to do this in his manifesto – The Framework.
But how can you start today? Think about what you’re doing to prepare for your launch (yes, I’m back to that)…what has been taking a long time to “finish” or “deliver”? Make a list of those things and then look at each item and ask one question, “Am I okay with being done with this for now even though I may and probably do want to improve it in the future? And does something else need my attention too?”
Unless something is literally broken, your answer should always be yes.
Oh – and now you have a CBB list – you’re welcome.
Practice Makes Progress
If you’re searching for perfection, you’ll never find it, but I can guarantee that making GTD or Kaizen a practice in your business will give you results.
You’ll feel the progress when you no longer spend hours doing busy work, tweaking a headline font or color or stressing over which part of your list you should invite to a webinar.
You’ll know you’re on the right path when you get rid of the pile of notebooks filled with ideas, drawings, sketches, notes taken at webinars that you can now confidently say do not belong in your business.
If there’s one thing I can leave you with today – it’s this – focus on change over time.
Let growth be your goal.
If you’d like to talk more about continuous improvement, daily practices to boost your business, make sure to join me Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays over on Periscope (follow me: annesamoilov) where we meet to set our top 3 for the day and dig into the topic of business & personal growth!
Also – like this? You may want to check out The White Space Solution – my very first book on the topic of clearing space for your best life and work…