How to become a more organised entrepreneur

Do you ever feel that you are overloaded with work, and don’t know how to go about reducing that big pile of stuff; which has been building up for days, weeks, or even months?

Maybe its about time that you conquered that Mount Everest of tasks and paperwork!

Here are my top 10 tips on how to become a more organised (and hopefully a less stressed) entrepreneur…
  1. Create a mind-map of all the ideas that are crowding your head space. Use this to clear your mind and focus on each task in hand
  2. Write a to-do list. Use headings and subheadings to narrow down exactly what needs to be achieved within each task
  3. Use a scheduling or diary system to organise your time. Plan tasks ahead of schedule to allow you to dedicate suitable time for each one
  4. Outsource anything you can to free up your time to run and grow your business E.g. by using Virtual Assistants, Marketing Experts, Accountants, etc
  5. Set aside designated planning time and spend one evening (usually a Sunday works best) to plan and prepare your week ahead
  6. Check emails at the end of every day rather than at the beginning. Use a small amount of time at the end of the day to plan and prepare for the next day
  7. Turn off your phone and stay logged out of your email while competing each task. Less distractions mean you will complete tasks quicker, and you can reply to urgent calls and emails during coffee breaks in between tasks.
  8. Schedule email mail-outs and social media posts in advance so they happen automatically. Set aside time to schedule as this will save you time in the long-run (you can also use a social media management tool to be even more efficient at this!)
  9. Clear your work space so it is free from loose papers and clutter. After all, an organised space creates an organised mind!
  10. Constantly review your progress. Assess what is working well for you at keeping you organised, and focus on doing these things (and remember that what might be working for another person wont necessarily work for you – and vice versa).

These are all good and well, but are you still wondering where on earth to start with becoming more organisedand tackling that mammoth of a mountain?

Here are some useful tangible items you might want to use to help you get started:

  • Mind-mapping software, such as MindGenius or imindmap (or just an old-fashioned pen and paper – and one or two highlighters)
  • A paper diary – electronic ones are great but sometimes its good to have everything there in front of you in black and white!
  • A list of useful contacts to lend a hand with your outsourceable tasks when needed.
  • Social media management programmes (e.g. Hootsuite, Buffer, etc)
  • Email scheduling software (e.g. Mailchimp, CRM database, etc)
  • A quiet and clutter free space to work and focus (even a desk in a library might be suitable!)

Basically, all of the above boils down to the fact that: to fail to prepare, is preparing to fail.

Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail Click To Tweet

 

This mantra is very true both in life and business. Setting aside a little time to prepare your diary, and plan your time in advance, will be extremely worthwhile in helping to organise your life, work, and most importantly your mind.

So, dont wait until tomorrow to start planning your strategy to become more organised. Give yourself that phew’ feeling, and start taking action now! (You might even get a better nights sleep, and thank yourself for it!)

Top Tips for Juggling Motherhood and Self-Employment

Being a self-employed mum of a toddler and a baby can be very challenging at times! If you are a mum who works for yourself, then I am sure you can relate to the conflict your brain has between spending time with your children and working on your business.

I know I constantly feel guilty that one of these is suffering, as I haven’t got enough time in the day to do everything! ……and as for household chores, I sometimes just give up, now have a cleaner!

So, here are my top ten tips for juggling motherhood and self-employment:

Make lists and prioritise

I like to have one list for both business and mum stuff as to not confuse myself by using separate ones.  I also put everything in my diary so nothing is missed!

Find amazing childcare

I am lucky to have my parents and in-laws to look after the children whenever I need to.  Although I still feel guilty when leaving them for a business-related appointment!

Prepare

Get bags, clothes, lunches, etc ready the evening before. Mornings are the most crazy for us!

Work when the kids sleep

Schedule in work time when the kids are in bed. A few hours every evening can clear my work to-do list as well as a full working day will!

Outsource work and ask for help

I have 3 amazing ladies who help in my business, and they make me feel like all is not just on my shoulders.  Plus, self-employment can be pretty lonely at times, so having a team to support me is lovely!

Find others in the same boat as you

Connecting with other self-employed mums who are in the same boat as you can help. Try joining us at a Her Business Brew meeting for support.

Get a box of tricks up your sleeve

Have a box of crafts or games that the kids can do themselves.  This will keep them entertained if you have to make a business call or complete work when they are around! Even short bursts on a tablet, or half an hour in front of CBeebies isn’t going to do any harm either!

Schedule quality time with the family

Time with your family is very important as your kids grow up so fast.  Even a quick trip to the park, or reading them a story makes all the difference!

Make time to read stories to your children Click To Tweet
Don’t beat yourself up

Don’t worry if everything isn’t done that day. No woman is superwoman (even though we like to think we are!) just move stuff to next weeks to do list. Its not the end of the world!

Make time for yourself

All this juggling can leave you shattered, so make time for yourself.  I like to get my nails/hair done, visit the spa, or have the occasional afternoon tea!  Although a long soak in the bath (with no kids) is even a nice treat!

Me time – are you making it a priority?

Some of us are crazy enough to run a small business! Don’t get me wrong, self-employment is a great way to work flexibly around our families, but it can also mean business is on your mind 24/7 even when you’re not working – or if you’re anything like me, especially when you’re not working!!

Being stressed, feeling overwhelmed, and neglecting your own self-care does not make for the happiest and healthiest of business women (and mothers if you have children). So this ‘me time’ thing isn’t some sort of selfish luxury – it’s essential to take some time out and enjoy yourself so that you’re functioning at your best.

'Me Time' isn’t some sort of selfish luxury – it’s essential Click To Tweet

 

A happy and relaxed you is good for your health and wellbeing, plus your productivity, creativity and your business on the whole.

We all know a good night’s sleep (Ok, forget this for a couple of years if you’ve got a little one!), regular exercise, and healthy nutritious foods are recommended for our wellbeing– but what else can we do to relax?

Here are my personal top ten tips to get some quality me time:

Swim

It’s really relaxing, gives you time to think, you can do it alone or with a friend, and it’s exercise (bonus!)

Read

Whatever sort of books you like, make an effort to read more. If you need a bit of encouragement join a book club (I’m in one on Facebook where we read a personal development book every month). Then just sit and enjoy

Make something

It will get you focused and having something at the end will give you a sense of achievement. If you’re as uncreative as me head over to Pinterest for a million and one ideas

Walk by water

Whether it’s the sea, a river, a lake, or even a duck pond there’s just something calming about taking a walk or sitting by some water

Explore nature

One of my favourite things to do is walk through the woods. I used to hang out in woods as a child and still love doing it now

Get out and have fun

When went to Norwich Playhouse with a friend to watch comedian Andy Parsons, my jaw ached for 2 days from smiling and laughing so much! Find ways to get out with your friends/family and have a laugh

Catch up with someone

Why not catch up with a friend, old colleague or a business acquaintance over coffee or lunch. You never know what might come from your conversations

Take a bath alone

Pencil in a date with you and a warm bath one evening – just make sure you don’t doze off in the bath! Add candles for a touch of luxury

Paint your nails

Seriously this can be so therapeutic if you make some time to sit down and paint your own nails. Just choose a time when you’ll be totally uninterrupted by children, partners, or animals

Sit down and do nothing

Yep easier said than done when there are pots to be washed, clothes to be ironed, social media posts to be scheduled, customers to email back. But just take 5 minutes to sit there, relax and think of absolutely nothing

How do you like to relax? Let me know in the comments below…