To kick the new year off to its best possible start, I’m sharing ten simple tips to help you be more productive. These are all things I use in my own business, and I even picked one up from my Dad!
1) Declutter your inbox
Who doesn’t find it hard to keep their inbox from getting overloaded? Anyone? 😆
My top tip for decluttering your inbox is to filter your emails for the word ‘unsubscribe’, which will bring up all the emails you’ve got that include a link to allow you to unsubscribe.
Next, unsubscribe from all the newsletters you never read once and for all! You can also filter your searches by name and date, plus a whole lot of others, to help you weed out other emails you don’t need to receive anymore.
To help make future management of your inbox simpler, set up some rules so that the newsletters you continue to receive are automatically sent to a separate folder to keep your inbox uncluttered and your mind undistracted.
You can then look through the folder and catch up on everything at a convenient time for you!
2) Make to-do lists
I write a weekly list of things I want to get done and then break it down each day into a daily list. Rather than carrying ideas around in my head, I’m much more likely to get them done if I write them down. Ticking things off when they’re completed keeps me on track and motivated while getting everything out of my head and onto paper leaves precious brain space free for other things.
3) Sleep on it
It’s challenging to be focused and productive if you’re exhausted. Going to bed, getting up at a reasonable time, and building a routine around sleep have a huge positive impact on our working days. Please try not to overlook it.
Advice for those who struggle to sleep is to get up at the same time each day (even on weekends) and head out into the morning light. When light hits the eye, it excites receptors at the back of the eye that detect light and send signals to a region of the brain which acts as your ‘master’ body clock.
A burst of morning light halts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and signals to the body that the day has begun. The morning light signal starts a chain of events so that around 12 hours later, melatonin rises, preparing your body for deep rest.
4) Set a theme
I set a theme for my work each week. It’s usually related to developing one of my programs, so my to-do list will include all the tasks I need to complete. The social media posts I write, videos I record and live sessions in my group are all related and fit within the theme. It helps keep my mind focused as I’m not jumping around trying to complete random tasks.
You could also introduce themed working by scheduling specific tasks for particular days. For example, Mondays, for me, involve planning and taking care of myself as they’re not my most productive day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are dedicated to client training, and I do my content planning on Wednesdays. Thursdays are all about powering through my to-do lists, and I go live in my group on Fridays.
It’s all about batching your tasks, conserving your energy and maximising your time by doing similar things together. For instance, I write half a dozen posts or record several videos back-to-back on content-creating days. I also make all the Canva images I need to go with them at the same time.
5) Make your downtime productive
When I’m out walking the dogs and getting my exercise, I often listen to podcasts or audiobooks to learn something new at the same time. It’s a way to carve out time for something I don’t often get a chance to do elsewhere in the week. Could you do the same?
You might also find that you’re inspired to create content while out for a walk. I often take out my phone and make a video or record voice notes to help me write social media posts later.
Of course, you could also switch off entirely and enjoy being in nature as part of your self-care routine.
6) Say ‘no’
Say no to things that don’t help you reach your goals. Of course, sometimes you want to help people out, but we often get into people-pleasing mode and say yes, when really, we want to say no. You could also apply this logic to social media groups that no longer serve your goals and leave them. This will unclutter your feed and help you stay focused.
7) Procrastinate productively
Have a couple of projects to work on simultaneously so that when you get a bit fed up with one of them, you can move to the other for a bit of a break before switching back. A more challenging project requiring a lot of thought alongside a more creative, intuitive project would be a good mix. Flitting between the two creates flow when just working on one tricky project might keep you feeling stuck.
8) Done is better than perfect
Perfectionism is a big issue for many image consultants and stylists. I know from conversations with so many of you! By being drawn to the profession, I know that you’re very focused on the details; you want the looks you create for clients to be flawless and the images you share on social media to be perfect.
The problem with such high standards is that it takes so much time and effort to meet and maintain them. Your need to get everything perfect may be preventing you from moving forward and getting things done. I’m not saying that you don’t need an eye for detail to deliver the service your clients need, but there is a balance to be struck. Try to remember the mantra, “done is better than perfect”.
9) Make time for a nap
My Dad, who is 87, has taken a 20-minute nap every day after lunch for years. He swears by it, and I’ve adopted the habit too. After a snooze I always have renewed energy and concentration – it’s so good! Sometimes I don’t go to sleep, and others, I sleep deeply. The break is always enough to recharge me for the afternoon and get my creative juices flowing again.
10) Take mini-breaks
If you have a full-on busy day, take mini breaks throughout to give yourself short bursts of downtime to rest and reset your focus and concentration. Commit to doing 45 minutes of work and then take a mini-break. Do another 45 minutes of work, take another break, and so on.
In your breaks, you could go and get yourself a cuppa or turn on your favourite music and dance around the room. You could take the dog for a short walk, complete a few rows of knitting or read five pages of your book; anything to switch your focus for a while.
If you chunk-down your day into short super-focused sessions like this, you’ll be impressed by how much you get done!
11) BONUS TIP: Some creative tools you might not know about
Helps you generate a colour palette for any design.
A free-to-use online graphic design tool which you can use to create social media posts, presentations, posters, videos, logos and more. You can also pay to upgrade and get access to an extensive range of premium features.
Use this tool to compress the images you publish on your website and landing pages to improve loading speed which is vital for the best user experience.
Has a wide range of amazing free icons and stickers to use in your designs.
This Google Chrome extension allows you to select any gorgeous colour you find on any website and gives you the code so you can use it in your designs.
This is another Google Chrome extension allowing you to identify the name of any font you like on any website so you can use it later in your designs.
Remove.Bg and ClippingMagic.com
Need to remove a background from your images? Either of these will do the job. Both are free.
What do you think of these suggestions? Which ones will you try, and which do you already swear by?
If 2023 is the year for you to take action and build the business of your dreams, book a free strategy call now to see how I can help you make that dream a reality. Book here: https://laneimageconsulting.com/book-your-strategy-call/