🧭 Are you always short on time?
Should you actually be doing something else right now?!
But seriously now, running an e-commerce business can be very hands-on. Do you ever just wish there were more hours in the day just so you can get everything done? That’s why we’re looking at productivity and time management today - because time is money right?!
Time management is about organizing and planning your time - so it’s pretty much the foundation of productivity - what you actually do. Today I'm sharing my top productivity tips so that you can get laser-focused on your biz!
Productivity isn’t a genetic trait, right? It’s a skill that you can learn. So if you’re thinking “I’m lazy, I can’t do this” let me stop you right there.
Y’all just need to practice these 5 things!
VIDEO MORE YOUR JAM? WATCH IT HERE:
1. Have a routine
"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. - John Maxwell"
This one takes practice but the results are so worth it!
Need inspiration? Here are some examples of healthy daily routines:
- Getting exercise & fresh air
- Morning coffee
- Visualizing or checking in with your goals
- Tidying your office before you start work
As a biz owner, routines are super important because they help you take care of your daily needs. And once you’re in a routine, you will probably do these things without thinking!
If you struggle with routines but want to implement one - try habit stacking. Just tag one new ritual on top of something you already do, like having breakfast, checking emails, or even getting up in the morning and making your bed. You do make your bed…. riiiight?
For more about habit stacking check out James Clear’s Atomic Habits book here.
The bottom line is that having a daily routine stops you from PROCRASTINATING and helps you focus on getting the important stuff done.
2. Prioritize the right things
Busy, busy, busy, right....? Wrong! The next critical element of time management and productivity is not so much about getting busy but about making sure you’re getting the right things done. That’s why you need to prioritize.
We can all be busy busy but totally and utterly wasting our time on pointless tasks that don’t move the needle. So don’t be that person!
Instead, it can help to use Covey’s 4 Quadrants of Time Management Matrix:
Here's how it works:
At the top of the quadrant are things that are Important and Urgent. E.g. crises, emergencies or deadlines. These things need your time, but not all of it. Otherwise, you're just trying to put out fires the whole damn time.
The second block is actually the most important - this is where you want to be spending your time: on tasks that are Important but Not Urgent.
And you don’t really want to be spending heaps of time on the last 2 - tasks that are Not Important but Urgent, or Not Important and Not Urgent.
Why would you be spending time doing these tasks when you can delegate or just discard them?
Take an inventory each time you do a task and ask yourself which quadrant are they in and whether you really need to be doing them.
Here’s an example: The biggest killer of time is probably social media BUT - you probably use social media platforms for your e-commerce biz too, right? Just make sure you’re not spending too much time scrol……..lling!!
Because being aware of how you spend your time will help you prioritize your time and be more productive with it.
3. Have processes
So the next tip I wanted to share with you is about implementing processes. Processes are a GAME CHANGER for your biz.
Here's an example: You add new items to your store each week? Create a process of tasks - go step by step! Got a blog that needs to be published each week? Same thing!
Other processes like the Pomodoro technique work well for focus; working in 25-minute blocks against the timer, then taking a 5-minute break.
There are people swear by keeping lists, or Scrum boards (that’s why we use Monday.com here at Hot Mess HQ) but the idea is that at any point in time, you know what you’re working on and what’s coming up and you’re not spending mental energy trying to keep it all in your head. Get it down on the board, or on paper, and get on with the task you need to focus on.
And here’s a super hack - building on what I was saying about prioritizing your time - install blocking apps or limits on your phone or computer that will stop you spending too much time doing the wrong things.
The nice thing about processes, like routines, is that they stop you from procrastinating, and they stop you from wasting time trying to reinvent the wheel all the time. That’s gonna save you a heap of time in your biz, I promise!
4. Learn to say No
So this one is really simple. It’s about learning to say no so that you’re not always saying yes to everything. It sounds easy, but trust me it takes practice! But mastering the art of saying no and staying in your lane is gonna win you back some sweet time!
5. Delegate And Automate
The essence of this last point is that if you’re doing everything, wearing all the hats, you’re not in your zone of genius.
It’s tough when you’re running your own business, I get it. Often there is just one of you trying to do it all. But remember - brain power is limited. So if you’re super focused on all the mundane tasks you won’t have the energy for the bigger picture CEO stuff!
But to massively free up your time so that you can focus on what you’re good at, you need to build your team. In the early days, you might want to just outsource small tasks on Fiverr, get a VA, that kind of thing. And as you grow, so will your team.
And likewise, get as many things automated as you can!
This might be your email sequences, chatbots, invoicing and accounting, or anything.
Honestly, the less you have to manually do yourself, the more you can focus on the important things, and the more productive you will be!
So to sum it up these are the five things to practice:
✅ Have a routine
✅ Prioritize the right things
✅ Have processes
✅ Learn to say No
✅ Delegate & Automate
And that’s what I have for you gals on productivity and time management today!
It’s a bit of a mashup of tips on personal development and growing your biz - so let me know if you’re liking this and if you want to hear more of it!
And if you’ve got a productivity hack or process that you swear by, I’d love to hear it! Drop it in the comments below and let us know what’s working for you! Maybe it’ll help us here at team Hot Mess!
Let us know in the comments what you think of this content (did it help you?), or let us know if you’ve got a burning question!