Hands up if you too want to be more productive and get more things done in less time! In this post I’m sharing some of my favorite strategies and tools for creating a solid routine and being more efficient and intentional.
I’ve always been very organized when I was still employed, but when I started working on my own online business I wanted to enjoy my new-found freedom and let go of processes and planning.
Not a good idea.
In hindsight I was essentially running my business like a hobby, without any plans or systems in place. And while this was fun, I realized soon that I was overwhelmed by to-dos quickly and never seemed to find enough time to work on developing my business further.
While setting up productivity strategies and tools can seem boring, they will really help you find more freedom in your work. And more fun too, I promise.
Here are my top tips for more productivity in your life as a yoga teacher:
1. Set up a weekly schedule
Most people go into the week with little idea of how they see their days unfolding. If they do any planning, they write a jumbled list of tasks. Instead of just working on your to-do list and getting lost in the nitty-gritty jobs, reserve time each day of the week for certain tasks to work on.
For example your week could look like this:
Create new content (for example blog posts, newsletter)
New projects (for example planning an upcoming workshop, developing a digital product for your website…)
Wednesday + Thursday
Social media + admin stuff (create social media updates + schedule for week ahead, accounting and invoices)
Saturday + Sunday
Learning and self development
2. Create a weekly to-do list
I’m obsessed with to-do lists and I have caught myself actually adding tasks on my to-do list AFTER I finished them, just so I could tick them off (crazy, I know). Creating an efficient to-do list is a feat in itself, and here are some tips:
- Start the list with at least two items that absolutely must get done this week, so even if the rest of the list stays untouched, the really meaningful stuff will get finished.
- Break projects in small, bite sized tasks. Instead of “work on workshop xy,” try something more specific, such as “write agenda for workshop” on Monday and “prepare part 1 of workshop” on Tuesday.
- For every task on the list, include as much information as possible so there’s literally no excuse for not getting the job done. For example, if the task involves calling someone, include that person’s phone number on the list so you won’t waste time scrambling for it later.
- Stay flexible and don’t stress. Always leave about 15 minutes of “cushion time” in between items on the to-do list or calendar in case something pops up (say the washing machine overflows or the computer crashes). And if a crisis does strike, the most important thing is to remember to stop and breathe.
There are many amazing tools for to-do lists. You can use an old-fashioned notebook or an online planner like www.trello.com, or www.asana.com. I like Things, an app that’s available in the App Store and use it daily.
3. Only check your emails twice per day
We live in an increasingly connected world – that’s no secret. But because of this it often becomes far too easy to connect and much harder to actually disconnect and find ourselves in the moment, enjoying reality. To avoid wasting countless hours pondering over emails, try to only check them twice per day. Once in the morning – check and respond. Once again in the early evening – check and respond.
4. Bookmark all websites you need every day
Create a bookmark folder with all websites you need every day. For example your website, Google Analytics, your social media scheduling tool, your Facebook page… so simple but this has been a life-saver for me.
5. Use Evernote to organize your notes
Evernote lets you track everything from to-do lists, blog post ideas, class sequences, screen shots from the web, to managing your email and networking. There are so many ways to use this software and I’m going to share some more tips how to use Evernote soon. (If Evernote goes down, please come find me, I’ll be buried under a pile of blue and pink post-it notes.)