a little humor ain’t never hurt nobody
Last week my client Z and I solidified how she could better manage her time and energy. I wanted to post about it because I love this topic; it was my #1 challenge when I started working for myself; I dropped so many balls and had to learn by trial and error.
It’s actually a huge deal for people who work for themselves because working for yourself is a trip! You have to confront stuff workplaces usually take care of: vending machines manage your energy slumps, 9 to 5 constrains your schedule, deadlines are set by the boss lady.
If you work for yourself, the key is to be specific:
specific about what’s wrong, where you specifically want results but don’t have them, and what specific solutions you’ll use.
Here’s how Z got specific: “I need the most help with time and energy management. I spend an insane amount of time finishing a post on the day I set out to, and it usually runs to the next day or even longer! When I don’t get my blogs done it throws off the rest of my week completely, including my energy and how I feel…”
We strategized and got to the root of how Z valued her time. It takes guts to grow, and building your path/brand/business is a great way to do that.
Without asking, you’ll get opportunities to look directly at things you avoid, but that are required to go through to get to the next level.
laughs are good for you
Z is successful because she’s not afraid to confront herself.
We used the strategies below to get back her time with writing & blogging. If you’re a blogger or writer, these will help you cut down time, not quality.
Create blog templates for certain types of posts
Z is a design professional focusing on design, style, and luxury. Her posts come in 3 types: Regular posts, Splurge vs. save, Mood boards for specific themes, i.e. “How to make your apartment fall-cozy.” Each post has a specific purpose so we created 3 templates; now when she sits down to write she doesn’t waste time deciding the basics of each post. Think about what you regularly write; there’s probably a simple template you can use that will cut down all the, “What/how am I going to write today?” each time.
Create a catch-all “Resource List”
Designers research and source materials all the time. Part of what took Z time was finding inexpensive items for splurge vs. save posts; she wanted great items and great prices, but the research distracted her when she needed to write. We decided to research beforehand and create a massive resource list ahead of time with expensive, mid-tier, and affordable prices. That way she had peace of mind knowing her research was still quality but saved time and mental energy on writing days.
If your posts read more like books (mine do), consider breaking your content into a series, especially if there’s valuable information; marketing, business, design, health, client-related content are well-primed for series. You also create much-needed breathing room since you can plan and write posts weeks ahead of time. I could give you 5 more tips in this post, for example, but I’ll save it for my next post on how to manage your time/emails specifically. Too much information in one post can have the opposite effect of leaving readers empowered, it can simply overwhelm them!
Give yourself 3 rounds of edits with specific metrics
We decided 3 edits to each post was sufficient, as long as Z wasn’t loosey goosey about the process, but edited with only these metrics in mind: item quality, prices visuals/design, valuable tip, and overall feeling.
General editing goes on forever.
But if you focus on hitting the mark only on key elements of the post, you retain quality and so does your life! You still have time to live your life and get to the rest of your work.
Send your post to someone to hold you accountable
After 3 rounds of edits, Z’s only job was to send me the post for final review. 95% of the time posts are totally fine to send out after tweaking, I usually edit just 1-2 elements or make a call to action stronger. Send the post to someone you trust, doesn’t have to be a business coach, they need only know how to read for quality and get the gist of your post.
Set a deadline and KEEP YOUR WORD to yourself
Remember how shitty you feel when you say you’ll do something then don’t? It’s the worst feeling, but the best reminder to keep your word.
If you want to feel proud of yourself, keep your word.
I told Z to re-read her email, “When I don’t get my blogs done it throws off the rest of my week completely, including my energy and how I feel.” Remember how awful you feel, it’ll help you finally complete the task.
As a recovering perfectionist, I learned the hard way that all my tweaking made zero difference to my posts, they just wasted so much of my time.