Archive for Balance

6 Tips For Conquering Your Mornings When You Hate Mornings

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You always hear entrepreneurs talking about the importance of a routine. While I am a serious creature of habit I have to admit I found it hard to find my routine.

I mean I had normal stuff I just organically did like brush my teeth in the morning, drink my lemon water, etc. The things I do at night, shower, watch an episode of American Dad then turn on a guided sleep meditation. But a real routine that was structured and zen and stuff, I didn’t have.

So I started thinking about what I really like and what helps me unwind and just snap out of the never ending loop in my mind.  So I think I finally found my routine and I’m excited to share.

First, let me give you a little back info. I’m in the process of offboarding a major client and upping my workload with another. That means I’m putting in A LOT of hours right now. Which means, as someone who is historically not a morning person…scratch that…that doesn’t really capture the way I felt about the morning…. So let’s try that again. As someone who hates engaging with other humans before 10 am and thinks that mornings are gross it was an interesting transition.

The first day, I set my alarm for an ambitious 5:45 am. Now that fluctuates between 5:30 and 7 am and I’ve been holding strong for a month.

It was vital for me to find ways to make getting up in the morning less tedious so I wanted to share my tips for how to fake your way into being a morning person.

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Follow The 5-Second Rule

If you’ve been in the online space for a while you’re probably familiar with Mel Robbins, author of The 5 Second Rule. Basically, the rule is when you decide to do something you take action in the next 5 seconds so you don’t change your mind. In this case, it means the second that alarm goes out I start counting down, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1,” then my body shoots up and sleep time is over. I’ll be honest, this doesn’t always happen but when I do follow the rule my mornings are the better for it. No snooze button and crappy “20 more minutes” of sleep that really just make you feel more sluggish.

Make Your Alarm Fun

I have an Alexa and I love it. You can program it to use different celebrity recordings to wake you up. Mine is Alec Baldwin telling me that the early bird catches the worm. Another thing I noticed was that having to tell me alarm to stop, “Alexa, stop” is very different than just hitting a button. I feel like the first time you speak on any given day means you’re really awake.

Turn Up The Ac

I have to sleep with it super cold in my apartment. I’m in Texas so this time of year the air conditioner is a constant but at night I turn it down a little lower. One of the first things I do when I get out of bed is crank it up. The cold air that is great for sleeping is not so great for working. Like a rainy day, having the air conditioner too low just makes me want to get under the blankets and be lazy.

Get Some Light But Not Too Much Light

I am a vampire. There I said it. Most weekends unless I have work to do the blinds stay closed and I wait until night time to leave the house. Seriously, I’m in Texas it was in the 80s this weekend and it’s not even summer yet! But when it comes to starting the day I like to open up the blinds in my bedroom. Because the sun isn’t in full effect yet it’s not overpowering early in the morning. Then I turn on my salt lamp for a little extra soft light. I don’t normally turn on the ceiling light until a few hours into work. It just feels less aggressive and more of a soft transition from night to day.

Have Some Warm Lemon Water

I always keep lemons at my home. As an allergy sufferer, one thing that can make mornings hard is that drainage that happens after 7 hours of being horizontal. I feel like my lemon water is a great way to just reset everything and feel a little less yucky when my allergies are worse.

Get A Toothbrush You’re Excited To Use

Up until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t used an electric toothbrush in years. So when I got the opportunity to try the CariPro by Smile Brilliant I was excited. I love using this toothbrush! First of all it just makes my teeth feel so clean. You may know that feeling where you thought you brushed your teeth really well but afterward, you slide your tongue across them and it just doesn’t feel clean? I don’t experience that with my CariPro. It gets my teeth, what I like to call, “dentist level clean.”

It comes with 5 brush modes, is waterproof and holds its charge for up to 30 days! I could go on and on about how clean my teeth feel after using it but instead, I’m excited to give you a chance to try it yourself.

I’ve partnered with Smile Brilliant for a giveaway (insert happy dance 💃)

Enter for your chance to win your very own CariPro Ultrasonic electric toothbrush here.

Finally let me say, not everyone has to be a morning person. While I’ve been imitating one the past month after this season of my life I probably won’t get up as early as I have been. It’s okay, some of us work better at night. The thing is, life doesn’t always work with our preferred sleeping habits. You have a big launch, a client event, a family situation and you have to adjust so these tips are for you, my night owls who need a little help starting their days earlier from time to time.

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9 Mistakes Business Owners Make Managing Their Time

If you’re like me, your waking hours are filled with tasks, expectations, and stress. For most of us, even our vacations or “days off” are filled with things we have to do or obligations that need to be handled. Well that’s a sad thought, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be.
For a long time, I found myself in this loop of never-ending stress and a growing to-do list. I didn’t find some magic pill or master time travel to give myself an extra 10 hours a day to write, sleep and watch Netflix…(isn’t Netflix just the best thing ever?!?)
The first thing I did was learn to recognize the mistakes I was making when it came to building my business that was slowing my business down. I am still growing for sure, but if I’d started to realized these mistakes sooner, I could have been seeing revenue, growth and a lot less stress in my business a year or so sooner.

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of experience in the different roles that come with dating but I see a lot of things the same way I see romance. Trying to figure out your work style is a little like kissing frogs, Often you figure out what doesn’t work far sooner than you find out what does… so let me save you some time and point out some of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to manage their business.

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Focusing on Perfect

Any time you put something out in the world with your name on it you probably want it to be pretty kick-ass, after all, your name is on it. So it’s easy to get stuck on perfection. I hate to say it, but you’re never going to reach perfection. So instead of getting stuff done you just keep finding yourself being unsatisfied with the little work you do complete because it isn’t perfect and therefore it never gets done. Done is better than perfect. Think of it this way how many programs or tools do you purchase that get an update or reboot. Sometimes you might think something is “perfect” only to discover once it’s out there that something is missing or not working correctly. Steve Jobs didn’t get the iPhone perfect the first time…see the multiple versions that have followed and continue to come out each year.

Failing to Start

Have you ever sat down with the intention of knocking out a few tasks with a to-do list that looks something like:
Create a pitch for Lane’s Online Magazine
Write this week’s newsletter
Update the blog post about knitting
Answer email from Karen

Then you sit there and look at it without knowing where to start so you decide, oh I’ll respond to some social media posts and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls. Next thing you know it’s 3 hours later, time for bed and while your Buffer is full nothing else got done.
Falling into this trap is easy. We want to get so much done, but we get frustrated and then nothing gets done.
Just get started on whatever is the first thing on the list just do it and get it done.

Taking on Too Much

This goes right in hand with not knowing where to get started. When you are excited about your business or side hustle, you find yourself constantly having new ideas or wanting to implement new things into it. For me, I always want to do more and go bigger. Adding new forms of revenue or a new kind of media is a great way to grow your business but doing it at the wrong time and in the wrong way is an excellent way to kill your business.
If you are a one woman team already feeling pressed for time, it probably isn’t a good idea to try to launch a new e-course, 2nd website, podcast and youtube channel in the same month (yeah I seriously was considering doing this at one point in time). Start by looking at low-hanging fruit (things that are easy for you to incorporate at that given time) if you want to do all of these see which would be easiest for you to do first and then start with that and once you have your footing in one area, add in the next. If you try to take on too much at once not only will your attention be divided but your work will be sloppy.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking isn’t evil at the right time and place. Listening to a book on tape while washing the dishes or reading a magazine while pooping is great examples of doing more than one thing at once successfully. But most of the time multitasking is a major productivity killer! If you want to get the most out of your work time, focus on one thing at a time. Turn your phone face down, leave it in the other room or shut down the sound, even small multitasking like answering a few texts during the time you said you’d work can hurt your productivity and strain your focus.
The more you spend time working focused, the more you learn about your ability to balance things. Can you listen to music with lyrics while writing? Can you watch television while painting pieces for your Etsy store? For me I absolutely cannot work in silence, my mind starts racing, and I start thinking about anything and everything, besides what I’m trying to focus on. If I’m working on social media posts I can listen to stand up or even re-watch old episodes of Family Guy on Netflix if I’m working on a post I can listen to music but if I try to watch t.v. more times than not I find myself taking a longer time to get things done.

Setting Deadlines But Not Work Sessions

Deadlines are important. For me, it is my way of saying, “Hey world, I’m doing this on this date.” Then realizing, “Holy crap it’s out there, now I have to do it.” But what is a deadline if you don’t have a plan for actually getting the thing done? If you say you want to publish a post on the 13th, when do you plan to write it? Schedule a period for working on it and if need be, anything else that accompanies the task, like creating graphics or social media posts. A deadline is a lot like a goal, it’s great to have, but a plan of action is what turns both a goal and deadline into a reality.

Thinking busy and productive are the same thing.

Busy having a great deal to do.
Productive achieving or producing a significant amount or result.
There are a lot of people who love to talk about how busy they are but the truth is being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. I could go outside and try to pick up every rock in my apartment complex, and I’m technically busy, but it doesn’t mean I’m doing anything productive. While there are “busy” tasks that need to be done, you have to find a healthy balance of busy and productive. Yes getting your inbox down to zero is a great feeling but more than likely it doesn’t represent any income in your pocket. Just because you are doing something doesn’t mean you are making the best use of your time. Be able to recognize when you are performing goal achieving activities and not just stress relieving ones.

Focusing Too Much on Organizing.

This one was a huge rabbit hole for me. I want to be organized. Obviously, I work better when my desk is clean, and I know things look beautiful, but even worse I used to sit down with my to-do list and try to decide which thing was most important in the right order to get things done. Well, this was a waste of time.
I discovered that by just hitting the list running, I was able to get more crossed off. There are some days when it’s clear something needs to be done first, like if you have a deadline but other days you may not know where to start, so just start.

Getting Stuck on Semantics

If you can’t complete a task because you need something to complete it, then I try to follow this simple rule, if obtaining it will take more than 5 minutes I move on to the next thing on my todo list.
Are you writing a movie review and can’t remember the name of the lead actress? Go ahead and search for it, then go back to working on the review.
Do you want to make an email course outline on a poster board with sticky notes but don’t have the poster board or sticky notes? Then move on to the next task because you’ll probably just end up spending an hour at Target looking at cute office supplies. (Guilty!)
Don’t let the semantics, stop you in your tracks. Often I’ve discovered by moving forward and not focusing on the little things that could be a setback, I often find workarounds or better ideas.

Not Scheduling Downtime

This may seem counter-productive to all the mistakes mentioned above but in reality having downtime is great for productivity. I wrote a post Why You Should Take a Personal Day a while back, and I fully believe in it. Personal days and downtime are key for allowing your body and mind to recharge and relax. We are always so stressed and have so much to do, but I’ve discovered when I take the time to take a break or have some fun I come back with new ideas or feel revitalized and excited about whatever project I’m working on again. I try to do something fun most weekends, but I also have a night off I try to stick to at least once a week, Thursdays are for Shondaland. I put the laptop away, have some wine and enjoy some of my favorite shows. It’s all about rewarding myself for hard work and reminding myself that there is more to life than work.

Are you making any of these mistakes when it comes to setting up your day? Recognizing them is a great way to stop doing them. The next time you find yourself in one of these situations take a second and think about what you’re doing and how you can refocus your time and energy into working more productively.

Above Average With Amy Demone

Meet Amy virtual assistant and coach to the virtual assistants. From the first email Amy sent me I knew she was a kindred spirit. This was such a fun chat. She shares the story of how she became a business owner and how she deals with anxiety in her business.

In this episode:

  • The difference between being able to do something and wanting to do something.
  • How she transitioned from Upwork to building her own business
  • How referrals help people who fear rejection.
  • Why you need to avoid the comparison trap when building your business.
  • How she sets boundaries with her clients
  • And so much more…

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'Referrals built my business.' -Amy Demone Listen to Amy’s story on this episode of Creatives Crushing Anxiety. Click To Tweet When you do the work well and show up sometimes you just attract the sales without having to ask. Click To Tweet Most of the time the stress you feel is put on you by you. Not your clients. Click To Tweet Set boundaries early. #EntrepreneurTips Click To Tweet Entrepreneurship is a deep dive into self-development. Click To Tweet

More About Amy

Amy is a Jill of all trades, not only does she work with coaches who are overwhelmed with the day-to-day activities of their business.  Amy also works with virtual assistants who are ready to up-level and make their side hustle into a career. She helps break down projects to become more manageable and create more efficient systems. She’s a nerd when it comes to back-end systems, and recently became a Certified Ontraport Consultant in order to feed her weird obsession. She’s been working in the online business world for just under 3 years and hasn’t looked back since!

You can find Amy here:

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Did you enjoy this episode?
Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Now tell me:
If you’re a business owner did you ever work in a 9-5?
If so, how did you know you wanted something different?
How do you keep your clients happy and maintain balance?
Have referrals helped you in your business? Do you ask for them or do they come organically?

 

Thanks for listening! <3