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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.

April 2017 Goals

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Yay we survived April Fools Day and the first quarter of 2017! Before I hop into the review of March and April 2017 Goals, I want to do a quick recap of the first quarter. 

2017 wasn’t the great radical life change I hoped it would be. At least it didn’t start that way. As I have mentioned I suffer from anxiety and I hit a really bad patch of anxiety and depression towards the end of January. I have been down that road before and I knew I couldn’t let myself go to that dark place again. I think the last time it got really bad I was maybe 21 or 22 and now on the other side of my twenties I knew I didn’t have the energy to push through and still function of drink my feelings away each night and still bounce back hangover free for work in the morning, like I had in the past. I know it sounds bad but that is because it was bad. This year I went on a search to face my depression head on, without vodka and without avoidance. I didn’t look for one fix all. I started eating healthier, got back into meditation and yoga, found a therapist I really can open to, got strategic about what I wanted, stopped putting up with a lot of other people’s shit and practicing gratitude. That may have been a run on sentence but life is sometimes one big run on.

I didn’t accomplish all my business or life goals but I did rearrange my plans.

Big wins for the first quarter:

  • Got out my free business mapping email course.
  • Lost 24.4 pounds
  • Celebrated many special occasions with my loved ones. Including the wedding of two good friends, the birth of one of my friend’s son and my grandpa’s 85th.
  • Made more blogger friends and have been pretty bold about hitting send on scary emails.
  • Had my highest grossing revenue month as a blogger
  • Got my business taxes done (I don’t care what anyone says, I feel like the real MVP for this one. Thanks to Turbo Tax. I’ve always used them and in my experience, they are there for fast online tax filing. )

Now to recap.

March 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com and just list build and connect like crazy.

The doors are open my friends until April 10th! 

Personal Goals

  • Read one book

This month I read I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: My Life As A Co-Star by Judy Greer. I know the book got mixed reviews but I really enjoyed it. She is another one of those actresses who you hope will be down to earth and she is. I love how she talks about getting nervous peeing next to Jennifer Lopez while filming The Wedding Planner.

  • Finish the She Means Business 28 Day Plan

I didn’t finish. Maybe it would be better if I stuck to the 28 day plan but I’ve been picking it up when I felt the inspiration and working it in order on the days I want.

  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.

When one of your best friend’s has a baby and the another has a wedding it’s hard to keep track of if you’ve done anything for yourself. I do think I’ve gotten better about taking care of myself this year. So I’m sure I’ve done this to some extent. 

  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.

Yes! I love this it really makes me think about my blessings. I’ve even started keeping an affirmation journal. So I think this might actually count doing something for myself. Every day I wake up and write 5 positive affirmations to start my day before interacting with any other humans.

  • Keep meditating and visualization

This is pretty much the only way I can get to sleep most nights. Thank God for YouTube.

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Finish Launch Your Signature Course!

So no. I actually started the program over from the start. I needed to refocus. 

  • Have 555 Facebook page likes

552. Come on guys… give me a like. (In my flirtest voice.) 

  • Have 3325 Twitter Followers

3,374! Awesome! Check out my Twitter account, I am constantly sharing things to help you feel better and blog better from amazing sources. 

  • Have 1160 Instagram Followers

1,222! You may not know this about me but Instagram is my Jam! I also am loving Instagram Stories. Follow me to see my pics, inspirational quotes and hear me ramble about my day in my car on Stories.

  • Have 1020 Pinterest Followers

1,023! You can check out my profile here and follow the boards that you like or the entire profile.

  • Post at least 4 times this month

March 2017 Goals
7 Ways to Stay on Top of Your Side Hustle
5 Things That Are a Total Waste of Time, Yet, Everyone Does Them Daily (On Life Advancer)
4 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2 Years of Blogging (I feel the need to clarify that I’ve actually been blogging a lot longer than 2 years. I’ve been blogging on and off for about 10 and also have a long history of ghost blogging. The two years is just at this level and on this website.)
Learning and Teaching in a Saturated Market

  • Do at least 2 webinars

No. I really hope to get at least one blog done this upcoming month or at least more live streams. I love doing them they are so much fun, especially when done with a partner but I like to promote them for a week and sometimes that part slips through the cracks. Now that my friend’s wedding is over hopefully I can do one soon. 🙂

  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.

I didn’t do every post but plan to go back and add them to the ones I missed.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

Did you read the part where I lost 24.4 pounds lol. Yes! 

  • Go to a gym class at least 12 times this month.

No. I have been going on runs but didn’t go to a class this month. 

  • Lose 6 pounds more pounds

I hit a bit of a plateau and got a little wild the weekend of the wedding (how can I not have mimosas with one of my best friends on her wedding day??) but I am back on track. 

April 2017 Goals

Objective: List Building 

Personal Goals

  • Read one book
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Keep meditating and visualization
  • Have a great sister trip (details pending. We’ve come a long way from Vegas)

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Work Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Have 560 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3350 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1240 Instagram Followers
  • Have 1030 Pinterest Followers
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Do at least 1 webinar
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts.
  • Put together my writing portfolio
  • Publish on another site
  • Get most of my blog posts for quarter 2 written or at least outlined.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 8 times this month.
  • Lose 5 pounds more pounds

I am feeling pretty good about the second part of 2017. I have learned that planning is important but so is going with the flow and adapting to the changes that come with that. Let me know what you’ve got going on this month and how last month went. Tell me in the comments.

4 Lessons I’ve Learned in 2 Years of Blogging

I was looking for an email from late 2015 when I found this:

 

Email to myself

03/02/15: 

This is the first time you are sending an email using your All The Things

I do account, today marks the day your whole life changed.

WOW! That was both ambitious and so long ago. I’d like to think my punctuation has gotten better but it blows my mind that I’ve been on this journey for two years.

A lot has changes in the past two years since a creatively unfulfilled 25-year-old me hit “Publish” on that first post. The direction of the blog has become more focused and has become a huge part of my day to day life.

I remember about six months ago I was thinking about how two years was coming up and I wanted to do something big. While I didn’t schedule a live event as I had hoped, I did want to take some time to mark the occasion on the blog. Last year I didn’t too much write an anniversary post. Instead, I wrote a letter to my pre-blog self.

This year I want to talk about a few things I’ve learned in the last two years as a blogger.

Keep Going

There are so many up and downs in the blogging world. Months where pageviews are painfully slow, days where readers aren’t very friendly or you just totally lack motivation. Then there will be months when your email list is growing, people are sending the sweetest messages, and you find yourself with some extra disposable income. With anything in life, there are good times and bad. The bad times make the good times better. Also done is better than perfect. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the myth of perfection, just do your best. Improvement comes over time. Kawhi Leonard didn’t get his Championship ring by telling coaches he didn’t want to play in a game until he was sure he’d make every shot. He practiced, played and improved his skills. (Go Spurs Go!)

Give Yourself a Break

We are all so quick to make excuses for the people we love and people in general. “He doesn’t know any better.” “She’s still learning.” “She meant well.” When it comes to ourselves, we tend to be more unforgiving. Give yourself a break, if you mess up figure out where and how to fix it. In blogging, business and in life, learn to forgive yourself so you can love yourself.

Stay With The Purpose

There are tons of ways you can get mixed up and lose your way. You get distracted by the bloggers talking about their 6 figure launches and running their business on autopilot or with the help of a team. Then sit in your one-bedroom apartment and feel like you are working your butt off but getting nowhere with your $200 AdSense check. Keep in mind most of the crazy successful bloggers have started with a purpose or mission, not to make money. If you want to keep your passion, focus on the purpose.  Keep your integrity and stay true to yourself, it might take longer, but you’ll sleep better.

If you want to keep your passion, focus on the purpose. Click To Tweet

Shake Them Haters Off

I am just going to share a few things that keep me going when the trolls go to work. Including (some loosely quoted): 

“It’s easy to attack and destroy an act of creation; it’s a lot more difficult to perform one.

-Chuck Palahniuk

“The bigger game you play, the more criticism you’ll receive.

-Marie Forleo

“The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do, will point blank not like you. But it is also filled with those who will love you fiercely. They are your people. You’re are not for everyone and that’s OK. Talk to people who can hear you.”

-Rebecca Campbell

I can’t say that a day will come where a hurtful comment or mean words won’t sting me at all, but I have worked hard not to dwell on them. People are always going to have something negative to say but don’t let that derail you. The only time you should let criticism alter your progress is if it’s constructive. I believe it was a MarieTV episode that said when you receive criticism ask yourself, “Is it constructive,” and if it’s not then let it go (Especially when you didn’t ask for that person’s opinion).

Not everyone is going to like you no matter what you do. You could give a hundred dollar bill to the next ten people you see and one would be upset you didn’t give them five twenties, two would think you’re showing off and four would believe you want something from them in return. The hundred dollar bills of your knowledge are for the three people who are grateful and understand the reason behind your work.

All in all if given a chance I wouldn’t go back and not start my blog. It has been an amazing two years and here is to many more. So if you’ve been reading for a while or this is your first time on my site, thank you for being a part of the journey!