Many people wait until some “sign” to start implementing the changes they want to make in their lives. And I think for entrepreneurs, that’s even more true. Our schedules are usually packed to the brim so it’s easy to say, “when I accomplish X, I can finally move on to the next step.” But here’s the truth (and I know you already know this deep down): there is no sign. If you keep waiting for one, you may be stuck in the same routine — a routine that doesn’t allow you to focus on growing and scaling. Right now is as good of a time as ever to crush your goals as an entrepreneur.
It’s safe to assume that most of you reading this right now are entrepreneurs who are a few years into your business, which means one of your biggest goals is probably to be more productive with your time. You know that you need to carve out time in your day to focus more on CEO things rather than employee things, yet there’s always something to do that needs your immediate attention.
I’ve spent the last 15 years honing my schedule as a multiple business owner, so I’ve learned a lot about how to stay productive and efficient so you can finally step into your role as CEO! And today, I want to share my best methods with you. And these aren’t some theories — these are five steps you can start implementing today to be productive and finally make room in your schedule to focus on growing your biz. Let’s get into it!
There’s no denying you’ve heard this tip at least 100 times since the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. If you’re in the mindset of thinking it’s “not time yet” to focus on stepping into your role as CEO because it feels “too early,” I assure you this is false! Or if you think there’s not enough time in your schedule to set aside time for CEO work, I assure you this is also false!
I know for many, the imposter syndrome feels intense. But you are ready and capable of tackling this work if you want to grow and scale your business. And there is plenty of time in your schedule for anything, as long as it’s important to you. It takes a little discipline and boundary setting, but it’s possible.
This step lays the foundation for creating your budget and consequently, planning how you can grow and scale your business. When you can understand your finances down to the cent like this, there is no room for hesitation on which areas to expand in and which areas to cut down in so you can set your business up for success.
Pro-tip: Don’t take Monday off. This will just leave you falling behind on your work and feeling burned out by the end of the week! Need more detailed help with figuring out how to set your schedule? Join my course, Time Block For Your Business to adjust your schedule so you can 10x your productivity! (Yes, I mean it!)
Whenever I tell my clients they don’t need to have their email tab open the entire workday, they’re surprised! But here’s the truth (one that you already know deep down inside): you do not need to reply to emails within minutes. In fact, it’s inefficient to do so.
I recommend starting the day by triaging your inbox. Triaging is a method to organize your email inbox. It starts with deleting junk mail first. Then, you forward any emails to people on your team who are qualified to take care of the content in the email. After that, you can respond to emails that only take a minute or less to respond to. Then, it’s time to leave your inbox. From here, you can go take care of one large task (one that takes one hour or so), and then you can go back to your inbox and spend 30 minutes replying to new emails and schedule in your calendar any emails that need more than a few minutes of your attention. For example, if you get an email from a client that asks you to review their floral proposal, that will take some time and focus. You can schedule about 30 minutes in your calendar in the next few days to respond and let them know that you’ll get back to them with your thoughts by X date.
The reason I am an advocate for triaging your inbox is because the biggest time suck is letting your inbox dictate your day. As creative business owners and event pros, it’s really easy to get lost in our inboxes, which can take away from other tasks that are equally important to your business.
This tip is simple yet incredibly effective. And let’s be honest: a bit terrifying! It’s nerve-wracking to think about not getting a Facebook message as soon as it comes in or a DM that you can’t see right away. But this is a good thing! You are a busy business owner who needs to focus on multiple tasks (not just the client-facing tasks) for your business to thrive.
The only notifications I allow on my phone are text and Slack, so I’m in communication with my family and staff. But I don’t have my emails, social media, or any other notifications on. Not only will this help you focus on your tasks at hand, but it’s necessary for your mental health! (Remember: we need boundaries!)
What I mean by this is that whenever you open an email or message, be intentional. Either delete it, delegate it, or do it. Going back to the same email over and over, and pondering over whether you should have answered differently is going to take away from other tasks.
This is another reason triaging is useful because you don’t have to feel rushed when answering an email that needs more thought. You have a spot in your calendar dedicated to these types of emails, which can allow you to be intentional with your answers.
It’s no secret that we entrepreneurs can be stubborn sometimes (or a lot of the times), and we want to say we can do it all. But you and I know all too well that we can’t do it all, no matter how much we wish we could. So when you aren’t good at a task or a task sucks all the joy out of you, it will take you 10 times longer to do it than someone who loves it and has the skills for it.
Hiring a team or outsourcing is going to be the key to your business’s growth, even if they work for just a few hours a month. Helpful roles to hire are VAs (virtual assistants), a social media manager, or a bookkeeper.
I hope this blog post gives you a better understanding of how to be efficient with your time and empowers you to start embracing your role as CEO!
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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