3 Business Hacks & Kick-Ass Apps I Use In My Business (and why you should too!)
No matter how long you have been in business – if you aren’t paying attention to it, and without the necessary systems, guard rails and support in place; you can often find yourself feeling just a little (or a lot) frazzled.
Trust me; I know how frustrating it gets having to balance your long list of business responsibilities and “to-do’s” and then, on top of all of that…”Life” as well! Given everything on your plate, sometimes you’d rather just make like an ostrich, and bury your head in the sand…right?
Well, have no fear my entrepreneurial friend, I’ve been there and I’ve shaken the proverbial sand out of my ears too! However, the great news is that through it all, I have found some gem-like resources that will help you build your empire AND save your sanity (like they do mine!).
In a previous blog post I talked about the “3 Ugly Truths” that nobody warns you of when you start a business: Distraction, Loneliness and Overwhelm *shiver*. I also promised you the remedies to these conundrums…so, today we get down to the good stuff!
[bctt tweet=”Get yourself out of crap-city, and start killing it in your business.” username=”ashleyknightco” prompt=”Tweet It”]
Some suggestions for getting yourself out of crap-city, and start killing it in your business:
# 1 DISTRACTION & DISCIPLINE (Yes, there’s an app for that! *wink*)
- Plan your week in advance. Set aside time on Friday afternoons to diarise your work deadlines, schedules, productivity objectives and to-do’s for the following week. Include both home and business responsibilities to ensure a good balance between the two. It also helps to prioritise your more important tasks to be completed first thing in the morning, leaving room for the routine tasks in the afternoons. That being said, we are all different and have different times of the day where we are most productive, so plan your most important and most “creative” tasks accordingly.
- Plan your day in advance. Set aside time at the end of every day to map out the next day – make sure you have a clear picture of exactly what needs to be achieved. I section out my day to specified time slots on each task, and sometimes even set alarms on my iPhone to make sure I am keeping to those time slots. This is a good way to gain momentum, I get loads done! First thing in the morning (before you start responding to email or checking your social media), check your daily schedule so that it’s fresh in your mind for the day ahead, and you are crystal clear on your objectives for the day.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: Trello feeds my addiction to list making, but it also makes sure I am getting shit done! It’s a great way for me to manage my daily, weekly, monthly tasks in a visually appealing platform; as well as also track projects and work that has been delegated to my Team.
You can also use Trello to create a space for you and a client to communicate or collaborate on projects where tasks are assigned and you are able to give them due dates where Trello reminds you what needs to be done. Imagine an inbox with fewer emails back and forth between you and your client or team….YES please!
Its also been so useful in being able to create workflows that are easy to duplicate in just two clicks, as well as integrating with various other applications like Dropbox or my Calendar. Trello has been a productivity game changer for me for sure!
# 2 LONELINESS
- Schedule time working outside your home office regularly. It’s important to get out of the confines of your home office environment. The change in scenery not only stimulates those creative juices, but it also inhibits that feeling of isolation. Coffee shops are great for this! The ambient sound and steady flow of people in and out, definitely has a positive impact on your general sense of well being, and does wonders for concentration, you would be surprised! Coffee shops are often where I do my best work. Another idea is to perhaps hire a desk for the day at an agile/flexible workspace in your area. Here you meet other Solopreneurs, which is great for networking and finding creative inspiration.
[bctt tweet=”Coffee shops are often where I do my best work. #businesshacks” username=”ashleyknightco” prompt=”Tweet It”]
- Join an online community of other Solopreneurs. Facebook has some amazing business related groups that offer a sense of community, support, guidance and even a “shoulder” to cry on when you are having a downright shitty day at the office.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: I use these two links ALL the friggin time! Sometimes you don’t always want to go out to a coffee shop, and you’ve exhausted every playlist you have – so, how’s this for a bit of a welcomed change? Rainingfm and Coffitivity (Both available on iOS and Android) offer background sounds to soothe the soul! They are FREE to play online but may cost a small fee to download onto your mobile devices. I just cant get enough of these apps, they are uber simple to use; just one click…bliss!
# 3 OVERWHELM
You are a person…a human being…not a machine – rest! Be sure to schedule in some down time and totally unplug from all devices. I’m serious! Just do it. Overwhelm is a confidence killer, it also keeps us stuck, frazzled, without direction and unproductive. You are of no use to your business, let alone yourself, when you are overwhelmed. It takes immense discipline, but switching off from your business periodically is an imperative. Go ahead, enjoy time off on your weekends, and limit your access to your devices after a certain time in the evenings. Showing restraint, slowing down and taking time out to just breathe makes the world of difference.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT: If I lost my phone, mac or iPad I’d be a gibbering idiot! Why? Well my brain is pretty much a mish-mash of notes, tasks, reminders and workflows on these two life-changing apps: Evernote and Asana (Both available on iOS and Android). It’s these apps that keep me organised and really do a lot to take away some of that overwhelm stress. Admittedly, as a visually orientated individual, a written to-do list is always my first go-to; however for workflow and future-dated reminders etc these are amazing products, and I encourage you to try them out for yourself.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Let me know in the comments below : What apps or online resources have worked for you ? Have you tried any of the Apps recommended?
Hello! I'm Ashley
Just your average glitter loving, solar powered, sushi craving, boho dreaming, bullet journalling, mamma-to-Pea, with an insatiable love for people connecting, planning, business mentorship, & helping you grow your audience, income & business online!
(Oh, and pretty much coffee obsessed!)
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