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Productivity for Solopreneurs - Insights to getting things done #103 : Systems vs Processes (and how they help you)

Systems vs Processes (and how they help you)

What processes and systems do you have in place for your business?

You have them, even if you don’t know it!

That’s one reason why today I decided to talk about the difference between processes and systems and how they work together.

But when I Googled it to see if someone could define it clearly, I felt like I understood it less!

Instead of defining it (and confusing us both!) I share some real-life examples in the video below.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #103

Productivity for Solopreneurs : Insights to getting things done #102 - Finding a daily to-do list that works for you

Finding a daily to-do list that works for you

I have some specific habits that keep things moving here (here being my business).

One of those habits is creating my daily to-do list.

I’ve noticed that the days that go a little off the rail (or a lot) are the days that I haven’t created one. 

The days I don’t have a to-do list are the ones that:

  • I fall into the “I know what I need to do and don’t need a list” trap
  • I get sidetracked by checking email or Facebook “quickly”
  • I’m not sure what I actually did that day

When I have my list I have a visual reminder of what I am focusing on right now and that I will have an email and Facebook check later. 

I’ve also noticed it helps to create this list the evening before (it takes me longer to create this list in the morning).

And, through a bit of trial and error, I know what format my daily to-do list needs to be in for it to be most helpful to me.

But what works best for me might not work best for you.

So, I put together a short list of different formats of daily to-do lists to share with you on Wednesday when I go live on Facebook.

If daily to-do lists are not something that you do, I encourage you to attend on Wednesday (or watch the recording later) and see if one of the methods might work for you. 

You can find the video below.

PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #102

Productivity for Solopreneurs : Insights to getting things done #101 - What do you do when you're overwhelmed, don't know where to start, and don't feel like you're making progress?

What do you do when you’re overwhelmed, don’t know where to start, and don’t feel like you’re making progress?

Last week was my 100th Facebook live! I did a Q&A and you can watch it by clicking here if you missed it.

I’ve been thinking about the first question that was asked.

It was “I recently started my business and am overwhelmed with how much there is to do! Some days I have NO idea where to start. I never feel like I’m making any progress. How do I manage everything without going crazy and start making progress?”

Even if you haven’t recently started your business, you can probably relate to the question (I know I can).

The quick version of what I said last week was:

  1. Look for where you can start cutting back on receiving new information
  2. Decide what you’re going to do and stick with for a bit to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.

And I have more to say on this topic!

I’ll share it in this week’s Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done. You can watch it below..

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #101

Productivity for Solopreneurs : Insights to getting things done #100 - Q&A

Q&A

In December of 2016, I was challenged by my coach to start going live on Facebook each week.

I had lots of reasons (*cough* excuses *cough*) about why I couldn’t.

But he helped me realize that I had even better reasons TO do it.

It’s now over 2 years later and this is my 100th live video.

To celebrate I’m doing a Q&A or you can think of it as an AMA (Ask Me Anything).

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #100

The questions I answered were:

  • (2:05) I recently started my business and am overwhelmed with how much there is to do! Some days I have NO idea where to start. I never feel like I’m making any progress. How do I manage everything without going crazy and start making progress?
  • (7:38) When you’re just tired and don’t want to do anything, how do you get the motivation to get the things done you need to?
  • (15:17) I didn’t keep up with my bookkeeping and accounts very well and now have HOURS of work to do before I can turn it over to my accountant. How do I prevent this from happening next year?

In the video I mention the article where I reference my bookkeeping, click here for that.

And you can find the Unnamed Productivity Club by clicking here.

What to do instead of Inbox Zero - Productivity for Solopreneurs #99: Insights to getting things done

What to do instead of Inbox Zero

Last week I shared why you shouldn’t bother with the Inbox Zero strategy.

This week I’m sharing what to do instead.

The short answer is to find what works for you and keep doing it.

But if it was that easy, no one would have an overwhelming inbox.

Email clients have gotten a lot better about helping you manage your email.

I know figuring out how to get your newsletters into Gmail’s Primary tab is a hot topic and many people worry about it, but those tabs keep my email working for me.

Most email clients have some version of this (an email client is where you read and send email from, examples are Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc.).

For example, Outlook has a “Focused” and “Other” inbox.

Use these tools to your advantage.

If something ends up in a folder you don’t want it in, move it to the folder you do want it in.

Most email clients want to keep you happy, so they learn pretty quickly that your Mom’s emails are important, but the emails from that clothing store aren’t.

Having your email automatically sort your personal communications from the newsletters and business/store/sale updates makes quickly checking your email much easier.

It’s the difference between a quick email check that’s actually quick and efficient and an email check that’s distracting because you have to manually sort through so much stuff and you feel like you missed something important.

I have a Gmail inbox and I LOVE the tabs.

But I don’t use them all the way that they’re intended.

Here’s my breakdown:

  • Primary – personal communications, including emails from clients.
  • Social – Social media type and digest updates/emails (Meetup, Nextdoor, Instagram, Facebook, Quora, Goodreads, etc).
  • Updates – Newsletters that I want to read a day or two after they’re sent, payment emails (Paypal, Square, Stripe, etc).
  • Promotions – everything else. This tab is full of newsletters I get that I want to keep getting (although I keep an eye out for ones I regularly delete without reading and then unsubscribe from them). If I’m quickly clearing my email I’ll read the ones that catch my eye or if I have time I’ll open and skim each one.
  • Forums – I don’t use this tab.

One bonus tip.

Do you get emails from places that you’ve ordered from that you don’t want to unsubscribe from (because sometimes you do want to know about their sales), but their emails multiple times each week clutter your inbox?

Create a “Shopping” folder and when you get an email that belongs in that folder, create or update a rule that sends emails from that sender to the “Shopping” folder.

This way, you can open that folder every day or two and quickly scan for any emails that you want to open and delete everything else in that folder.

This also keeps these emails from cluttering up other folders of your inbox.

I’ll be talking about what to do instead of Inbox Zero on Wednesday at 1pm CT for this week’s Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done.

Do you have any questions about managing your inbox that you’d like answered? Comment below and let me know.

I’ll be live on Facebook talking about this on Wednesday at 1pm. The video event is below.

Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to getting things done #99