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Productivity hacks for creative business owners: Getting into the groove

Are you finding the start of the year a bit of a slog?

 

I’m very ‘bah humbug’ about all that ‘new-year-new-you’ stuffery. I found that, despite putting in place some strict boundaries to preserve my ‘me time’ over the Christmas break, I did not feel refreshed and renewed for this year.

 

In talking to other business owners over the last couple of weeks, I realise that I am far from unusual. How about you?

 

There’s lots of reasons for this. Not least the wet and then the cold, right?


Grumpy pug dog wrapped in a red and black tartan scarf


But it’s not the weather. Analysing what’s really going on is extremely useful because then you can find more options to address the ‘ooof’ problem.


Like you, my time is really under pressure and as I take on more clients there is less time for business development. In 2023 I squeezed it all in, making my working day / week even longer.


If you’ve been reading my newsletters, you’ll be aware that I walked away from my garden design business in 2012 after burning out, and these days I am very aware of when I am overdoing things and giving too much of myself to my business.


Not feeling refreshed after two weeks away from work is a warning alarm for me.


You may already know that my theme for this year is ‘simplification and enjoyment’, across my business and life outside of work, and this is heavily influencing my business planning and goal setting...



...So here are my productivity hacks for you if you’re a creative business owner:


1. Define your success criteria for the year.


Reaching Christmas holiday 2024 full of energy is one of mine and I’m really looking forward to the actions to make this happen and to give me a better work-life balance, which include taking a break each season.


Actions and rewards all in one hit! What’s not to like?



2. Great planning pulls you forward and helps you make decisions.


This really is a super investment of your time. And when you see an incredibly long list, it’s important to prioritise and cull.


I’m asking myself:

  • What’s the one thing that’s going to make the biggest difference to my business?

  • Could this be done in a simpler way?

and

  • Will I enjoy it?



3. If something isn’t singing for its supper, then it’s out!


I’ve been looking at my business stats. I’ll give you an example, I did a lot of networking in 2023, but aside from meeting some fabulous people, it resulted in two direct clients.


Sure, there are lots of personal benefits of networking but, when time is tight, you cannot do it all.



4. You don’t have to do it ALL!


I have started delegating. For someone who enjoys so much of running a business and wants to be great at it all, this is quite a step.


If you’re not in a financial position to buy in services, perhaps there are mutually beneficial skills-swap opportunities to be had.



5. On mornings when it feels a bit of a slog, stay in touch with why you are an entrepreneur.


Every time I have a coaching session with a client, I am reminded how much I love doing what I do. And building my community of entrepreneurs is a real motivation booster.


What keeps you going? And how can you keep that front of mind?


So what productivity hack are you going to implement today to keep the owner of your creative business up and at it, even when it feels like a bit of a slog?!



Stay warm and dry and LOVE this time of year! 

 

And don’t forget to come back again to my blog for free coaching tips. Better still, contact me if you’d like to receive my monthly newsletter in your inbox.

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