3 Work-Life Balance Secrets for Business Owners

3 Work-Life Balance Secrets for Business Owners

You started a business because you want more freedom and time flexibility but you still haven’t found it. Running a business is an always-on kind of job. Give up the idea of traditional work-life balance. It doesn’t exist. Here’s what business owners can do to create a more seamless flow between work and life:

Let go of tradition

Throw out the idea of a traditional schedule. Be willing to make your own rules about time. That includes a mix of things that are important outside of work: family, fitness and fun. Create life hacks for things that matter like having a treadmill at home, getting up at 5am for workout or having meditation time. Some owners finish up at the office to pick up their kids by 4pm. They do family time at home and once everyone’s asleep they put in another hour or two of work. They make no excuses, decide on what matters and fit it in.

Keep unusual hours

If you walk into a driver’s licensing center on a Saturday morning you can expect for it to be crowded because that’s when most people are available. Go to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon you can expect aisle to aisle traffic from shoppers prepping meals for the week or cooking Sunday dinner. How long do you think the line would be if you went at 9pm on a Friday night? A secret to work-life abundance is taking care of activities at unusual hours. It ensures you avoid the lines, the waiting and create space to get more done.

Be the conductor

Imagine the important role of a train conductor. They need to navigate the path and make sure that the train is running smoothly, on time and just at the right speed to reach the destination safely. You wouldn’t want the conductor walking the aisles serving food and beverages leaving the navigation of the train completely unattended. However, a lot of business owners are serving the drinks. The most successful at creating quality of life, enroll others to collect tickets and serve the food so they stay focused on guiding the path to the destination. Don’t take on extra task that someone else on the team can handle. If you don’t have a team, start by building one. Ask yourself “in what areas of the business can you be a better conductor?”

 

When we are unable to keep work from seeping into our personal lives and steal our hours from other things that matter, all the work won’t be worth it. Work-life balance is a dream destination we all want to get to, but it is non-existent. What these simple hacks promise, however, is work-life abundance. It’s all about working smart to keep together what is truly essential.

5 Easy Ways to be More Productive and Gain Time Back

5 Easy Ways to be More Productive and Gain Time Back

This may seem counter-intuitive but productivity is a practice and achieving full productivity may never happen. Just like a yogi climbs on their mat daily to go through a sequence, to make the most of time requires a routine that accomplishes big goals and projects. Here are a few easy ways to be more productive and gain some time back in your day:

Schedule Fast

Think about how many emails you may send back and forth to schedule one appointment. Even if the meeting is worthwhile the scheduling may be a huge waste of time. I recommend Assistant.to a free scheduling tool that can be added on to a Gmail account. The tool lets you send the dates that you’re available from a calendar and have the receiver select the meeting date based on your suggested availability. Using effective scheduling methods gives you back the time typically lost booking meetings.

Superset Your Goals

If you enjoy going to the gym but don’t always prioritize it, then here’s what to do: create a superset by adding-on activity to the goal. A superset is when you combine two activities to achieve a goal with no break in between. I really enjoy podcast and can’t wait to listen to my favorite shows new releases so I make a habit of listening while I’m working out. Now, on days when I’m not as motivated, I shift the focus from exercise to listening to a podcast. The mental shift empowers me to reach my fitness goals. Look for opportunities to double up activities to make goal activities more compelling.

Declare an Objective

Trying to accomplish too many tasks in a day will get little done. Try grouping tasks together with one related priority or outcome goal that will hold your attention for the day. Using a project-based to-do list builds focus and naturally helps get more done. I recommend Momentum, an app that connects to your browser – to set -up a focus for each day that runs as desktop background reminding you to stay focused while also tracking time.

Change the Strategy

While living in New York I commuted an hour or more on the train daily and read a book a week. As much as I’ve wanted to, I’ve never been able to get back on that active reading schedule until recently when I changed the strategy. Using Audible I listen to a book on my walk to the office or while driving in the car. Now, the goal is achievable again. When variables change be prepared to adapt and change with them.

Build in Accountability

Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I was working on a business plan and needed a way to make sure I stayed on deadline. If you’re like me you’re great at honoring your commitments with others but not always as good about honoring commitments with yourself. I decided to enroll in a business plan writing class. Although, I felt I knew the information, the group accountability kept me on task. I thrive when given assignments to complete from an instructor or coach. Built in accountability with a person, class or check-in system will keep you productive.

Now that you know exactly how to make yourself for high impact, which of these methods do you most need to implement? Decide on one and test it out.

Jamila Payne is Founder and CEO of Daily Success Routine. She helps busy professional seamless conquer work and life by offering day planners and courses that improve goal achievement, productivity, family time and overall personal development. Jamila is a Contributor to the Huffington Post, Black Enterprise Magazine and Salesforce.com. Watch the FREE Video: One hack that will finally get you checking everything off your to-do list to learn more.

 

These 3 Productivity Practices Will Increase Your Earning Potential

These 3 Productivity Practices Will Increase Your Earning Potential

Did you know your productivity or lack thereof is impacting how much you earn? A Wall Street Journal study shares research on how productivity can increase income by as much as 16% especially when it comes to getting enough sleep. That’s an extra $11K on a 70K salary and there’s plenty one can do with that additional income – vacations, investments or Christian Louboutin’s anyone?  While you can’t always pinpoint when you’ll get a raise, grow your business or hit the lottery, you can make some personal adjustments that will turn you into a money-making machine. Try these three productivity hacks to increase your earnings:

Get enough sleep

Do you act like the kid that doesn’t want to go to bed when it’s after 10pm, pushing yourself to stay awake for fear of missing out? If you’re rested, during the day you’ll accomplish more. That can include completing important tasks or simply being alert enough in meetings to ask the questions and build the relationships that will close the deals. After all, no one wants to work with a sleepy grump.

Prioritize Income Related Tasks

Spending the better part of the day knocking out small tasks just to check several items off the to-do list in your day planner is a sure sign of a leaky wallet. It feels good to check several things off but if they’re not income generating activities then you’re putting yourself at an earnings disadvantage. When you create your daily to-dos put dollar signs next to the items that are income generating. That can include activities like:  making sales calls, sending a marketing email or special offer to past clients, following-up with leads, or hosting info session for prospects. Getting clear on what task are income producing will ensure you focus on what matters without becoming a time-management guru.

Know the numbers

You may have declared to yourself “I’m not a number’s person.” Which doesn’t mean you’re not good at numbers but perhaps you feel anxiety when it comes to calculating or quoting figures on the fly. Turning a blind eye to key numbers in your day – spending, receivables, number of calls necessary to reach a sales goal, will detract from your ability to increase earning potential. Knowing your numbers is essential to making your money grow.

How do you increase your earning potential?

Let’s face it change isn’t easy, but a few small daily actions will create the life you want. I dare you to test just one of the above productivity practices for a week straight. I bet you’ll be and feel more abundant. Let me know how it goes.

Jamila Payne is the CEO of Daily Success Routine. She helps busy professionals seamlessly conquer work and life by offering the Daily Success Routine Journal and self-improvement courses that support goal achievement, productivity and personal development. Download the FREE guide: 5 Productivity Tools the Most Powerful Women in Business Use

How to Clean Out Your Gmail Inbox in 7 Quick Steps

How to Clean Out Your Gmail Inbox in 7 Quick Steps

I got a call from a client who said “hey we never got a response to the speaking request letter we sent two weeks ago.” Thankfully she couldn’t see my face as I cringed on the other side of the phone. That was the final straw. I had been avoiding cleaning up my inbox for about 6 months. “It will take too long” I kept telling myself “there is a much better use of my time” but the cost putting it off at this point was too great.

I was feed up with opening my inbox and feeling overwhelmed. The emails were coming in so fast that important messages were getting pushed down and I either responded later than I preferred or worse, not at all. The flashing yellow bar that I’m about to hit my limit and stop getting emails altogether had been flashing for weeks. No matter how much trash I emptied or small amounts of emails I deleted, it kept coming back.

At this stage in my career as a business owner there is a certain level of professionalism that I hold myself to and the lack of email responsiveness is not aligned with my values. I had to do something about it. Keep reading to find out how I went from 2,542 to 86 emails in one night. You too might be suffering with email overwhelm. Here are the exact steps that I took to get my inbox cleared out and you can do it too:

Step 1: Make sure your settings are adjusted to see 100 emails on the page. Started looking for regular emails that you get regularly – daily, weekly, monthly and make a list of all the companies on a few post-it notes.

Step 2: After the list is formed use the Gmail search feature to start finding those email messages and do a select all and delete.

Step 3: Take the time to scan the page to make sure you’re not deleting anything important. If you see something then uncheck the box on that item, deleting everything else.

Step 4: Leave unchecked items to be sorted or filed later. It’s tempting to deal with them but don’t do it. The key is to focus on deleting everything you can because as the numbers go down you’ll be more inspired to keep going.

Step 5: After going through all the names on your list if there’s still emails remaining go to the back page where you can find the oldest emails and look for more names.

Step 6: After you’ve gotten everything. Starting at the oldest message go page by page and start deleting, again using the select all, scan the page for important items then delete technique.

Step 7: At this point you should be down to a small number of messages that you can go through one by one and read, file, archive or delete.

Now, you should start feeling a big sense of relief. In full transparency, I had a big jug of water at my side with Martin Lawrence reruns going in the background. The occasional laugh made it a little easier to sit for the 2.5 hours that it took to get it all done.

You might be wondering why I stopped at 86 emails. The last bit are messages that require my attention. I need to respond, save the contact or make a note of any to-do’s before I can delete them. Too many people make the mistake of keeping emails in their box like it’s a daily to-do list. Don’t let that be you.

I’m excited to handle the remaining messages. It will take less than an hour of invested time. After this nightmare, I’m inbox zero from here on out.

Jamila Payne is Founder and CEO of Daily Success Routine. She provides corporate and small group training on productivity, women’s empowerment and achieving project based goals. Her Bestselling course Time Freedom, uncovers a little-known secret: how to create flow between work and home life and its direct impact on employee engagement and business results. Jamila is a Contributor to the Huffington Post, Black Enterprise Magazine and Salesforce.com. Watch the FREE Video: one hack that will finally get you checking everything off your to-do list to learn more.

The Brilliant Hack That’ll Finally Gets You Checking Everything Off Your To-do List

The Brilliant Hack That’ll Finally Gets You Checking Everything Off Your To-do List

Most people make a to-do list that are ten items long and believe everything on it, is essential. The problem with overloading your to-do list for the day is, it creates a sense of failure when everything doesn’t get completed. That feeling of inadequacy has a ripple effect. It causes people to stay at the office longer and work even once their home with family.  It also explains why 62% of professionals identified themselves as desktop diner’s. They don’t feel like they’ve “earned” the ability to walk away from the work because they haven’t gotten enough done. I call this phenomenon – the work guilt effect.

There is a technique that will hack that never-ending to-do list, eliminate the work guilt effect and better manage your time –  anchoring the day. Here’s how it works:

Anchoring the day is the process of first looking at the actual time you have available. If you’re going to be in meetings for four hours of a nine-hour workday, then you’ll only create to-dos based on the time available, five hours.

Planning the Day

Let’s say your work is mostly done on the computer. Based on the example above you have five ‘real’ hours that you can execute projects. Now that you’re clear on the time that’s available you can create your to-do list either using an hour by hour format or a how long will each task take format. Here’s what that looks like:

      How long it will take format                                    Hour by Hour format

   

Managing the List

I know what your thinking – “I’m still not getting enough done.” That only leaves me with accomplishing a few items. Yes, it’s true. Based on the time you have available you may be getting less done but that’ what was happening anyway. The big difference is that you’re now creating a realistic expectation of what can be accomplished. It also creates the freedom to make different decisions.

If you have four hours of meetings scheduled preventing you from accomplishing more, something needs to give. Change the meetings to take place at your office versus theirs to cut out travel time, try making it a phone meeting or completely reschedule for a later date. The beauty of using the anchoring the day technique is you get one hundred percent clear on how much time is available and you prioritize based on what you absolutely need to get done. If you have no ideas what your priorities are, that’s a completely different hack for another day.

Practicing the technique

As you practice the anchoring technique daily for at least 3 weeks you’ll see big results. You start to be more effective at your work, have personal time for other things you care about and most importantly you’ll be able to tame the work monster inside and let go of the associated guilt. You’ll also develop stronger ability to prioritize and say no to things that might be important but aren’t important for today’s to-do list. When you become a master at anchoring the day based on the time you have available, the to-dos will consistently get checked done, making everyday a win.

 

Daily Success 101: How to Make Time Work for You

Daily Success 101: How to Make Time Work for You

Want a prosperous career and more social time? Personal Development Expert, Jamila Payne says all you need is a DSR – Daily Success Routine.

According to Gallup’s lifestyle poll 40% of American’s say they feel overwhelmed and stressed in their daily life so I’m guessing that might include you. We’re completely overcommitted so being more productive might sound like a daunting task when you’ve tried everything, outside of extending the number of hours in a day. However, it’s necessary to figure this time thing out. Until you have a resolution you’ll consistent struggle with overwhelm and feel like you lack time for things you care about outside of work.

Having a plan for how you allocate hours will help create the life you want – thriving business, career, family, friends and creative time. People who have a time budget make better decisions about what they choose to take on. If the word budget feels limiting, that’s okay. I prefer to call it DSR – your Daily Success Routine. Once you design your own, you’ll never look at time the same again.

Here’s how to design your daily success routine:

STEP 1: CREATE THE VISION

Let’s get clear on what you’re working towards. The best way to leverage a routine is to get a big work or lifestyle goal on autopilot mode. If you want to write a book or eat healthier as examples you can design routines to make sure they happen without fail. First, you decide on the vision – that’s what you want to accomplish.

STEP 2: DESIGN THE ROUTINE

You’ve probably heard of a morning routine but they can happen anytime of the day. The key is picking a time and sticking to it. Going back to the example of writing a book. Creating a daily routine for writing 30 minutes a day will ensure that the goal gets done. It’s a great system because you’re focused on what you can do right now, instead of being overwhelmed by the larger goal. When you have the right set of routines in place they will support you in getting more of what you desire. A routine is not rigid. It’s important to be consistent about it and sometimes you need to allow space for things to change and evolve.

Here’s a few daily routine ideas:

Goal

·         Develop a spiritual practice

·         Eat healthier

·         Tone body

·         Build Instagram following

·         Feel more energized while working

·         Write a book

Routine

·         15 mins of meditation

·         Have a green juice daily

·         Lift weights at the gym

·         Post and follow 20 people daily

·         Go to bed by 10pm

·         1 hour of morning writing

 

“Like with money, when you intentionally decide where your time is going you’ll feel great about spending it” 

STEP 3: PRACTICE YOUR PLAN

Having a daily routine is a practice. It’s important to know implementing too many things at once is challenging. New habits take 21-30 days to develop so if you’ve never had a daily routine before, I would recommend starting with 3 activities you can do consistently. Once you have a few activities mastered and you’re able to execute consistently for more than a month, it’s feasible to add new things. If you’re practicing too many things, you’ll give up on the practice and never reach the goal.

Your routine should be fun, effective and most important, custom created for you. It needs to match your unique goals and desires and fit your perspective of how and when you work best. Don’t adapt someone else’s routine and assume that you’ll get the same results. As they say, the best artist “steal” for inspiration but they make the work their own.

When it comes to your Daily Success Routine, I invite you to do the same. Look at it as a complete experiment. Keep testing and finding out what’s working for you and adjust as needed.

5 Critical Mistakes Preventing You from Accomplishing More in a Day

5 Critical Mistakes Preventing You from Accomplishing More in a Day

It’s tough when the clock strikes 6pm and you feel like failed the day because once again you didn’t get enough done. You’re not alone, 45% American workers feel they don’t have enough free time; their job is colonizing their entire day, not just 9 through 5 according to a study by Workplace Trends.

What if there were some common practices you have that were actually preventing you from accomplishing more? We’ve taken note of the learning from our clients and found these critical mistakes that are holding people back from accomplish more in the day:

Believing that you’re not disciplined enough

You are perfectly disciplined. However, you may be disciplined to a set of habits that are not moving you towards your goals – like hitting the snooze button, running on-time or late to meetings, putting off things you want to accomplish to watch your favorite TV shows.

Declaring you’re not a morning person

While people have natural body rhythms, studies show that a person can train themselves to wake-up early and start the day. Before you completely write-off the morning as a time that you can succeed practice getting to bed earlier and wake-up productive.

Download the FREE guide: 5 Productivity Tools the Most Powerful Women in Business Use

Putting off important task until later in the day

How many times have you had a perfectly planned to-do list and before afternoon hits a series of events have unfolded that prevent you from accomplishing what you set out to-do. When you put off your most important activities you leave the day to chance and likely won’t get to what’s most important.

Waiting until you get to the office to write your to-list

If you’re just starting your to-do list when you get to work, you’ll feel behind because the time clock for being productive has already started. Ultimately that sense of feeling behind will compel you to add more things to the list, most of which you’ll never get done.

Checking email first thing in the morning

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of reading a morning email that completely changed your emotional state. Checking your email before you accomplish at least one of your most important objectives for the day, puts you in the space of focusing on everyone else’s to-do list before you start your own.

How many of these critical mistakes are governing your day? Ask yourself, “what’s one thing you can do different” so that tomorrow, you’re a little more productive. Download the FREE guide: 5 Productivity Tools the Most Powerful Women in Business Use

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