As a one man army working to build a business and live a full life, I need to work smart. By smart, I mean work hard and be efficient. My goal is always to multiply the impact of my efforts as much as possible.
Truthfully, that’s a tall order.
I’m a husband and father first. My wife and kids deserve all my time and attention (one day they’ll get it, but for now I grind). I also have a job that chews up a third of my day. That’s time, energy and resources gone. Then, I have my business which takes just about all my remaining waking hours.
As you can see, it’s easy to fall off track. Life is a lot to manage in general. So how do I get stuff done?
More specifically, how do I become more productive in less time?
Batch processing has helped tremendously. I block out chunks of time for writing. Usually, I’m writing enough to keep me a few days or weeks ahead of schedule.
Because you know, life happens. And being a company of one, when you go down the entire operation halts. Personally, I’m not cool with that.
So whether for my blog, my newsletter or my book, I’m able to develop a writing flow instead of constantly starting and stopping.
And let me tell you something, flow matters.
Flow is a mental state where the person is completely absorbed in whatever they’re doing. Over time, flow can lead to improved performance, skill development and mastery.
Have you ever watched Kobe’s historic 81-point clip on the Toronto Raptors? That’s flow.
Some people call it “the zone,” or “hyper focused.” Whatever you call it, find it and stay locked in as long as possible because great things will happen.
Applying batch processing to your workflow should be easy. Pick a day and time you can commit to every week. At a minimum, lock in an hour for your activity (or whatever works for your schedule at the time). Then, do the work.
It’s that simple.
If you’re a writer, block out enough time to write content for the next 4-6 weeks. If you’re a podcaster, schedule a month’s worth of interviews during a 4-hour time block. If you have a YouTube channel, bring a couple outfits and record a bunch of videos so you can stay ahead of schedule.
I’ve also leveraged tools to automate things I should avoid doing manually. I mean, there’s technology in the universe and so I use it.
Tools like Zapier allow me to add survey respondents to my email list and send them a follow up email using Convertkit. It also allows me to automatically add folks who register for my Q&A sessions to special groups in my mailing list.
If it scales, I automate it. That’s my rule.
Set it up once and let technology do all the heavy lifting moving forward. It’s like having my own virtual assistant except it’s not a real person. Feel me?
Lastly, I review my workflow and remove things that aren’t working. I kept dropping the ball when it came to writing on a consistent basis, so I started scheduling writing time with myself. I started treating time with myself like I was spending it with someone else.
Not only that, I set a minimum benchmark of 500 words. Why?
It doesn’t have to be complex but it’s important that you know what works and what doesn’t. As a solopreneur, you likely don’t have the time (or resources) to do things twice.
Pick a few Key Performance Indicators (KPI) that you’ll commit to measuring against. If your current process works, keep doing it. But if it doesn’t, make the necessary adjustments and keep it moving.
These are just three things I’ve implemented to improve my workflow. It’s not perfect but I’m iterating.
What are you doing to improve your workflow?