May 24, 2016

A Little Time Goes a Long Way

Like you, I’m busy. And these days, while I’m preparing lots of fun projects to carry on while I go out on maternity leave, I’m crazy busy. I’m not complaining because I’m doing what I love. And trust me, I’d...

A Little Time Goes a Long Way

Like you, I’m busy. And these days, while I’m preparing lots of fun projects to carry on while I go out on maternity leave, I’m crazy busy.

I’m not complaining because I’m doing what I love. And trust me, I’d rather be busy than bored any day! But being a busy person myself, I also know how easy it is to let your time slip away from you by just getting work done and trying to keep up.

But in business and in life, you really do reap what you sow. The more time you spend on your business (rather than just in it), the more potential it has to grow. That’s easy to understand, but I know sometimes it’s hard to set aside time to actually do.

Whether you’re in the idea phase of your business or have already started to make some money, take a moment to identify which areas could use a little TLC. We naturally spend the majority of our time doing the thing: blogging, sewing, coaching—fill in the blank with your thing. But what else could you do that would grow your business to help you reach your next goal? What are some ways that you could work on your business instead of just in it?

You don’t need an entire weekend retreat to get things together. You can make a huge difference with just little blocks of time and a few fresh ideas.

For example, with just ten minutes, you can take a photo of your cute office space or the early stage of a new product you’re working on. Even an artsy shot of your scribbled notes and a coffee mug gives your audience a glimpse into your world and enhances your brand. Check out the Instagram accounts of Taylor Swift, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Reese Witherspoon for inspiration. But be careful not to let that ten minutes turn into an hour of scrolling celebrity news feeds. It’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of social media!

While we’re on the subject, if you have twenty minutes or so, spend some time on your social media strategy. Come up with a snappy hashtag for your business posts. Is there someone you can tag who has further reach than you do? Who can you align yourself with? Write down your goals for the number of subscribers you want by next week, next month, and next year.

If you have thirty minutes, there’s a ton that you can do. If I have thirty uninterrupted and focused minutes, I feel like I can change the world! What would you do with thirty minutes?

Maybe you update your calendar with details that will make your life easier when that date comes around. If you’re a photographer who books sessions months in advance, use this time to attach the addresses and/or contracts to that appointment in your calendar (a smartphone plus Google Calendar is a beautiful thing). It doesn’t really matter what business you’re in; thirty minutes is the perfect amount of time to get things organized.

Or you can use that time to let your customers know about your new stuff! My friend Amy Porterfield says that the energy of your business is directly tied to the strength of your email list. But that’s only true if you’re engaging with the people on that list! Half an hour is a great window of time to craft your next e-mail.

In about thirty minutes, you can also create your next month’s budget. This should be something you’re already making a priority, but maybe your budget could use a refresh. Take a good look at your expenses and get creative about how to best utilize your cash flow. Is there a marketing investment or equipment upgrade you’d like to make in the next year to grow your business? Make sure you’re putting aside enough money for that.

We are all creatures of habit and it’s easy to follow the same old routine. I know sometimes you feel like you’re trying to catch a tidal wave in a tea cup—like you can’t keep up. After all, there’s never enough time! (Cue Jessie Spano, “There’s never any time!”) But the truth is that you really don’t need a lot of time. With a few new ideas and small blocks of time, you can grow your business, reach your goals, and make more money in the process!

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Leave a Comment

  • Debra H. says:

    I’m still in the idea phase for the most part, but this article was still helpful and encouraging. It also reminded me to review many things I heard at the Business Boutique in Phoenix. Thank you!

  • Hannah says:

    This is perfect! It’s so important to take the time to step back and see the bigger picture, or to notice an area that could be tweaked a smidge and make a huge difference.

  • RW says:

    Love the Spano reference 🙂 Brought a smile to my face. Saved by the Bell was one of my favorite shows growing. up.

  • Trish Dougherty says:

    This is so true. I find myself getting distracted and off on a ‘rabbit trail’ sometimes when I am working. I need to stay focused on the tasks at hand so I write down everything I do in a spiral notebook. It helps me remember where I’ve been as well as what is left to do that I may have forgotten about. It also is a good reference backup….