I am that person who creates schedules and to-do lists. I like feeling organized and on-track, so when I get off track, I start to feel guilty. The little voice in my head starts telling me I am not working hard enough, not working as hard as my peers, and I’ll never get anywhere with this work ethic. Harsh, right? But I’m just being honest. That little voice in our heads is the primary cause of guilt when we aren’t being as productive as we think we should be.
Yesterday was a prime example— I’d scheduled the filming of 2 youtube videos (yes, I’m starting a youtube channel, woohoo!) and 4 Instagram reels, but I could only film 1 Instagram reel in-between other things I had going on. Today I feel tired and drained and would rather rest than write this blog post but here I am writing this blog post. It is a constant battle between what I scheduled myself to do and what I’m feeling up to doing.
My struggle is feeling guilty when I take breaks instead of doing what I’d planned to do or when I take breaks instead of trying to catch up with what I was suppose to have done.
As a society, we have internalized the idea that productivity equals success. If we aren’t as productive as our peers, we will get left behind and that little voice in our heads will not let us forget it. This is especially true for success driven people who pride themselves on working hard. The way that most people think of productivity is synonymous with being inventive, vigorous, effective. A highly productive person gets things done. The question is Do we need to be productive all the time in order to be successful?
Forced productivity could help move the needle forward on important tasks. I genuinely believe effort creates energy, meaning that if you can just get started doing the thing you said you would do, then you’d gain momentum as you do it. That is literally the case as I write this post, I am feeling more motivated with each sentence to continue writing.
On the other hand, forced productivity could hinder creativity. There is something to be said about creating when you feel the most creative. At the height of your creative energy you will (I assume) create higher quality work.
So should we push ourselves to be more productive or not?
I think it’s a mixture of both. In my case I’ve become really good at just getting started even if I’m not up to the task, but not so good at giving myself grace for taking an unscheduled break. Both are healthy and important to keeping a balanced mental state. It also helps negate negative self-talk. Giving yourself permission to take breaks, guilt free, will allow you to be creative when creativity strikes (and not when the schedule says so). Besides, if you plan ahead, there is usually time to adjust to changes.
Okay, I think this pep talk has helped me ease my guilt (ha!) and get me back on track. I hope it has inspired some of you as well! Save this post and come back to it when you start to feel guilty about “not working as hard as you should be.”
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Cat Marte is a Small Business Coach + Social Media Strategist who helps success driven people launch and grow their small businesses using online marketing strategies. Book your free introductory call today.
So you’ve decided to start a business (or maybe you’re calling it a side hustle, passion project— other income generating activity), and now you realize it takes A LOT more work than you’d expected. You’ve found yourself wondering how in the world you are suppose to manage your full time job, your new business and your social/personal life without burning out?!
Honestly, I’m not going to sugar coat it, the struggle is real!
This is something I’ve had to grapple with since I started my blog in 2018, and even more so once it morphed into a small business at the start of 2020. At first I completely overwhelmed myself with unending to-do lists, self-inflicting pressure, and unnerving anxiety about the future. I asked myself, “What if all this work is for nothing?” or “What if I’m not doing enough?” or “How much do other entrepreneurs do?” It was just a constant stream of questions that only added to my stress and burnout.
Over the last year, I’ve tried a bunch of different techniques to reduce my workload and increase my productivity. Everything from batching content to hiring an assistant, I’ve tried it all. I quickly learned there really aren’t any shortcuts— if you want results, you have to put in the work— but, there are definitely ways to reduce stress and work more efficiently.
How to get it all done
Let someone else do it
The number one thing I recommend is to delegate! Get someone else to do the nitty gritty or the things you aren’t particularly good at and don’t have the time/desire to learn. Things like social media posts, email copy, and marketing ads can all be handed to someone else who would probably get better results than you anyways (if that’s not your thing). I tried this method for a couple of months and was absolutely thrilled with the results.
If you go this route you do need to invest money and time (but not as much time as doing it yourself). When I hired a social media assistant, I met with them every week to make sure we were on the same page about the content strategy. During these meetings I worked closely with my assistant to make sure they understood my niche and my messaging. I also spent time reviewing all the content and adding notes to help them understand why certain things wouldn’t work for my audience. Essentially, an outside source can only learn your niche and your personal preferences overtime, so make sure you have the budget and the longterm mindset before signing anyone on.
Find the right time
Whether you’ve hired help or not, you need to have solid time management skills in order to be successful at juggling your full time job and your business. To maximize my time, I first figured out when I had the most energy and enthusiasm to work on my business, and then set my schedule around that time. Before this, I thought I’d work on my business after my 9-5, thinking there were more waking hours after work than before work. This ended up backfiring when I realized I was too tired to get anything done after work. Things drastically change when I switched to working before my 9-5. Even though I only had an hour and a half to two hours to get work done, I found myself getting so much more done because I was alert and energized.
If you aren’t sure when you have the most energy, try working at different times around your 9-5 and see when you feel most energized and how much you can get done in that time. One very important note is to remember to prioritize your 9-5 job and be fully committed to getting work done for your employer. This is super important because (perhaps temporarily) your 9-5 is your main source of income and you don’t want to jeopardize your main source of income before you are ready to fully transition into your business full time or without having something else lined up.
Set longer deadlines
It’s so tempting to look at someone else’s business and think, “How are they so far ahead of me?!” Believe me, I’ve been there, done that, but honestly, no two people have the same situation and no two businesses have the same trajectory. It’s really important to manage expectations in any case, but especially if you are juggling a full time job and a side business. A good rule of thumb is to give yourself twice as much time than you would like to complete your goals. For example, if you’d like to start profiting $100/day in the next 6 months, give yourself a year to reach that goal. The reason why I recommend this is because you are essentially running your business on a part-time basis so it will likely take you twice as long to reach your goal.
You don’t always have to push back your deadlines and prolong your goals, but you do need to be realistic and understand your capacity so that you do not burnout trying to accomplish unrealistic goals. One way to speed up the process is to delegate. Hiring professionals to help you market, for example, will help you achieve your goals with more efficiency. Another way to speed up the process is by hiring a business coach. A coach can help you set SMART goals and keep you accountable every week so that you don’t fall off the deep end one week and lose weeks and weeks of progress.
Get the right things done
I firmly believe it is possible to get all the things done— just not all at once. When you are working full time and trying to build a profitable business on the side, time is of the essence. I am not going to go in depth on this point because I wrote an entire blog post on this topic which you can find here: 3 Tips for getting EVERYTHING done on your To-Do list. In summary though, you have to make a decision on what is absolutely necessary to get done and what will move your business forward.
The Bottom Line
There are notable success stories from people who work full time jobs and have profitable side businesses. With the right set up, you can eventually transition from your full time job to a full time business owner, like Jade from WeSideHustle and countless others, OR you can continue to grow your side business and keep your full time job, like Leo from @Leo.jeanloius and countless others. There are so many ways you can leverage multi income streams, but FIRST, use these tips to set up your foundation and master the art of juggling your job and your side business.
Enjoyed this post? I’m a small business entrepreneur looking to spread the love! Please Like, Comment & Share with friends!
Cat Marte is a Small Business Coach + Social Media Strategist who helps success driven people launch and grow their small businesses using social media marketing strategies. Book your free introductory call today.
Have you ever felt like your to-do list grows at speeds beyond humanly possible? As if you get one thing done and five more are added out of nowhere? The never-ending to-do list is one of my arch nemeses and I’ve been determined to win this war. I’ve tried every trick in the book from brain dumping everything onto paper, to cutting back on unnecessary distractions to time blocking— you name it, I’ve tried it. After many failed attempts and research on the best strategies, I think I’ve finally nailed it. I don’t really like long intros so let’s cut to the chase, here are my 3 tips for saving time and increasing productivity.
First things first, it’s not about getting more things done, it’s about getting the right things done. If you pulled out your to-do list right now I bet you’d find about 50% of the list are things you want to do, but don’t actually need to do. Don’t get me wrong, wanting to reorganize your closet or produce another digital product for your online business is great, and also time consuming…Instead of brain dumping everything into one large, overwhelming list, I’ve found that creating multiple lists helps me prioritize and get more done. Usually it goes like this: the first list consists of the absolute MUST do things (often the things we are procrastinating because they suck our souls and we don’t want to do them). This could be scheduling a dentist appointment, or filing taxes— again things that MUST be done. The second list are things I really want to do and probably should do for the sake of my sanity, like reorganize my closet or clean out the garage. The third list are all the things that would be nice to do, but not urgent or necessary.
Now take a good, hard look at that third list. What can you eliminate? What has been on the list for forever and a day that you never to get around to? What item doesn’t even seem satisfying to complete anymore? For me that was jujitsu. I really wanted to sign up at some point but so many things came up and eventually the desire faded. I know there is a negative psychological effect that comes with taking something off the list that you didn’t come around to, but think of it more as tabling for later, or moving it from the to-do to the wish list. Essentially you are decluttering your to-do list and focusing on what needs to get done and what will bring you the most satisfaction once it is done.
Set realistic targets.
Let’s be honest, even after you’ve pared down your list, it might still be overwhelming. At this point it’s important to set realistic targets for yourself. In other words, what are your expectations for how and when you will get these things done? Personally, I limit my weekly goal to doing 3 things off my to-do list. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but hear me out; setting my targets to 3 things per week gives me the confidence and flexibility to accomplish my goal while not feeling pressured and time strapped. Maybe that number is five for you or maybe it’s one. Remember, it is more important to get the right things done than to get the most things done. Using this approach shifts the focus from quantity to quality.
Bonus: My secret to getting the MUST DO things done first.
Even with prioritized lists, it’s easy to slip into the “well I’ll just do this first because it’s easier” mentality. To ensure I get my important things done, I pick 2 things from my MUST do list and one thing from my “really want to do” list each week. The trick is that only once the first two MUST do items are complete do I move on to my “really want to do” item. It’s a little mind trick— I am signaling to myself that I did a good job by completing my 2 hard tasks first and now I can “reward” myself by doing my “really want to do” task (plus once I do that one, I will have met my goal for the week!).
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Cat Marte is a Success Coach who helps success driven people launch and grow their online businesses. Book your free introductory coaching call today.
I sat down with Gary, a tutor and aspiring life coach, to talk about what it means to be vulnerable and how vulnerability can help us, rather than hinder us. I have to admit, not too long ago, I thought being vulnerable (and showing it) was a weakness that would make me seem incapable, less-than and I don’t know, just weak!
I didn’t realize vulnerability was not a weakness at ALL. First of all, there is a BIG difference between being vulnerable and being weak. Vulnerability is being about to open up and let people into your world.
Vulnerability can be the bridge that connects us all together through shared experiences and feelings, such as sadness, worry, happiness, joy, etc. When we can open up about these things, we are allowing others to see themselves in us and and inviting them to share as well.
Listen to the full scoop of this conversation on vulnerability below!