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Posted on / by virtuallyuntangled

Favourite Holiday Hacks I Learned as an Entrepreneur …

I’m back two days in a row this week. A special treat (haha!) with yesterday’s post of 15 Giftspirations for the Entrepreneur in Your Life and now today with exactly what you’ve been waiting for all month … Yes, we're here today with some holiday 101!

And only because we know the more suggestions (and help) you have, the greater the chance you'll have of finding something valuable for your own work life! 😉

 

So, let’s just dive right on into what I like to call our list of holiday efficiency hacks ...

Improving your long-term productivity (whether during the holiday season or on a daily basis) is all about routine, communication, ensuring your team is on track and well taken care of (they are people too, just trying to live their best lives – just like you!), personal and professional development and mental and emotional hacks. (Sometimes we forget about those last two, but they are SO important!)

 

The importance of a good break is something most of us feel we don’t have time for. Just five more minutes, just two more emails … But those menial tasks can sometimes get away from us and add up to hour. And before we know it, we haven’t even had a sip of water and our butt stupidly sore from sitting too dang long and not leaving our screen. But the reality is breaks are good for your brain as they help you feel rested, improve your focus, gives you through process time and boosts your mood. Yes, all at the same time! So trust me when I say this … TAKE A BREAK as in the end you’ll actually get more done!

 

Once and awhile go on a satisfaction strike! Honestly, what is better than the feeling of satisfaction … that huge sigh of relief that comes from crossing something off of your to-do list? This is one of my most favourite things! Grabbing that big black Sharpie and striking (yes, with great force) an item off that list. Try starting each day by prioritizing what you “must” get done and bumping the most difficult tasks to the top of your list. Doing this will make you have a clearer sense of what is important and in the long run will help you get more stuff done. And, the reason I suggest “the bump” is because your energy is most likely the highest at the start of the day. More Energy = Getting More Done = More Free Time

 

Learning to say NO is something most of us have a hard time doing as we don’t want to feel as though we’re not living up to the expectations of others. But, the more often you say yes, the more indispensable you will end up feeling and the bigger your task/project list(s) will grow. Working hard and on many fun projects can bring you joy if you truly love what you do. However, amp up the confidence by saying NO once and awhile … It surely won’t kill your reputation. It just places boundaries when they need to be placed. And keeps you at a sane and healthy level.

Can or Can't Quote

Stop it with the S.O.S. I know it’s the holidays and everything is so sparkly, bright and filled with great promo deals BUT you’re already trying to juggle so many different responsibilities and possibilities. As entrepreneurs, we constantly crave new technology. (I’m also bad for everything new that comes out – I just want to try it all!) And most of us usually aren’t afraid to sign-up and dive right on in (or get our team to do so on our behalf). Sometimes this can be a great characteristic, but when Shiny Object Syndrome (S.O.S. for short) sets in, it tends to force one to chase platform after platform. Or project after project and change after change, all the while never settling with one option. It is called “Shiny Object Syndrome” because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. Once they get there and see what the object is or does, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next thing. This can put your business is danger and stump growth because you’re never really getting anywhere.

And trust me, I’ve experienced this with some of my Virtually Untangled clients. Instead of letting me “untangle” them … we spent more time switching platforms or projects as opposed to actually getting anything done. So, once you realize you have these tendencies (or one of your team members lets you know that things are kind of getting out of hand), you can start to correct your choices and compensate for them. Thus, ultimately forging a more consistent, reliable path forward for you and your business.

 

Make automation is your new BFF because sometimes as entrepreneurs we can live inside a tech bubble. I am right now actually, due to the nature of my business. But with the right systems, you can maximize not only your time (which is what we’re trying to create through balance; more time), but also the efficiency in which you run things as well as your profits. Because truthfully, we all know that too often, repetition, waste and unnecessary bureaucracy can slow you down.

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Organize your chaos is much easier than it sounds. It’s simple … everything needs to have a “home”. If items in your office are “homeless” or you do not have anywhere to go they end up in stacks. Literally stacks everywhere. Perhaps even beyond the space of your office. Now, I am not saying it is not okay to have stuff and lots of it, but to be more efficient and enjoy your space it is best to have everything (yes, absolutely everything) tucked away in a specific spot. For most people, that is too much to ask right off the hop. Maybe start with a basket or desk bin. Start placing wayward items inside. Not only will your clutter magnets (aka. “homeless” stacks) stay stuff-free but you will now have a better idea of the type of storage you should invest in. Truth of the matter is, studies show that people who have organized spaces, and enjoy them, tend to be more attentive and accomplished during their work hours.

 

Learning to UNPLUG is of course easier said than done sometimes, especially when we live in a tech dominated world. Scrolling through social media, reading on your Kindle, cruising through websites and playing games on your smartphone often they feel like routine. Breaking these habits unfortunately cannot be done overnight, nor should it be taken lightly. The key part of the whole “unplugging” experience is not that social media and technology are bad. They’re just convenient tools to keep you in the loop and make things easier. Unplugging should be done in baby steps just like breaking any other habit or routine.

The “cold turkey” method won’t work here. One trick that I started doing for myself a few months ago is managing those damn notifications. The less it rings and buzzes, the less often you think about it. So, at a certain hour every evening – long before bed – I turn my smartphone notifications off and just enjoy whatever activities I have set out for myself. Same thing goes for my morning routine. Grabbing my phone isn’t the very first thing I do after I open my eyes. And I certainly don’t turn my ringer on until close to 9a.m. This gives me room to breathe and just be. Give it a whirl! But for some reason, if my little trick doesn’t work for you then perhaps it’s time for things to get drastic … and go completely off the grid! So, find those missed automation opportunities through the repetition of tasks and or projects (social media posting being one of them), implement some A.I., make certain tasks simpler and perhaps consider hiring a nuclear team of virtual ninja’s!

Remember, you’re supposed to be working ON your business, not in it! 😉

 

And, last but not least, don’t forget to celebrate your achievements and your failures as they can be used as motivation.

think bigger

To end today’s post on a lighter note, I’d like to leave you with some motivating words from Steve Jobs as his personal life philosophy of pursuing one’s own dreams, regardless of the opinion of others, played a key role in why he was able to imagine, create and execute on such grand ideas! Even during the holiday season …

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma–which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you want to become.

 

If you found today’s blog post to be EXACTLY the type of inspiration and know-how you were looking for, I’d be very grateful if you would help this post spread by sharing it on social media or emailing it to a friend. You never know whose life you might change.

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